The first church was organized out of the material prepared by John the Baptist.
A. John the Baptist received his authority to baptize from Heaven. Matthew 21:25
B. Jesus and all the apostles including the seccessor of Judas Isacriot were baptized by John. Acts 1:21-22
C. Jesus took the material prepared by John the Baptist and organized the first church.
The church was in existence during the earthly sojourn of Christ.
A. Christ said “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18) meaning during the days of His personal ministry on earth.
B. The authority of discipline was placed in the church during Christ’s personal ministry. Matthew 18.15-18.
C. Christ sang God’s praise in the midst of the church. Hebrews 2:12, Mark 14:26.
D. The church had a treasurer and organization during Christ’s earthly ministry. John 13:29; Acts 1:15-26.
E. The Great Commission was given to the church during Christ’s stay on earth. Matthew 28: 16-20.
The church therefore, was established in the days of Jesus’ sojourn in the flesh and the work of its construction was begun with the material prepared by John the baptist, later the twelve apostles of our Lord, and at the close of His earthly ministry we find this little band in Jerusalem began to transact business by the election of a successor to Judas.
“And the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”
A. This promise of Christ to the church established the fact that churches identified with this first church would be in existence in all ages and would never lose that identity.
B. That church exists today – or the promise of Christ has failed.
Inentifying the New Testament today.
A. There are literally hundreds of denominations religious sects, etc. in existence today. Someone has
numbered over 1,600.
B. The Lord has only one church. Ephesians 4.4.
C. How are we to know of which of all the many different churches is the one that Christ established? There are three things that serve to identify today’s New Testament church. Historical perpetuity.
a. Reliable historians can trace the history of today’s Baptist church back to Christ.
b. Beginning of some other denominations.
(1) The Catholic church has its germinal beginning with Constantine in the 4th century,
(2) The Lutheran church was founded by Martin Luther in 1520
(3) The Episcopalian church was founded by Henry Vill in 1534
(4) The Presbyterian Church was founded by John Calvin 1536
(5) The Congregational was founded by Robert Brown in 1580.
(6) The Methodist church was founded by John Wesley in 1740.
The Church of Christ was founded by Alexander Cambell 1827.
Doctrinal conformity. The New Testament church today will believe the same doctrines as the first church. Spiritual affinity True Christians and churches of all ages have been bound together in spiritual ties through felowship in a common faith and doctrinal unity.