Est. 33AD Part 0: Jesus Founded the Church
God created the world (Gen. 1:1). So that His glory may be more fully displayed, He created human beings and made them inhabitants and caretakers of His world (Gen. 1:26-28). Through a selfish act of their own choosing, the people God created chose a lie over His Word (Gen. 3:6). Since that first decision to deny God and live for themselves, every human has made that same decision (Rom. 1:25, 3:23). Out of mercy, compassion, and love the God who created the universe broke into human history and came as the man, Jesus of Nazareth, on a rescue mission to redeem all that He had created and restore humans to a right relationship with Him (Phil 2:5-8). Anyone who recognizes their choice to deny God and turns toward Him in humble repentance, seeking to live a life that honors and glorifies Him is offered the free gift of eternal life (Acts 3:19).
During His rescue mission, Jesus, who was the promised Messiah, made statements about what would happen after He left. He said things like, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Just before He left this world, having completed His mission (He has promised to return again), He gathered the small group of people that remained with Him through many difficulties and charged them with the task of spreading His name and the good news it brings to humanity (Matt. 28:18-20). He told them that they should go everywhere possible in the world to speak His name and share His message (Acts 1:8). Finally, He promised to help them and even lead their efforts to accomplish this great cause. Shortly after He left this world, in the year 33AD (I realize there is some debate about the timing, but this is where I land, and ultimately, it doesn’t really matter that much), the Holy Spirit, one person of the Triune God, came and ignited the first Gospel sermon that led to the founding of the first church. On that day in 33AD, 3000 people (it may very well have been more because only the men were typically counted) formed the first church plant and began the work of Gospel ministry.
As I begin a series on God’s glory being revealed in the church, I wanted to be clear that it was Jesus who founded the church. It is Jesus who still leads the church (Col. 1:18). And it is Jesus whom the church exalts (Eph. 1:22).
I frequently talk with people (especially younger people) who have no love for the church. They claim to love Jesus, but not the church. I know the church has problems-we will get to that. I realize the church is often misguided in its mission-we will address that too. However, today, let’s start here: if you truly love Jesus, you must love HIS church.