Thursday, July 3, 2014
“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:14,15 KJV).
Searching “to no avail” for a local grace church? (Search no more, for you already know its address!)
Replying to yesterday’s devotional, one of our readers emailed me. Like so many we hear from, she voiced her discouragement and asked where she should “go to church” when no pure local church could be found! My family and I were in a similar predicament years ago, until I heard a Christian brother and ministry coworker say, “Walk out your front door, stand in your front yard, turn around, and voila—your local grace church building!” 🙂
Until organized religion began to dominate Christianity during the first few centuries A.D., and construction began on elaborate cathedrals and other monuments to man’s “goodness,” God’s people met in homes. We read about the “church” that met in Rome in Priscilla and Aquila’s house (Romans 16:3-5)—note, not Peter’s house! Scripture also mentions the “church” in Nymphas’ house in Laodicea (Colossians 4:15), and the “church” in Philemon’s house in Colosse (Philemon 2).
In Paul’s ministry, a “church” was not a building, for the God of the Bible lives in Christians instead of manmade structures (Acts 17:24). “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place…” (1 Corinthians 14:23)—the “church” is not the place, but the Christians in the place. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
As King James Bible-believing, Pauline-dispensational Christians, we are God’s church. Our homes are where the “church” meets! If we have no teacher or pastor, we can locate sound grace Bible study material and utilize it (you are more than welcome to use our studies). We have no desire to attend “worship services” that abound with denominationalism and religious tradition, so we stay at home with our Bibles and invite any like-minded Christians to join us!