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Oikos: Spiritual House & Household Evangelism

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

 -1 Peter 2:5, Hebrews 3:6 (NIV)

Spiritual house

"You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house..."  Peter tells us that we, as Christians are God's new temple.  We are not the stone blocks.  Wayne Grudem wrote about the meaning of Oikos in 1 Peter 3:5, stating that the spiritual house is,
"an amorphous 'building' that continually takes on the changing dimensions of God's assembled people.
  Spiritual (pneumatikos) when applied to 'house' and 'sacrifices' does not mean 'immaterial' (for the believers are not immaterial persons!), but rather 'influenced or dominated by the Holy Sirit; sharing the character of the Holy Spirit' (Rom. 1:11, 1 Cor. 2:13, 15, 12;1; Gal. 6:1, Col. 3:16).  Christians are a new temple of God under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit."...
  The encouragement in these verses, then, in this sense: 'As you (keep on) coming to Christ (in worship, in prayer, and praise), you are (continually) being built up into a spiritual temple, a place in which God more fully dwells.'
"And we are his house..."  William Barclay wrote this about Hebrews 3:6:
"We use the word house in a double sense.  We use is in the sense of a building and also in the sense of a family.  The Greeks used oikos in the same double sense...                            The whole world is God's house, but in a special sense the Church is God's house, for in a special sense God brought it into being.  That is a picture the New Testament loves (cp. 1 Peter 4:17, 1 Tim. 3:15, and especially 1 Peter 2:5). 
So, when Peter and the author of Hebrews wrote these words to the ancient church, it was fresh and new.  This new revelation of being the people of God was given, and it contrasted with both Judaism's practices of worship and life with God, as well as the pagan religions.

The people are now the temple.  Does that mean we no longer seek God?  No.  We seek God even more now, but we do it all the time.  Dwelling with God is supposed to be the normal Christian life and when we gather with other Christians, we actually come from having been with God all week and share with each other what God has been doing in our lives, during the week.

When we go to church to look for God, or an impartation, or a new prophecy; we have it backwards.  We're supposed to be getting that all week, and some of it in twos and threes as we disciple each other or rather make one another disciples of Jesus and let Jesus do the hard parts of building his church.

Oikos evangelism

Oikos evangelism is when a person evangelizes their family or extended family.  The family has known a person and they see the positive changes in their lives brought about by Christ.  The new believer is a credible witness, because their family knew them before and after their change.

Oikos evangelism makes sense and is completely natural.  God wants to save households (Acts 11:14 & 16:31).  Oikos evangelism is not my topic here, but I wanted to mention it and then note also that whole households got saved in the book of Acts.

Some more reading on Oikos Evangelism:

How Oikos evangelism grew a church to 11,000 attenders , Tom Mercer.

The 'person of peace' and their 'oikos', JR Woodward.

What is Oikos?  Bob & Mary Hopkins

Thom Wolf
1 Peter, Wayne Grudem 
Hebrews, William Barclay


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