Upon This Rock – Lesson Notes/Study Sheet

(Matt. 16:18-20)

 

1. Establishing the church was always God’s intention.

   * Eph. 1:4 –

 

   * Eph. 3:10-11 –

 

2. The church was prophesied.

   * Dan. 2:44 –

 

   * This current age – “last days” (Isa. 2:2-4; Joel 2:28ff).

   * Prophets foretold (Isa. 2:2-4).

   * Church is international (Isa. 2:2).

 

3. Fulfillment of the prophecy.

   * When was it established?

      - Some claim Jesus did so during His personal ministry. Impossible! NT not in effect!

      - Truth is it was on Pentecost (Acts 2; Joel 2:28-30).

      - Kingdom would come w/power (Mk. 9:1), power would be received when Spirit was poured out (Acts 1:8), Spirit

         given on Pentecost (Acts 2:4). Church must have been established on that day!

      - Church’s grounding: Isa. 28:16; Psa. 118:22 –

 

   * Where was it established?

     - Not Galilee, as some claim.

      - Cornerstone laid in Zion, aka Jerusalem (Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:19-20).

 

   * Universality of the church

      - Eph. 2:11-22

      - Rev. 7:4-9: Same destination for Jew & Gentile.

 

4. The church established.

   * Spring of A.D. 30.

   * Preparation lasted more than 3 yrs. during ministries of John the Baptist & Jesus.

   * Mosaic system prepared the way for Christ (Gal. 3:24-25).

 

   * Christianity a tremendous force (Acts 28:22).

 

   * Church population on Pentecost at least 3000 souls (Acts 2:41).  Include those baptized by John (Matt. 3:3-5) & Jesus’

       other disciples (Jn. 4:1-2), and number much larger.

 

   * Church population soon thereafter? (Acts 4:4).  Could have been 20,000 + by time of Stephen’s death (Acts 7:60).

   * Initial impact of the Gospel confined to Jews.

 

5. The Lord’s church was initially united in doctrine.

   * Acts 2:42 –

 

   * Acts 2:46 –

 

   * “One heart & one soul” (Acts 2:32).

 

   * Over time, departures occurred according to prophecy (Acts 20:28-30; II Thess. 2:1ff; I Tim. 4:1ff; II Tim. 4:1ff).

 

 

                                                                                                                        R.W. McAlister 7/5/09 a.m.