Origin of the Lord's Church

INTRODUCTION:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Origin: “Coming into existence or use; Beginning.”
  4. How we can determine the origin of the church of Christ?  What the church is & when it began.
  5. 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).

  1. The church is saved people(Acts 8:3):  Not buildings, not organizational hierarchy.
  2. The nature of the call helps us understand what the church is.
  3. 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)
  4. 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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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

  1. 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).
  2. 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).
  3. This gospel had to be offered to people for the Lord’s church to be established
  4. First time this gospel preached to the world: Pentecost, Acts 2.  THE CHURCH BEGAN (Acts 2:47).

C. The Purchase Price of the Church:

  1. 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).
  2. Pentecost: People told about His death & what to do to obtain its power (Acts 2:38; Rom.6:3); THE CHURCH BEGAN.

CONCLUSION

  1. Prophecycompositionpurchase price of the church converge at Pentecost (Acts 2).
  2. Have you obeyed the gospel?  Have your sins been washed away by the blood of Jesus? (Acts 2:38-41)
  3. Has Jesus added you to His church? (Acts 2:47)
  4. Same as asking: “Are you a member of the Lord’s church?