It’s Not A Building

“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 3:15

We Americans are infatuated with buildings. It so permeates our culture that the foremost definition for church in most English dictionaries is a building used for religious services. Many times we assume the work of a church plant is not complete unless the congregation is “dried in.” Securing a building is often the very first thing on a church planter’s agenda. I think if we take a closer look at the Word of God we will see that a building was NOT a priority for the local New Testament Church.

Look at these Scripture references:

  • Acts 12:12 “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.”
  • Acts 16:40 “And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.”
  • Romans 16:5 “Likewise greet the church that is in their house.”
  • 1 Corinthians 16:19 “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.”
  • Colossians 4:15 “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.”
  • Philemon 1:2 “And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:”

I think it is important to realize that all of these references except for the church in Lydia’s house (Acts 16:40) refer to established churches with no missionary presence. How delightfully informal and cozy these family gatherings (God’s family) must have been. There is no doubt that this mutual love and respect was a powerful attraction to the communities of which they belonged. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

The House of God is not a building; it’s a Body – the local and visible habitation of God.

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