The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


New believers to disciples

It's necessary for us to model a living faith

The people attracted to the ministry of the house that had come to be known as the House of the Holy Spirit were of the Jewish faith and culture. Their God was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Their identity was with the people of Israel. Their hope was in the promised Messiah, the Anointed One of God. Their attraction to the ministry that was based on Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah enhanced, rather than replaced, their spiritual life and practices. They were coming to understand Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as an extension of the love, grace and power of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Since they still believed in the God of their Jewish faith, they continued in the worship and practices of that faith. However, because of the new joy they discovered through their belief that God fulfilled the messianic promise through Jesus, they added a new dimension to their usual spiritual practices. They began learning to become disciples of Jesus in the context of a Jewish existence—learning through worship, teaching and modeling of the faith.

In addition to regular Jewish worship, the Jewish community added Sunday worship, which was an important avenue for new disciples to get to know Jesus, as well as one another.

The discipling of new believers also included various forms of teaching. It took place in people’s homes, in the temple courts, and in many other public and private places. It centered on how to conduct oneself as a disciple of Jesus amid their Jesus community, the wider Jewish community and the Roman Empire.

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February issue


Embracing diversity