Posted by: SandreS | November 24, 2009

God’s Outsiders: The Called-Out Ones (A Biblical Look at God’s Ecclesia), Part 22

Forsaking the Pauline Pattern

When Paul uses the repeated phrase “the church in your house” does it have any special significance or meaning? Or, is it just interesting historical “filler?”

Are we to suppose that building a special building just never occurred to Paul or any of his followers? Or, did he completely reject such a firmly established religious practice?

Was not Paul a tent maker by trade? Was not Israel’s first building a tent? Could he not have made a tent in which to “have church” – a tent like Israel’s tabernacle?

Yet this is not what Paul did! Paul was not founding a new religion, and neither was the Body of Christ to be a part of one of the two established religious systems. The church, which is His Body, was something new altogether, but it was not a religion!

Paul consistently lived so that his “manner of life” would reflect the truth of his doctrine, and he taught us to do so as well. Paul’s doctrine is intended to have results.

But you have fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose … Yea, and all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II Timothy 3:10, 12).

The tradition of the Babylonian religious system has, for the most part, replaced “the church in your house.” In the process, the organic nature of God’s ecclesia has been replaced by man-made institutions and organizations. This all comes from a failure to follow the simple Pauline pattern.

Wherefore I beseech you, be followers of me (I Corinthians 4:16).

Be followers of me, even as I also am of Christ (I Corinthians 11:1).

Brothers, be followers together of me … (Philippians 3:17).

The Pauline pattern has been forsaken! Now, what shall those of us who profess to follow Paul do about this? Shall we faithfully follow Paul as he followed Christ, or shall we continue to blindly follow the traditions of men?

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful (I Corinthians 4:2).

Will we follow Paul as he follows Christ, or will we follow some other man?

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

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