Summary: The definition, preparation and application of the church that Jesus built.
The Church That Jesus Built
October 3, 1999
Mt. Bethel MBC
Up to this pint we’ve looked at why we should study the Lord’s church, Satan’s agenda for the church and the reasons for the church.
It’s been said before, that when a person goes wrong on the church, he’ll soon go wrong on other related Bible teaching as well.
Tonight we come to point in our study that has been the subject of much debate, and that is the beginning of the church as we know it. There are basically two schools of thought on this subject: It began on the day of Pentecost.It began during the personal ministry of Christ.
You might ask, does it really matter when it began, as long as it did? If the church began on the day of Pentecost, we would have to change what we teach about other things then.
1. Lord’s Supper-Jesus instituted this during his personal ministry. If this was not His church, then the Lord gave the authority to observe it to believers, not a church.
2. Baptism- Jesus gave the authority to baptize in the Great Commission. If there was no church, then that authority rests with anyone who wants to baptize, and not with the church.
God wants us to know for sure when He built His first church, and the Bible is clear on this subject. So, as we study tonight, let’s examine the church that Jesus built.
The Definition of a Church
Article 17 of our doctrinal statement reads, “We believe that Jesus Christ established His church during His ministry on earth and that it is always a local, visible assembly of baptized believers in covenant relationship to carry out the Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, and each church is an independent, self-governing body, and no other ecclesiastical body may exercise authority over it. We believe that Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission to the New Testament churches only, and that he promised the perpetuity of His churches.”
To state all of that in simple terms, there are three things that must exist in order to have a scriptural church.
1. The right plan of salvation.
2. The right baptism
3. The right covenant relationship
The word church is an interesting word, because it is never found in the original writings of the New Testament. Handout on the definition of a church.
Within as little as 200 years the Catholics embraced the idea of the universal church, teaching that all the saved were in some invisible, universal church. This is why when the KJV of the Bible was translated; the word assembly was not used. There would be near the confusion today if the word assembly would have been used.
he Preparation of the First Church
Is. 40:3 “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
Mal. 3:1 “Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me…”
Mal. 4:5-6 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Read Matt. 11:7-14
Read Matt. 17:10-13
Read Luke 1:13-17
Jn. 1:32-33 “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which bapizeth with the Holy Spirit.”
John was given a divine purpose in life, to prepare a people He was given the authority to do so by God Himself.
He took saved people and baptized them. Many of them were probably saved under the OT system. Many of them were saved under his preaching, hoping to be ready for the coming kingdom of God that they had been awaiting for centuries.
We’ve looked at some technical and historical information tonight that may raise the question, what soes this mean for me?
The Jews of Jesus day had been hearing about the coming kind since the time of Joseph in the book of Genesis. They heard all their lives that they needed to be ready for the kingdom of God was coming.
Many of them prepared themselves when John came on the scene, and these saved, baptized people were chosen by Christ to fulfill His plan for redeeming mankind.
John 6 tells us that when many of theses followers figured out that Jesus was not setting up the kingdom that they were hoping for, they abandoned Him. Many others, who had never been saved, were among those who completely rejected Him and crucified Him. They failed to understand.
Christ is coming again, and this time He will be setting up His earthly kingdom. He is looking for a prepared people.
Repent, the kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!