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The early church started with Peter's preaching about repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit. It was experimental and open.

Peter did not think of taking the message of Jesus to non-Jews, but he was convinced to do so by a vision. Paul persecuted the Church but was convinced not to do so by a vision.

Paul had a really bad time preaching to Jews, getting beaten many times, probably before he went to Antioch, to join the Christians there. After a time in Antioch, he was sent with Barnabas on a mission to tell non-Jews about Jesus' message, and small communities of Christians were started in a number of places. There were already lots of non-Jews in Antioch.

Peter saw that Jews were offended by the non-Jews eating non-kosher food; Paul saw that non-Jews were offended when Jews would not eat with them. A compromise was worked out at the Council of Jerusalem, with both Christian Jews and Christian non-Jews giving way in some measure.

All of these things indicate that the early Church was not hidebound by rules and traditions, but worked things out as they went, and tried to live the way Jesus had taught them in new situations.

Another Answer:

All the Apostles, except Paul who was chosen especially to go to the Gentiles, Kings, and the children of Israel (all 12 tribes) - see Acts 9:15, were to go to the 'lost sheep of the House of Israel' (Matthew 10:5-6). Having been personally taught by Jesus for 3 1/2 years and being given the guidance and power of God's Holy Spirit, these Apostles taught all of the words of Christ and His living example. The term 'disciple' means an imitator (of Christ) and the early Church membership was just that.

True in the beginning as it is today and for tomorrow, Christians are to live by every word of God (Luke 4:4). This includes the Old Testament scriptures that are there for our New Testament/New Covenant usage today (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

The Bible is not at war with itself regarding the truth of God, Old Testament versus New Testament, etc. Early believers knew this and, therefore, didn't always have to have everything spelled out. The Gentiles, as they came into the New Testament Church, which was largely Jewish, would very quickly find this being the case. As Christ followed the Sabbath rest, Annual Holy Days, dietary laws, etc., all subsequent converts would soon adjust to these ways. Those who did not or followed the interpretations of men, would break away from the Church of God Jesus brought to man, some going as far as banning the true followers of 'the Way' and incorporating traditions of 'paganism' into their new Church they had usurped with the ways of men.

Christ established One Church yet today there are literally thousands of competing sects calling themselves 'Christians.'

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In the first century, early Christianity had many distinctive features. Their zealous evangelizing work was just one of these. They took seriously Jesus' command stated at Matthew 28:19,20 "Go therefore and make disciples....teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you...."

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Q: What distinctive feature characterized in early church?
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