The New Testament provides sufficient modelling of the one city-church for its restoration. To understand a particular operation of the Spirit and its line of development into the present we may study its first occurrence.
This is demonstrated through three model cities: Jerusalem, Antioch, and Ephesus. Together they provide the key ingredients for unity. From Jerusalem we learn of the restoration of David’s tabernacle for the in-gathering of the Gentiles and observe the first principles of the Christian life and community expressed in the rhythm of ‘temple worship’ and ‘house fellowship’.
In Antioch we observe the dynamic elements for the birth of apostolic ministry to the nations (including the division between the modality of the ‘city-church’ and the sodality of the ‘apostolic work’). We see citywide plural collegiate leadership, fasting, prayer, ministry to the Lord, prophecy, and the laying on of hands.
From Ephesus we learn of Christ as head of the church, the partnership between apostles and citywide plural eldership, and the strategy for multiplication and regional impact through the miraculous and apostolic bases of operation.
A return to apostolic foundations, the seedbed of the first century church, does not inhibits the church’s contemporary relevance, movement forward, or freedom to respond to the ‘law of the Spirit of life’.
(Acts 2:38-47; 4:32-37; 5:12-16; Acts 13:1-3; 15:1-21; 19:1-41; 20:18-38; Heb 6:1-3)