This post is Day 2 in a series of studies about “Philemon”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.

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Philemon – Day 2

Philemon 1-2

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home.

The Thought

Paul includes in his greetings the other leaders of this group, and then he adds the entire church. I often wonder at what point in history the word “church” came to mean a building. When and where was the first “church” built? A quick internet search will tell us that there is no record of christian churches before the third century. In Biblical times “the church” met in homes. The original word “church” in Greek is “ecclesia” and meant a gathering of people, or an assembly. That is obviously Paul’s meaning in our verse for today. The word “ecclesia” was also used for a governing body of a larger group of people.

Some of us are so used to “going to church” that we cannot imagine that word not referring to a building. But when Jesus created “church” it was just Him, and His disciples and anyone else who cared to listen in to what was happening. It was a community.

A community which got on well together functioned as a family, learning together, often eating together, as well as taking care of the weaker ones, and giving encouragement where needed.


Ask yourself today if your “church” is a community, a family or a building. Many large christian churches have “home groups” or “family groups” and many of our readers will be involved with one of those.

Pray for the churches in your area, that they would become more aware of the community aspect of church. Ask yourself what you can do to encourage this.

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