Posted by: SandreS | July 12, 2010

Paul’s Two-Fold Method: Public and Private

I kept back nothing that was profitable to you, but have shown you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house (Acts 20:20).

Paul was the apostle to the nations. His was an international ministry, as contrasted with the Twelve who were sent to the nation Israel. Therefore, his was quite the public ministry, EVANGELizing the nations. He was called to make public (publicize) the good news (the evangel).

We can see from Acts 20:20 that Paul had a two-fold method:

Publicly, and from house to house.

We might call this Paul’s 20/20 vision: both a (1) public and (2) private teaching ministry. He taught the nations publicly, and the called (i.e., those who responded to the call) privately.

Some fail to distinguish Paul’s “public” ministry from his “house to house” teaching ministry. They then proceed to use the phrase “house to house” as if it meant a “door to door” public ministry, with the idea of knocking on every door in a neighborhood: a type of “religious cold-calling.” This is not at all Paul’s ministry here.

Paul’s “house to house” ministry – of moving from one household of saints to another – was his method of privately instructing and establishing believers in the truth – in a very personal manner (in their homes). This was what he referred as “the ecclesia in your house.”

This can be seen even more clearly in the Concordant Literal New Testament:

Under no circumstances did I shrink from informing you of anything which was expedient, and teaching you in public and at your homes.

The recognition of this dual teaching method – “in public” and “at your homes” – is important. God uses the “in public” process to call out His ecclesia; and then the “at your homes” practice to establish them. Over the next two days we will briefly consider these two key areas.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 2010

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