Summary: The opening chapters of the New Testament church, as seen in Acts give us not only the story of the church’s early days, but also the essentials that must be part of any church.. At the very core of the these essentials is the Word of God.
Church Essentials: Part One
The Foundation of the Word of God
The opening chapters of the New Testament church, as recorded in Acts provide us with not only the history of the church’s early days, they also lay out the essentials that should be part of the church today. At the very core of the these essentials is the Word of God. The church began with the reception of the Word preached, grew and was strengthened by adherence to the Word taught, and expanded its influence outside of its walls by the Word shared. The Word of God is the foundation and starting point for every aspect of the Christian life both individually and corporately as the Body of Christ.
I. The Word of God is foundational for salvation
A. John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; AND THESE ARE THEY WHICH TESTIFY OF ME.”
B. 2 Timothy 3:15 “From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
C. Dave Guzik has said that “many people are wise in many different things - wise for cars, wise for money, wise for health, wise for cooking, wise for computers - but are we also wise for salvation? This is the most important wisdom one can ever have! Where does this wisdom come from? The Holy Scriptures, In and of itself, the Bible does not save us - but it is only through the Bible that we can receive God’s truth about Jesus, and put faith in Him.”
D. Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
E. John 20:31 “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
II. The Word of God is foundational for doctrine
A. 2 Timothy 3:16a “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine.”
B. Doctrine: 1. a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated; 2. what one believes
C. In 1 Timothy 4:16, Paul exhorts Timothy to watch how he lives and what he believes and teaches (his doctrine).
D. All doctrine must be based on the written Word of God.
E. J C Ryle said, “Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.”
F. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.”
G. Satan tactics, as seen in the Garden, are to question the Word of God, add to it, or ultimately deny it. That is why we must measure everything against the Scriptures.
H. Acts 17:11 “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
I. It is interesting to note that the Bereans were taught by the most famous apostle and theologian of the early church, and the human author of at least thirteen New Testament books. Yet, they searched the Scriptures when Paul taught, to see if his teaching was truly Biblical! They would not accept Paul's word at face value, but wanted to know if these things were so. When they heard Paul teach, their settled reaction wasn't "My, he's a fine speaker." It wasn't "I don't like the way he talks." It wasn't "What a funny preacher!" Instead, the Bereans wanted to know, "Are these things . . . so? Is this man teaching us the truth? Let's search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things are so." Their research was not casual. They searched the Scriptures. It was worth it to them to work hard at it, and investigate what the Word of God said, and how Paul's teaching matched up with it. - Guzik