Posted by: SandreS | November 20, 2009

God’s Outsiders: The Called-Out Ones (A Biblical Look at God’s Ecclesia), Part 18

Examples of “The Church in Your House” Truth

The truth of the domestic nature of God’s ecclesia is not limited to Paul’s use of “the Church in Your house” phrase alone. There are many examples of this truth that should be apparent to the student of Scripture. Here is a list of some of the passages that show the central place of the home in the natural expression of God’s ecclesia.

“And a certain woman named Lydia … and her household … besought us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.’ And she constrained us … And they … entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them …” (Acts 16:14-15, 40).

“But the Jews which believed not … gathered a company … and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And … they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers …” (Acts 17:5-6).

“And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus … And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the Word of God among them” (Acts 18:7, 11).

“… house to house” (Acts 20:20).

“And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him … teaching …” (Acts 28:30-31).

“… Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household” (Romans 16:10).

“… Greet them that are of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord” (Romans 16:11).

“Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brothers which are with them” (Romans 16:14).

“Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them” (Romans 16:15).

“Gaius my host, and of the whole church, salute you …” (Romans 16:23).

“… them who are of the house of Chloe …” (I Corinthians 1:11).

“… they who creep into houses …” (II Timothy 3:6).

“… Salute … the household of Onesiphorus” (II Timothy 4:19).

“… who subvert whole houses …” (Titus 1:11).

When these passages are given the attention that they deserve, one can hardly miss the true domestic[1] nature of the Body of Christ. If fact, what we will find missing from the teaching of Paul, and from the account of his life, are any inference of the association of God’s ecclesia with institutionalism. This is purely a concept of man-made religious tradition.

Paul’s domestic pattern of the ecclesia is not to be confused with His evangelistic efforts – the heralding (preaching) of the gospel that was primarily public in nature. In this phase of Paul’s ministry he utilized many public places (note the word “publicly” in Acts 20:20) such as synagogues (Acts 13:5, 14-50; 14:1-7; etc.), open-air (Acts 14:8-21; 16:13, 19-22; 17:22-31, etc.), courtrooms (Acts 18:12-16, etc), and schools (Acts 19:9-10, where he “disputed”[2]); but, once again, these public activities directed toward the lost are not to be confused with God’s ecclesia, and what Paul did when he “gathered the church [ecclesia] together (Acts 14:27).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2000, 2009


[1] Domestic: “relating to or used in the home or everyday life within a household” (Encarta Dictionary); “belonging to the house, or home; pertaining to ones place of residence, and to the family; as domestic concerns; domestic life; domestic duties; domestic affairs; domestic contentions; domestic happiness; domestic worship” (Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828),
[2] Strong’s G1223 and G3004; “to say thoroughly, that is, discuss (in argument or exhortation).” Note that the definition’s main emphasis is on civil discourse, or discussion, not contentious debate that leads to strife.

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