In this session, we continue our look at the Apostolic Fathers, the earliest writings of the early church outside scripture. Some of these authors likely knew at least some of the Lord's Apostles. As we see in our continued review of 1 Clement, this letter from the church in Rome to the church in Corinth makes mention of the travels and writings of Paul as well as of Peter. Ignatius was an acquaintance of Polycarp, who himself was a disciple of the Apostle John.
Thank you for listening. May the Lord bless you as you study early church history with us.
Who are the Apostolic Fathers? More accurately, what are the Apostolic Fathers? The Apostolic Fathers is a collection of the earliest surviving Christian writings outside the New Testament. Written in the period roughly from AD 95 to 140, these writings were created in the first generation after the Apostles
While not part of the Canon of Scripture, these writings provide an insight into the early church as it moved out of the Age of the Apostles. The best of these show a firm belief in the doctrines of Scripture as taught by the Apostles.
Thank you for listening. May you be blessed as we continue our progression through early church history.
Scripture reveals many things about the character and nature of God. Among these, He is described as the creator, the sustainer and the restorer. God is still active in the world today, creating new life, seen in every child's birth. As the sustainer of his creation, Colossians tells us, "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (1:17)" And God is still active in restoring a fallen world to Himself through the work of Christ.
In this last element, restoration, the Lord uses the Church, for the Church is God's work in the world to preach the Gospel; to reach lost souls in the twin ministries of restoration and reconciliation.
In Acts 2, we witnessed the birth and explosive growth of the Church on Pentecost. Now, as we close out this chapter, we see a model of what the Church is called to be. This is seen in terms of its
- Spiritual Duties
- Spiritual Character
- Spiritual Impact
In the time of COVID, when many churches are forced to shut down, or move to other means of meeting, this passage becomes even more relevant than ever in recent history.
Thank you for listening to today's lesson. May you be blessed through the teaching of God's Word.
Hebrews 11 is often known as the Hall of Faith, or the Roll Call of the Faithful. Many of the notable characters of scripture are recorded, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, etc. In addition to these, Hebrews 11 closes with many who are unnamed. Yet, through the descriptions given, we see the writer of Hebrew had, or may have had specific characters in mind. For instance, when referring to those sawn in two, he may have been thinking of the prophet Isaiah.
In this weeks lesson, we look at six examples in Old Testament Scripture whom the writer of Hebrews may have had in mind as he penned his letter to the church.
Thank you for listening to this week's lesson. May you be blessed and encouraged as we consider these Unnamed Heroes of the Faith.
Peter has finished his first sermon on the day of Pentecost. To the Jews gathered in Jerusalem, he laid out before them the truth regarding Jesus Christ. First, that in Jesus Christ they were witnesses to fulfilled prophecy. Second, even though He was the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies, they killed Him. Finally, all this was according to the predetermined will of God, but they bore the guilt of handing Him over to sinful men to be executed; but vindicated by the Father through the resurrection.
Now faced with this reality, the Jews are cut to the core. Realizing their sin, they asked the key question, "What must we do?" This is the question posed to all humanity. In the face of our sin, and in the presence of a Holy God, what must we do?
As you listen to today's lesson, may you be blessed through the teaching of God's Holy Word. May you know and experience the grace of God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for listening.
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.