Saturday, January 20, 2007

It was founded by Jesus

There are two main ideologies of when the church was started. The first is that its origin is at Pentecost. The second is that it was founded by Jesus. The third is that it began with the ministry of John the Baptist. I go with the Second camp. Yes I know that many will vehemently argue against this point as they look down their noses at me, but this is what I feel Scripture teaches. While to some this means nothing, I think that it is of importance because it affects other areas of theology.

With this in mind, this is what we talked about last Sunday night when only a handful could make it to church when the surrounding creeks and river were over flowing.

Our Lord established his church during his personal ministry and not on the day of Pentecost.

1. The church had a commission to preach before Pentecost (Matthew 28:19, 20).
2. The church baptized people before Pentecost (John 4:1, 2).
3. The church had the Lord's Supper before Pentecost (Luke 22:15-20).
4. The church held an election before Pentecost (Acts 1:15-26).
5. There was a church roll before Pentecost (Acts 1:15).
6. The words of Jesus, "Tell it unto the church," were spoken before Pentecost (Matthew 18:17). How could one tell anything to a church that did not exist!
7. There were about 3000 additions to the church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41). A church must be established before it can have additions.
8. Our Lord left his house (Mark 13 :34). By inspiration the Apostle Paul identifies "the house of God" as "The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).
9. The first spiritual gift set in the church was the gift of the apostles (1 Cor. 12:28). The church had to be in existence before the apostles could be set in it.

The Scriptures are clear in their testimony that Jesus established his church personally and left it in the world when He went back to the Father.


Steve Bezner said...

I'm with you Chris...when Jesus said, "I will build my church," that pretty much settled it in my mind...

Chris said...

not every one will agree with that for some odd reason. and worse is they resort to name calling like third grade bullies

Matthew Tilley said...

I also agree with this position .. in large part because -- as Steve points out -- Jesus said He would build it. Also, there's a philosphical concern I have with a Pentecost established church which would make the Holy Spirit the hero, a position that He Himself would avoid in His efforts to point to Christ.

In any event, you've done some legwork here, that I've been meaning to do for myself for some time, so thank you.

There is one objection to the "Jesus built it" position for which I haven't been able to give an answer. That is, that being a member of the church today requires "the baptism of the Holy Spirit," something that happens at salvation (I'm being lazy and not point to verses here ... assuming that I'm not taking a terribly radical position there). However, it is argued that the Holy Spirit wasn't here till Jesus ascended. Ergo, no church without the Holy Spirit. Any thoughts on that?