My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute.
In First Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 11, Paul tells the church to “edify one another.” One can see that the English word “edify” comes from the same root as the word “educate.” We can easily get the idea that to edify has to do with teaching our intellect. In many flavors of the church, we have been told that sermons are for teaching us. There is a problem with this idea. The first one is that if sermons are edifying, only one person is doing the edifying. First Corinthians chapter 8 verse 1 tells us God is love, and that love, in this case, agape, God’s love, is edifying. From the original Greek, a more literal translation of edify would be “home building.” Edify or edifying appears 15 times in Paul’s letters, and in almost all cases appears in a sentence with love, comfort, or grace. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus has adopted us into God’s family. God is building us into his family, and that has more to do with loving him and doing his will, caring for our brothers and sisters in Jesus, than intellectual learning. No matter how highly intellectually trained, how gifted in leadership and imparting God’s vision, no one person can fulfill the 58 “one another” directives of scripture for a group of people. That highly trained person cannot grasp the insights of the 80 IQ brother or sister who can basicly handle the idea, “Jesus loves me.” Edify means all believers contributing their share. Not 20000 not 200 possibly not 50 can do this together—that’s too many people to know and be known to one another.
The early church, being an underground group, did not have buildings, real estate, special corporate status, bank accounts, leaders with quasi-governmental roles, and scripture speaks nowhere of these qualities which are what an unbeliever is this culture would find most noticeable about what is called churches in our culture.
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.” While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better. I comment on that in blip 94.