·Answer the question, “When did the Church, the Body of Christ begin?” ·There is no verse that specifically states when the church began. ·Four ideas; two of which are extremely wrong, one that is possible, and one that is most probable.
I. Two Extreme Views; Acts Chapter 2 and Acts Chapter 28
A. Important facts about the book of Acts 1. You cannot use Acts for doctrine 2. Luke wrote Acts to show the transition from Israel to the Body of Christ. 3. Cannot follow Paul’s example in Acts; he did things that he didn’t write about in his epistles.
The things he did write about – ex. “gifts,” – he covered by writing explanations.
B. Acts Chapter 2 – Mainstay of Evangelicals “Evangelical Everglades” 1. Acts 1:5-8/Acts 2:1-4 2. The “birthday of the church” according to most Evangelicals 3. Acts 2:16-17; Peter quoting from Joel 4. Threshold of the last days 5. Acts 2:41-47; how they continued 6. Remember . . . a. Israel is still God’s agency on the earth b. Peter is still the main apostle c. The temple is the place of worship d. Jerusalem is where they remained C. Acts Chapter 28 – Extreme Grace 1. Acts 28:23-29; includes the turning to the Gentiles 2. Believe that only the later epistles of Paul are applicable today 3. Fail to understand the transitional nature of the ministry of Paul in Acts and his “provoking” ministry. 4. Romans 11:11-14
II. Acts Chapter 9 and its Controversy (Possible)
A. The road to Damascus 1. Acts 9:1-22 a. “Saul,” the name of the first King of Israel who failed. b. A “Jewish” message; “Jesus is the Son of God.” 2. Not saved on the road to Damascus; Acts 22:16 3. Saul” leaves, Acts 9:27-31 B. The return of Peter 1. Acts 9:32; Peter is back 2. Peter is the central figure through Acts Chapter 12
III. The Best Answer; Acts Chapter 13 (Probable)
A. Paul’s Calling 1. Acts 13:1-3 2. Acts 13:6-12 a. “Paul,” a gentile name b. From this point on, he is called Paul c. Why didn’t Luke mention the name “Paul” before now? B. Paul’s Acts 13 Message 1. In chapter 9; “Jesus is the Son of God” 2. Now, Acts 13:38-43 3. First turning to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46-47
·Acts chapter 2 and chapter 28 are extremist views and are not supported by other Scriptures. ·Acts chapter 9, while possible, still occurs before the total turning of ministry over to Paul the Apostle. ·Acts chapter 13 offers the best time frame for the beginning of the Church, the Body of Christ.