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Building church

Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.

The first Easter, and the few weeks which followed it, were a time of special growth and wonder for the Christian church.

  • The wonder was that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.

  • The growth came in the number of people who believed this to be true.

Reading the early chapters of Acts we understand how the persecuted Christians

scattered to towns and villages well beyond the capital, Jerusalem. Acts 4:18-­37; 5:17-­32; 8:1-­3.

It appears that almost everywhere they went they spoke to people about the events in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some of those people who listened joined them as believers. Acts 8:4-­7; 9:1-­2; 11:19-­21.

One thing is missing from the story of Acts. We do not read of the early disciples constructing special buildings for their Christian meetings. They used existing public halls, larger private houses, and open air places of community gatherings.

In Sudan today Christians must beware of the danger of rushing to build church buildings.

Paul, Peter and John, in their letters preserved in our Bibles, do not ask for funds for buildings of mud bricks with mortar, nor of steel nor – for that matter – of simple wood and straw. They concentrated on building up and strengthening Christians.

These apostles realised that Christian men and women, who know how to live “the Jesus way” in a world that goes in the opposite direction, ultimately build a strong church.

Ephesians 1:15-­23; Philippians 1:3-­14; Colossians 1:3-­14; 1 Peter 1:3-­8; 1 John 2:1-­2.

When Peter first recognised Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus replied to him: “On this rock I will build my church”, Matthew 16:16-­‐18.

And today He still does.

April/May 2013.

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