~G’day and welcome to Partakers and to our series, HAHA – Heroes and Heretics Abound. Together we will look at the story of the church from its origins to the Age of Reasoning in the 18th century. Last time we looked briefly at the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. Today in Part 3, we look briefly at the beginnings of Jesus’ church and its rapid spread across the Roman empire and beyond.History is the story of the human family. From the Christian perspective all of history is encompassed in 2 statements “In the beginning…” and “I will come again…” Christianity is a historical religion, which stands or falls on the basis of historical fact that God entered into history in the person Jesus Christ. His life, death and resurrection are open to investigation. Disprove and of those facets and Christianity falls. The history of the Church is one of both glory and failure, depending on how closely if followed the teachings and practice of Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Galatians 4:4 “When the time was right, God sent His Son.” How was the time right for when Jesus came?
Common language through much of the Roman Empire (Greek) allowing good communication.
There was relatively free travel throughout the Empire allowing the quick spread of God’s Good News.
There was discontent with the religions of the day.
Many Jews expected the Messiah!
Key thinking about the Church!
The Church's Foundation - Mt. 16:17-20 "On this rock, I will build my Church...". Christ loves the Church, builds the Church and nothing will prevent the building and growth of the Church.
The Church's Commission - Mt. 28:18-20 "Make disciples of all nations..."; Acts 1:8 "Be my witnesses..."
The Church's Mission - Acts 1:8...Jerusalem (Home), Judea (Home State/Province), Samaria (Neighbouring State/Province), Ends of the Earth (Overseas).
The Church's Authority - Matthew 28:18 - All authority is given to Jesus, He is with us as witnesses.
With the Church’s Authority established the Church spreads The Gospel Message (Acts 2:36-38) that Jesus is the Lord and the Christ; Acts 20:21 "Repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ.As we saw last time, the Holy Spirit came at what is called Pentecost! (Acts 2:8). There the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ was preached to an international audience as Jews from every nation under heaven was there to witness this great event! Many were saved and thus returned to their home nations with this good news that Jesus was their Messiah! WOW! In Jerusalem alone, according to Acts 4:4 5000 men were added to the Church in Jerusalem. Persecution & scattering come upon the early Church as it would have been normal for the Christians to make Jerusalem the focus of their ministry. For whatever reason, they still did not understand that the Gospel was also for the Gentiles. However, they soon discovered that the Gospel was indeed for the Gentiles and for throughout the world! How did God achieve this with His church?For the answer to that, you will have to wait for the next in our series HAHA where we will see the Church spreading and getting organized! Thanks for listening! Come back to Partakers, where every day there is something new to encourage your walk as a Christian in the 21st century.~~