The History of Christianity #14
Our Scripture verse today is 1 Corinthians 1:18 which reads: "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
Our quote today is from J. C. Wenger. He said, "Christianity burst into a corrupt world with a brilliantly new moral radiance...The moral level of society was dismal, and sin prevailed in many forms...Into this discouraged world came Christ and His Spirit-transformed disciples, filled with holy joy, motivated by a love which the pagans could not grasp, and proclaiming Good News-the message that God has provided a Savior...The Christians lived in tiny communities knit together in the power of the Holy Spirit, little colonies of heaven. They thought of themselves as pilgrims on their way to the celestial city, but they were very much concerned to manifest the love of Christ in all human relationships."
Today, we are discussing "The Church In Jerusalem" (Part 2) from Justo L. Gonzalez's fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
Religious Life in the Church In Jerusalem
The earliest Christians did not consider themselves followers of a new religion. All of their lives they had been Jews and they still were. This was true of Peter and the twelve, of the seven, and of Paul. Their faith was not a denial of Judaism but was rather the conviction that the messianic age had finally arrived. According to Acts, Paul would say that he was persecuted "because of the hope of Israel - meaning the coming of the Messiah. The earliest Christians did not reject Judaism, but were convinced that their faith was the fulfillment of the Messiah whom Jews over the ages had been anticipating.
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