Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 1 (-ish)

I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second lesson ended up being rather short, so I decided to combine last week with this past week on here. So, here is the second-ish lesson notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 2(a and b): Christ and the Church’s Foundation

When was the Church founded?

“One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do riot mean the Church as we see her spread but through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes I our boldest tempters uneasy.”
-C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Letter 2, pp. 5-6 (HarperCollins, 1996)

Founded in Eternity, but also in time:

  • Matthew 16:16-18 – Is this the start?
    • Ekklesia – from ek (think of our “ex” or “out of”) and kaleo (kah-leh-oh – “to call or invite”)
      • i.e. “The Called Out Ones” or “The Invited Ones”
      • Not to be confused with Apostle – Apostolos, “Sent one”
  • Acts 2 – Is this the start?
    • Vv. 1-4 – The Holy Spirit is given to the gather believers for the first time
    • Vv. 14-40 – The first sermon is given
    • Vv. 41-47 – The first post-resurrection converts, meeting together, and group worship with new converts.
  • The Church is apostolic:
    • Matthew 28:18-20
    • We have been called out of the world to be sent back into the world.
      • On Christ’s authority
      • 2 Corinthians 5 (especially v. 20)

What did the Church grow from?

  • Roman occupied Palestine
    • Jews wanted freedom from pagan rituals and deities.They expected the Messiah to militarily drive out the pagans.
  • Divided leadership
    • Pharisees (means “separated ones”) – Believed in the full Hebrew canon (our OT), spiritual beings, the resurrection, and strict adherence to the Law.
    • Sadducees – Believed in the Law of Moses, denied spiritual existence, denied a resurrection, were willing to compromise beliefs with the government to avoid confrontation (and stay in power).
    • Essenes – Believed much the same as the Pharisees, but focused more on relationships and community, setting themselves apart to live communally and to copy the Scriptures, fully expecting the Messiah to come soon.
    • Zealots – Much like Essenes, but instead of copying Scriptures sought to fight the occupying government, even by violent means.

Next Time:

Christ confronts each of these groups, and we still see their mirrors today.

  1. First, prayers for your teaching Daniel. In our work, we do not believe the church started on the Day of Pentecost. We simply believe that, on that day, the Holy Spirit was given to the church. We believe that the Lord Jesus personally established His church during His earthly ministry. Now, what was the exact point that happened? I’m not sure I’d commit dogmatically on that one. Some say when He called the disciples. Some say as your question asked. So, who knows exactly? At any rate, I believe Jesus started His church personally. We also believe that each church is a visible, local, called out assembly of believer and independent of any outside control. Other than Jesus, of course. I know that is not the consensus belief among Protestant denominations, but it is ours. Of course, even though we are Baptists, we lay no claim to being Protestant actually; that is another story, that is in fact directly tied in to the story in Matthew 16:16-18.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had a spritely conversation about it during class. The consensus was that the Church is an eternal construct, the Kingdom of God rooted in His very nature, with a temporal establishment and “groundbreaking” beginning with Christ’s ministry and calling of His disciples. The fullness will be seen at His final return, but the visible Church (basically as we see it) began with Pentecost and the first post-Ascension sermon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And, that’s cool. We are semi close on this I think. Not all the way close, but semi LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

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