The New Testament Church 0001 - Lesson 4

The Origin of the Church

  1. VARYING VIEWS
    1. In the Old Testament
      1. Source
        1. Taught by many, if not all, reformed or covenant theologians
        2. They stress that throughout all history there is but one people of God and that these saved people comprise the church.
      2. Outcome
        1. The church has no New Testament significance.
        2. The church is made up of the elect of all ages, therefore, the church must have begun with the first person who was saved.
        3. The saved in our day take the place of Israel, and all of Israel’s promises belong to us.
        4. Baptism takes the place of circumcision.
    2. During the Ministry of Christ
      1. Source
        1. Taught by many early Baptists
        2. Taught by many Bible believing Christians
      2. Arguments
        1. The principle of the church was established (Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:20).
        2. It had a Head - Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:8).
        3. It had a Pastor - Jesus Christ (John 10:11, 14).
        4. It was called a “flock” (Matthew 26:31; Luke 12:32; Acts 20:28-29).
        5. Discipline was enacted (Matthew 18:15-17).
        6. Baptism was established (Matthew 28:16-20).
        7. The Lord’s Supper was established (Matthew 26:26-29).
        8. The church had a treasurer (John 12:6; John 13:29).
        9. Christ sang praises in the church (Psalm 22:22; Hebrews 2:12; Mark 14:26).
        10. The church was commissioned (Matthew 28:16-20).
        11. The church held a prayer meeting (Acts 1:14).
        12. The church held a business meeting (Acts 1:15-22).
        13. The church elected officers (Acts 1:23-26).
        14. Three thousand souls were added to the church (Acts 2:41, 47).
    3. At Pentecost
      1. Source
        1. Taught by moderate dispensationalists
        2. Taught by many Bible believing Christians
      2. Arguments
        1. There could be no church in the world until Christ’s death to redeem the church with His blood.
        2. There could be no church in the world until Christ arose from the dead to provide her with resurrection life.
        3. There could be no church until Christ ascended on high to become her head and intercessor.
        4. There could be no church until the advent of the Holy Spirit.
    4. During the Ministry of the Apostle Paul
      1. Source
        1. Taught by hyperdispensationalists
        2. Many who teach this will also deny water baptism as an ordinance for the body of Christ.
      2. Arguments – Taken from A Dispensational Theology by Charles Baker
        1. There was already a church in existence at Pentecost, but this was not the body of Christ.
        2. At Pentecost, Peter proclaimed that Israel’s last days had arrived (Acts 2:17), but he did not proclaim the first days of the body of Christ.
        3. The phrase “the church, which is his body” is only used by Paul. When he uses the phrase “the church, which is his body,” he is implying that there is another church which is not His body.
        4. Pentecost primarily, if not exclusively, dealt with Israel.
        5. Paul declared that it was because of the blinding of Israel that his message of reconciliation had been sent to the Gentiles, but at Pentecost, Israel had not yet been blinded.
        6. Not only was Israel not blinded at Pentecost, but it is here that we find the first real offer of the kingdom to Israel. It was because of their rejection of the King and the kingdom that a new dispensation under Paul was ushered in.
        7. The body of Christ is a joint body of Jews and Gentiles, but at Pentecost there is no mention of the Gentiles.
        8. At Pentecost the believers received water baptism for the remission of sins. There is no record that Paul ever practiced baptism for this purpose.
        9. Everything that happened at Pentecost was in direct fulfillment of prophecy. Peter quotes Joel and David in Acts 2, but Paul says that the truth about the body of Christ is a “mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but is now made manifest to his saints” (Colossians 1:24-26).
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 13:14

The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.