SUNDAY, AUGUST 26
THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH
(I Corinthians 3: 10-17)
by Hank & Sheryl McKinley
Jesus Christ is the Foundation of the Church! I Corinthians 3: 10-11 says, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ”. Our world has all but forgotten what church is all about. The greatest need in our time is a first-century church in a twentieth-century world. It is time that the church returned to the principles of the New Testament.
I. Provision of the First Church
A. Jesus Provided His Followers Proof of the Resurrection – Everything Christianity teaches depends on its validity.
1. Paul declared, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (I Corinthians 15: 14 NIV).
2. Jesus knew how vital it would be that all questions were removed.
3. The proof is infallible (Acts 1:3)
- There are 6 documented appearances.
- Paul listed them in I Corinthians: 15.
- The enemies of Jesus only needed to produce His body.
B. Jesus Provided His Followers Instruction – Jesus gave guidance to His believers on how to live in such a way that the rest of the world would have a reason to believe in Him (Acts 1: 8).
1. He spoke to them about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1: 3).
2. He told them to be obedient and wait (Acts 1:4).
3. By doing as he instructed, they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1: 5).
4. He sent His messengers (2 angels) to assure His followers that he would return (Acts 1: 11).
C. Jesus Provided Assurance of an Eternal Life – This confidence in Heaven would encourage the followers to live fearlessly.
1. Jesus describes Heaven in John 14 and Rev. 20-21.
2. Knowing that there is eternal life enabled them to keep the faith.
II. Establishing the First Church
A. Jesus’ Followers Were Obedient
1. They (120+ believers) made the choice to obey and wait for God’s gift (Acts 1: 2-4)
2. The Holy Spirit swept over the obedient followers (Acts 2: 2-4, 12, 15-21)
B. It Was a Miraculous Moment
1. The obedient believers were blended together in a unique way (Acts 2: 1-11)
2. Their focus was on God, not themselves
3. They experienced wonderful fellowship (Acts 2: 42-47)
C. The Christian Movement Was Born
1. Their obedience started a movement that affected the world
2. This movement was the birth of the first church
3. The movement was powerful. The world took notice (Acts 2: 43, 46-47)
III. Importance of the First Church
A. Strong Emphasis Was and Still is Placed in the Covenant of the New Testament Church (Jesus Christ).
1. Jesus is the Head of the church (Colossians 1: 18) and the church is a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ. They are banded together to carry out the commission of sharing Jesus Christ (Matthew 28: 19-20).
2. The church was and still is the body of Christ gathered and it is also the body of Christ scattered. They gathered for worship with other believers but scattered throughout the world to share the gospel with non-believers.
B. Believers Reached Out By Praying and Sharing Jesus’ Teachings
1. Prayers and Jesus teachings were two of God’s greatest gifts to them.
2. Through these, they found comfort, direction and hope.
3. They grew in their relationship with God through being faithful to the teachings of Jesus and shared His love throughout the world (Matthew 25: 34-40).
As with the first church, if we accept Jesus and are obedient to his teachings, we too can enjoy enhanced fellowship with each other and share his grace and love with the world. Through us studying what God’s word says about giving and praying for his direction, we will all have a part in Chapel Hill’s commitment to fulfill the Great Commission by growing our church of committed believers. We will then be a body of believers who did not ask, “Can we do it?”, but we simply ask, “God, what do You want us to do?”