people would describe a building or give a denomination when asked about their
church; however, this is not consistent with the teaching of the Bible. The
Biblical definition of the word church is a group of believers. The following
verses describe the first church.
those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three
thousand souls were added to them.
However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men
came to be about five thousand. (Acts 4:4)
And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were
constantly added to their number, (Acts 5:14)
So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being
built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy
Spirit, it continued to increase. (Acts 9:31)
church described in Acts is the first New Testament church formed after Jesus
ascended into heaven. The word church is used to describe the fellowship of
believers; there is no mention of denomination or building. The first church
actually met in homes, shared their things and ate together.
all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they
began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as
anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and
breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with
gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the
people And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being
verses describe in detail the workings of the first church; however, most
people are not comfortable with this description. The Biblical concept of a
church is like the worldly concept of a family, where every member of the
church is there to support every other member in whatever need arises.
First, they had all things in common and sold their possessions and goods to
divide among those that had less. This will seem extreme to most people
today, but the earliest church realized that everything they had
belonged to God. They put their love of God ahead of their love of possessions.
This is one problem with the church today; people put their possessions ahead
Second, they met together daily in the temple. This will seem extreme to
most people today, but the earliest church put God first in their
lives. Most people go to work daily, watch TV daily, read the paper daily,
etc., but few people would consider going to church daily. The earliest church
realized that every breath they took was a gift from God. This is one problem
with the church today; people put their time and schedules ahead of God.
Third, they broke bread together from house to house. This will seem
extreme to most people today, but the earliest church realized
that fellowship with other believers is an important part of Christianity. They
spend time together daily because they were a family in God, they were united
in their love for God. This is one problem with the church today; people put
themselves ahead of God.
Lastly, the Lord added to the church daily. This will seem impossible to
most people today, but the earliest church flourished because they
put God first in every aspect of their lives which other people noticed and
wanted to be a part of. The earliest church demonstrated their faith by the way
they lived their daily lives; there was no questioning that their faith was
What can the church of today learn from the earliest church? First and foremost
is to put God first in all aspects of life. The details of what the earliest
church did and how they lived are less important than their motivations. Their
daily life revolved around God because God was the most important thing to
them. Life was not about who had the most possessions, who had the most
prestige, or who had the most influence; they understood that they had to
become as the least on earth to be great in God's eyes.
he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. (Luke 9:48)
people will say that the Bible can be used as an instruction manual for living
the human life; however, few people realize that the Bible also provides an
instruction manual for how the church should operate. Jesus started one church
- one without division, denominations or controversy - one church founded on
love. The Damascus Road Experience Church is founded on the Biblical teachings
of how a church should operate. We believe that God will bless our church as we
strive to be the church He wants by following His Biblical guidance.