- Hundreds of churches in this world. Are they all from God? Are any from God? If not, where did they come from? Which is the right one? – Bible answers: ( 16:18; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4).
- The importance of studying the history of the Lord’s church & the history of the churches of men:
- Compromise with the churches & doctrines of men is a real danger (1 Pet. 4:11; Gal. 1:6-10).
- Lack of distinctive gospel preaching (“lest we offend our religious neighbors”) dilutes power of the gospel ( 1:16; 2 Tim. 4:2).
- If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
- Origin: “Coming into existence or use; Beginning.”
- How we can determine the origin of the church of Christ? What the church is & when it began.
- This lesson does not discuss origin of men’s churches (later).
I. THE LORD HAS BUILT HIS CHURCH (Matt. 16:16-18).
A. Built upon Jesus (Son of God), Isa. 28:16; 1 Pet. 2:4-6 (Eph. 2:20)
B. The Church: The “Called Out” Ones (ekklesia).
- The church is saved people(Acts 8:3): Not buildings, not organizational hierarchy.
- The nature of the call helps us understand what the church is.
- People are:
- Called by God, through the gospel, to glory (2 Ths. 2:13-14).
- Called out of darkness (1 Pet. 2:9-10).
- Called into fellowship with Christ (1 Cor: 1:9, 2)
- Answering God’s call puts one into Christ’s church (His body, the saved) Acts 2:41, 47(1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23).
II. THE ORIGIN OF THE LORD’S CHURCH.
A. The Church in Prophecy.
- God’s House (Isa 2:2-3)
- WHO? All nations flow to it, cf. (Eph. 2:11-13, 19-22).
- WHAT? House of God is the church (1 Tim. 3:15).
- WHEN? “Latter days”… when the word goes forth from Jerusalem, (Lk. 24:47; Joel 2:32).
- God’s Kingdom (Dan 2:44)
- WHAT? Kingdom not of this world, cf. (John. 18:36).
- WHO? God will set it up (Matt. 16:16, 18 ; Dan. 7:13-14 ; Eph. 1:20-23).
- WHEN? Days “these” kings (Dan. 2:40-43); Mk. 1:14-15; 9:1 (Lk. 24:47; Acts 1:4-5). THE CHURCH BEGAN in Acts 2.
B. The Composition of the Church
- Note: “Church” is “People called out of sin into salvation by the gospel of Christ”, Acts 2:47(Preach gospel; believe & obey it Mk. 16:15-16 ; Rom. 1:16).
- The gospel consists of:
- Facts to be believed (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
- Commands to be obeyed (Matt. 7:21; 2 Ths. 1:8-9).
- Promises to be trusted (Mk. 16:15-16; Ac 2:38; 2Pe. 1:10-11).
- This gospel had to be offered to people for the Lord’s church to be established
- First time this gospel preached to the world: Pentecost, Acts 2. THE CHURCH BEGAN (Acts 2:47).
C. The Purchase Price of the Church:
- Church (saved ones) is bought by the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28 ; Eph. 5:25-27).
- Redeemed ones (1 Pet. 1:18-19(2:4-5).
- Therefore: Church did not exist in the days of Adam, Abraham, David, John the Baptist (no redemption price yet paid by which to purchase the church).
- The church was not established in days of Christ’s life (blood not yet shed (Heb. 9:22).
- Pentecost: People told about His death & what to do to obtain its power (Acts 2:38; Rom.6:3); THE CHURCH BEGAN.
- Prophecy, composition& purchase price of the church converge at Pentecost (Acts 2).
- Have you obeyed the gospel? Have your sins been washed away by the blood of Jesus? (Acts 2:38-41)
- Has Jesus added you to His church? (Acts 2:47)
- Same as asking: “Are you a member of the Lord’s church?