Paul's Household Churches
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Deliverance from Prison 107

Philemon in Colossae

PhilemonThe number of the Paul's Household Churches in each city will have varied from place to place and from time to time, but we may assume that there were ordinarily several in each place. Gaius, before Philemon became as stated in Romans 16.23 "host of the whole church," was probably host of one of Paul's Household Churches. The household assembly in Philemon's house was apparently not the whole of the Colossian church according to Wayne A. Meeks in "The First Urban Christians - The Social World of the Apostle Paul."

Baptized with all Her Family

Paul at a Writing DeskIn Philippi as recorded in Acts 16.14-15, "One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. 'If you consider me a believer in the Lord,' she said, 'come and stay at my house.' And she persuaded us." Paul and Silas encountered the merchant Lydia, who accepted baptism "with all her household" and prevailed upon Paul to accept her hospitality. Following their miraculous deliverance from prison in Acts 16.25-26, when "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose." Paul and Silas were taken by the jailer into his house, where the whole household was assembled, preached to, and baptized in the middle of the night!✞

All Night Discussion

Wall Painting of House LeaderBefore leaving the city, Paul and Silas in Acts 16.40 went back to Lydia's house, where a group of believers was already established. In Paul's final journey through Asia Minor, he paused in one of the Household Churches gathered for the breaking of bread in an upper room, a gathering that turned into an all night discussion with a tragic accident miraculously righted in Acts 20.7-12.

"Paul's Household Churches"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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