When did the church begin? AD 33 in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. After Jesus' death on the cross, His burial, resurrection, and ascension back to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). Jesus states the disciples were to receive power and the Holy Ghost in Acts 1:8 . This power was delivered in Acts 2 starting His church. And in verse 14 we find Peter performing the first sermon, preaching to the men of Judea about the One they had just slain. In verse 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost". In verse 41 we read "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
Is what was preached in the first century still binding today? Absolutely! God set up a plan of salvation for us to follow to be acceptable to Him. His plan is as follows;
1. Hear the Word ;
Romans 10: 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
2. Believe the Word to be true;
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
3. Repent (turn away from your sins);
Luke 13: 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4. Confess Jesus is the Son of God ;
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
5. Be baptized for the remission of sins;
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
6. Live a righteous life ;
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Please take a moment to open your Bible and read the above passages paying attention to the context in which they are written.
So, after we have obeyed the gospel, is that it then? Can we go back to the life we were leading before we were added to the Lord's church? No, we can't. Sin should now have no part of our lives anymore because it will separate us from God. Sins that exist are as follows in these passages. Please take time to read them.
1. Works of the flesh; Galatians 5:19-21
2. Ungodliness and unrighteousness; Romans 1:18-32
3. Unbelieving; Revelation 21:8
4. Not of the same mind; Romans 12:16-21
God hates sin according to Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Isaiah 59: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
We must worship God every first day of the week, Sunday. (Acts 20:7) We must never knowingly forsake the assembly. (Hebrews 10:25) And in John 4:24 we read "they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth", meaning with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, completely with no doubting. The items of worship are;
1. Sing; Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16
2. Pray; 1 Thessalonians 5:17
3. Preach the Word; 2 Timothy 4:2
4. Teach Others; Matthew 28:18-20
5. Partake of the Lord's Supper; 1 Corinthians 11;23-26
6. Give on the first day of the week; 1 Corinthians 16:1,2
The Bible is the ONLY source we use in worship; 2 Timothy 3:16,17. In Bible Study, we may use workbooks, but that's only used as a tool, not a substitute. There are no manuals, no creeds, no catechism, no vestments, no statues (like Mary), no candles, and no incense. Just Christians coming together, whether it be in a building used specifically for worship, or a private home, worshipping God and remembering Jesus' death on the cross by partaking of the Lord's supper. Wouldn't you dear reader, wish to worship God acceptably and truly have the hope of eternal salvation? You can. Simply obey the Gospel and be a part of the one true church, in Christ.
Robert H. Firth