Summary: The history of the early Church in the first century AD
Church History A.D. 1 – A.D. 100
I have decided to take a break from my Genesis series, and start this new 20 sermon series on the history of the Church.
In this series I will focus on a whole century of church history in each sermon, and so today we will focus on the very first century.
A.D. 1 was a very special year and of great importance to the church of God: It was the year in which our Lord Jesus Christ was born, and without Him there would surely be no church.
Also in that first year John the Baptist was born.
A lot of the history that we shall study today you will find in the Gospels and in the Acts, and as I have only a sermon’s length to discuss this weighty subject, I recommend that you read diligently those books of the Bible, as they will more fully expound what I am attempting to teach this day!
Years 1 – 30 A.D.
There is very little known about these years, when our Lord Jesus Christ was in His youth. We know that Christ did never sin, and I am certain that He never wasted any time, so those early days must have been very important, yet because there is so little said about them in the Scriptures, it seems that the events that happened, if told, would not be of so much benefit to us.
There are however apocryphal books about Jesus first 30 years which are generally termed “the Infancy Gospels”, the most well known being The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, where Jesus does a number of miracles and instead of being taught by His teachers, He teaches them. Doubtless a lot of what is written in these infancy Gospels is true, but as we have not been given them in our Bible, it probably means that God did not see them as profitable for our souls.
John the Baptist started his ministry in the later part of this period.
Years 31 – 33 A.D.
These years are the years of our Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry on this earth. These 3 years are the foundation of all Christianity and our most holy faith!
You can read about these years in the four infallible Gospels of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Here is a brief outline:
Jesus calls 12 disciples near the beginning of His ministry, the most important of these being Peter, James, and John.
Then Jesus begins to preach and to do many miracles.
Then the last week Of Jesus life is what we call the Passion of Christ. Jesus is betrayed by his own Disciple, one of the 12, Judas Iscariot. Jesus dies upon a cross to atone for our sins. And 2 days later Jesus rises from the grave, and lives again.
After the resurrection, Jesus was on the earth for about 40 to 50 days, and in that time He did many more miracles.
Then our Lord leaves this world and ascends up into Heaven.
Then on the 50th day after the Resurrection of our Lord, not long after His ascension, The disciples were meeting for praise and prayer in the city of Jerusalem, and the Holy Spirit comes down upon them all, and anoints them to preach.
The Spreading of the Gospel
The Disciples begin to spread the Gospel to the Jews that live in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.
It seems that at first the Disciples thought that the good news about Jesus was only to be given to the Jews, as it had always been before the birth of Christ. But it was shown to the Disciples that they should also preach to the gentiles also and that the whole world should know about Jesus and what He has done for us on the cross.
The ministries of the 12 Disciples
Judas Iscariot had no ministry as he was the traitor of our Lord and after he betrayed Jesus, he became very remorseful and went out and hanged himself.
Peter was the First Disciple to preach and he preached to a very large congregation after that he was anointed by the Holy Spirit.
After that Peter preached mainly to the Jews, but apparently spent a bit of time in Rome, where tradition tells us that he was crucified.
Tradition tells us that Andrew was a missionary and may have even got as far as Scotland, where he was made the patron Saint. The Scottish flag is the flag of Saint Andrew.
Tradition also states that Andrew, like his brother Peter was crucified.
There is an apocryphal book called “the Acts of Andrew” which tells of the miracles and preaching of Andrew, although many people doubt the truth of that book.
James was the very first of the Apostles to be martyred. His murder is told in the book of Acts, where Herod orders for him to be killed with a sword.