As we continue through Peter's first sermon, we move from the the cross as fulfillment of prophecy to God's sovereign plan.
The Jews, especially at the time of Christ, were a people with high messianic hopes, but no Messiah. Put as Peter preaches his first sermon, he makes it clear that Jesus Christ was indeed the long awaited for Messiah; and the Jews put him to death.
But counter to the Jewish beliefs regarding Messiah, Peter makes it clear, it was God's predetermined, sovereign will that Messiah would suffer and die at the hands of sinful men. And herein lies the apparent paradox; man's responsibility in the context of God's sovereign will. This apparent problem is at the core of many theological debates. If this is God's plan, then how can man be held responsible for our actions?
Thank you for listening to today's lesson. May God bless you through His Word.
Preaching has always occupied a central role in the church. It is the God ordained method of building His church. During Jesus' earthly ministry, His mission was to preach the Gospel (Mark 1). And the first event in church history is Peter's preaching of his first sermon.
With the Jews gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost, Peter addresses the crowd. First, he addresses the mockers whose claims the apostles were drunk as preposterous. He then moves to the fact that God is revealing His plan. And so, Peter looks to prophecy, specifically Joel's prophecy that in the last days, God would pour out His Spirit upon mankind.
Thank you for listening to today's lesson. My the Lord bless you as you consider with us God's plan revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
During Jesus' ministry on earth, He taught His disciples that they would face persecution for His name (Mark 10:29-30; Matthew 5:10). The fact is that persecution is a fact of Christianity. From the very foundation of the church, this persecution has taken many forms and come from many sources.
In today's session, we look at the persecution beginning with the Jewish persecution, but as recorded in the book of Acts, as well as the persecution that continued and is recorded in history outside the pages of Scripture. We then move on to the persecution under the Roman empire.
And as grim as this topic is to consider, we also consider the fruit of persecution. It is often said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. Persecution led to the spread of the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.
Thank you for listening to today's lesson.
As Alexander the Great conquered the Mediterranean world and into the regions of modern day Iraq, Iran and India, he brought with him. In today's session, we see how Greek culture influenced the culture and language of Judea. By the time the church enters the scene, the primary translation of the Scriptures is the Septuagint; the Greek translation of the Old Testament.
We finish our session with an introduction into the Apostolic Age.
Thank you for listening.
The church was born into a specific period in history, to a specific culture, location, language, etc. In last week's session we looked at the impact of the Greek and Roman worlds on the birth of the church.
This week, we begin to look at the Jewish world, from the Babylonian Exile to the Roman occupation. We will see the rise of such figures as the Herods in Palestine and how their reign paved the way for the Roman occupation of Palestine.
Thank you for listening to today's lesson.
In the opening chapter of the book of Acts, the Lord instructed the Apostles to remain in Jerusalem and to wait for what the Lord had promised, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5). Now, gathered together in one place, the promise is fulfilled. Just as Jesus was crucified publicly, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit came in a dramatic, public fashion. The result was a turning point in world history with the birth of the Church. And the sames Spirit that was at work on the day of Pentecost, is the same Spirit at work in the church today.
Thank you for listening to today's lesson. May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.
"When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." (Galatians 4:4-5)
Jesus Christ came into the world at a particular point in history, to a particular place in the world and born into a particular culture. But none of this happened by chance but God sovereignly ordaining the time and place of His appearing. Not only this, but the circumstances into which the Lord was born ensured that the Church would be born into circumstances that would help promote the spread of the Gospel.
Join us for the second lesson in early church history as we study the historical background of the church. We will see how history prior to the appearing of Jesus Christ was truly preparation for His appearing. And in doing so, we begin to see how history after His first coming paves the way for the diffusion of His Spirit throughout the world.
Thank you for listening to today's lesson. May the Lord bless you as you take this journey with us through the history of Jesus' Church.
Waiting is one of the hardest things to do. We often sense that answers to our prayers are delayed, or that God isn't answering these prayers. We are tempted to believe that God is not working during these times when we must wait. But nothing is farther from the truth.
In the opening verses of the Book of Acts, Jesus bid farewell to the Apostles. Before ascending into heaven before their eyes, "He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised" (Acts 1:4 NASB). This was the promised Holy Spirit who would empower the apostles for the ministry for which the Lord had prepared them.
It was during this time of waiting that the Lord continued to prepare the apostles for what lie ahead. And it is during this time that we see an example of what the church is to be.
Thank you for listening as we continue this study through the book of Acts. May you be blessed through God's Word.
Mention the topic of church history and you will likely hear the sound of eyes rolling. History, in general, has the reputation of being dry, boring and generally unimportant. And while history may be presented in this manner, we must never neglect the importance to our modern lives, especially when it comes to church history.
This is the first lesson in a series of lessons presented by Alex Kremer from Atlantic Gospel Chapel in which we will examine a variety of topics related to early church history. In today's lesson, we ask the question, "Why should we study church history?" We will see at least six reasons for a study of this type:
- The promise that Jesus will build His church
- The Scriptural precedence for knowing our history
- Learn from past mistakes; and correct current heresies
- Expand our horizons
- To be inspired by the reminders of what God is doing in His world
- The wealth of resources for spiritual nourishment
It is our prayer that you will be encouraged, challenged and strengthened through this study of Church history in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you for listening.