Intermediate Bible Study
As already noticed, Jesus went back to heaven just forty days after His resurrection. But His work of saving men was just beginning. He had selected the apostles to use in establishing His church, and shortly after His arrival in Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit on them to help them.
Acts chapter 2 tells of the beginning of the church. On that day 3,000 were baptized. They became members of Jesus church. The church was just beginning, but within thirty years, the gospel had been preached to every creature on earth (Colossians 1:23). John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles had been preaching the kingdom was coming (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 10:7). In fact, Jesus had said it would come before the disciples He taught died. (Mark 9:1) And in Acts, the KINGDOM came!
It is important that we learn as much as possible about the church. Jesus started it, and gave instructions that no man was to change it (See Galatians 1:8,9; 2 John 9-11; Rev. 22:18,19). If we can learn what it was like when Jesus started it, we can know what it should be like today. After Jesus began His church, men have started others; so we must learn all we can about the church of Jesus so we can tell it from man-made churches.
The following chart will help us understand about the church of Jesus. Study it carefully.
|Builder:||Jesus (Matthew 16:18)|
|Year begun:||33 A. D.|
|Place begun:||Jerusalem (Acts 2)|
|Head:||Jesus (Ephesians. 1:22,23)|
|Organization:||Every congregation independent, with its own elders and deacons. There were no "headquarters" on the earth. (Acts 14.-23; 1 Timothy 3)|
|Worship:||Praying, giving, Lord's Supper every week, preaching, singing without instrumental music (Acts 12:12; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20: 7; Colossians 3:16).|
|Membership:||Those who believe, repent, confess faith in Christ were then immersed (buried) in water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:36-47).|
Our other lessons will deal more fully with much of the above. However, you should try to learn as much of it as you can now. All around the world today millions are members of the very same church that Jesus started; they are His church today! If you would like to know more about His church, please let us know.
Because the church is important; you should ask yourself the following questions about any church before being a member of it.
Another Important Question: Are you a member of the church that Jesus began?