Strand: Church and Tradition (CTL7-8E1)

Level 7 and 8

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the early Christian community (Jews and Gentiles) responded to Jesus’ call to promote the reign of God.

Analyse the scriptural, historical and cultural context of the early Christian community (Jews and Gentiles) and how the Holy Spirit inspired and supported that community through periods of growth and challenge.


The Christian movement began in Jerusalem among the Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus, spread into Judea and Samaria and throughout the world. The origins of The Church are found in Jesus’ ministry i.e. in the whole of God’s action in Jesus, in his ministry, in his death, in his resurrection, and in the gift of the Spirit to the disciples of Jesus. The early Church was a community committed to living in the spirit and mission of the risen Jesus. It is a model of unity, worship, service, care of the poor and the ability to deal with conflict and diversity e.g. Acts 15.

The reign of God is a paradox. Because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection it has already come, but the faithful also know that it will not be complete until the end of time. They will fully experience the reign of God when they live in eternity with God. All people who follow Jesus are called to continue to allow the reign of God to shape their lives and the world. The reign of God is about living as Jesus taught and breaking down all barriers that stand between one person and another, all which divides between ‘us’ and ‘them’, to bring all human beings into good and life-giving relationship with God and with one another.

A number of scholars find the term kingdom of God imperialistic and gender-exclusive. Matthew’s gospel uses the term kingdom of heaven in deference to his Jewish Christian audience and their prohibition to utter the name of God. The Greek writers of the New Testament used the word basileia from which we derive the word basilica. Popularity has grown for the use of the non-gender specific terms reign or rule of God.

See Learning Lites: Reign of God

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See Learning Lites: Reign of God

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