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Presentation on theme: "N EW D URHAM B APTIST C HURCH P ASTOR F RANK C UOZZO L ESSON 5 “T HE D OCTRINE OF THE F IRST C ENTURY C HURCH ”"— Presentation transcript:


2 Acts 2:41-42, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine (instruction or teaching) and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” We’ve been doing a series of lessons on the First Century Church. We have already seen,  The Beginning of the Church, started by Christ and His disciples.  The Measure of the First Century Church in it’s likeness to Christ.  The Power of the First Century Church, the Holy Spirit.  The Authority of the First Century Church, God’s Word. Today we want to look at the Doctrine or teachings of the First Century Church NDBC Adult Sunday School L ESSON 5: T HE D OCTRINE OF THE F IRST C ENTURY C HURCH

3 In Acts 2:42 right after Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and 3,000 souls were added to the church, we find that, “They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” Is it possible after all these centuries that we can still have the same doctrine or body of belief that the first century church had? YES! The Bible says that God’s Word liveth and abideth forever, and the sole authority of faith and practice for the New Testament Church is the Word of God. We can know and we can also continue in that same doctrine in this present hour. When we examine what we believe and teach, can we trace every bit of it to the First Century Church? We should! NDBC Adult Sunday School

4 Paul told young Timothy in I Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” We have a great responsibility and accountability as a New Testament Church of being the pillar and ground of the truth! The truth is the only thing that we can pass from one generation of believer’s to the next. Paul also told Timothy in II Timothy 3:10-11, “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.” NDBC Adult Sunday School

5 Paul told Timothy that he has, “Fully known my doctrine.” He said that, “I have spent enough time with you so that you fully know my teaching.” He had already told Timothy that he must find faithful men and commit to faithful men the doctrine that had been committed to him. (II Tim 2:2) The Lord Jesus left the church two things. He left us doctrine and He left us ordinances or things He ordered the church to do namely Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Down through the centuries there have been believers who have vigilantly guarded the truth of God’s Word, who would not budge or bend the truth and who paid for it with their own life’s blood. They were able to give the next generation the same truth, the same body of doctrine that they had received. This is a vital matter! NDBC Adult Sunday School

6 II Timothy 3:16 says that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” We get our doctrine directly from the Bible. These are not man made commands; these are the truths that we find from God’s Inspired & Preserved Word! Paul warned Timothy in II Timothy 4:1-3, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” NDBC Adult Sunday School

7 Many churches and denominational groups today try and de- emphasize the importance of Bible doctrine. They say, “Doctrine is not really important, love and fellowship are more important. Let’s get together in the name of tolerance. Doctrine divides.” But the fact is that anything that is not built on truth is not of God! We indeed do need to make much of our doctrine! We must keep the sacred trust that has been committed to us! Let’s look at a few things about the doctrine of the First Century Church. NDBC Adult Sunday School

8 #1) Christ has given us a Body of Doctrine. According to Acts 2:1, the Lord gave the Apostles His doctrine. They taught it to others and those they taught, taught it to others and so on. They made sure that they got His teaching correct. In John 7:16 & 17, remember what the Lord said of His doctrine, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” What Jesus is saying here is that if we are obedient to God’s will, God will then teach us the truth of His Word. The question for us is, “Are we willing to do His will?” Some of us will not know what God wants us to know because we have stopped short at some point in our obedience to Him! NDBC Adult Sunday School

9 #2) Corrupting Influences are always at Work. Satan seeks to corrupt the truth by either adding to it or presenting only a part of it. Seventeen times in the NT the word “Leaven” is used to imply something evil. Jesus warned about three different types of leaven or corruption in His ministry. The Leaven of the Pharisees The Leaven of the Sadducees The Leaven of Herod In Luke 12:1 Jesus said, “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Jesus warned that the Pharisees are hypocrites; they are not what they appear to be. Today we have preachers and churches that have doctrines that cannot be found in God’s word. They profess to be believers but their doctrine or teachings do not line up with the Bible. NDBC Adult Sunday School

10 In Matthew 22:23 the Bible says, “The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection.” The leaven of the Sadducees is false doctrine. They are the kind who openly deny the truth. Today we have all kinds of so called teachers and preachers who openly deny the truth of the Bible and teaching instead doctrines of devils. Paul warned Timothy in I Timothy 4:1-2, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils ; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” NDBC Adult Sunday School

11 In Mark 8:15 Jesus warned about the third type of leaven, “And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” Herod and the Herodians were those who were in power. The leaven of Herod is worldliness. It is seeking after power and position. It is the idea of building religious coalitions. It is the idea that God does His work the same way that the world does its work. Today many are trying to employ the ways of the world in an attempt to do the work of the Lord. The problem is that when it comes to doctrine, the truth, and the things of God, there must be no giving of ground whatsoever! We must have this vigilance concerning the truth! NDBC Adult Sunday School

12 And so we see that corrupting influences are always at work. We must pray that God helps us to discern these corrupting influences for what they are and to take heed that we do not corrupt ourselves with the leaven of the world. We’ve said that Christ has given us a body of doctrine and that corrupting influences are always at work, #3) Contentions sometimes arise even among believers. Galatians 2:8-14, “(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.” NDBC Adult Sunday School

13 “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” The contention mentioned here in Galatians chapter two is between Peter and Paul. Paul had a problem with Peter who would eat with the Gentiles on some occasions but when the Jews were around, he would separate himself fearing what they would think about him. Paul had a problem with that as well he should have. NDBC Adult Sunday School

14 The Bible says that Paul withstood Peter to his face! Both these men were highly visible and prominent leaders of the early church. The importance of this feud is that the truth must not be disregarded no matter what! We must love the approval of God more than the approval of men! The First Century Church paid a great price to be true to God and we should be willing to pay a price as well to be obedient to God in this matter of doctrine. NDBC Adult Sunday School

15 #4) Contending for doctrinal truth has to be done in every Generation. Jude verses one thru three says, “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude is saying that the faith or doctrine that was once delivered to the Saints must be contended for in every generation! If we do not contend for the faith once delivered, then someday there may not be any common salvation to talk about. NDBC Adult Sunday School

16 In summary, we believe that it is the responsibility of the preacher to declare the truth of God’s word line upon line, precept upon precept and for families to take that truth in their homes and teach it to their children. The church that has traded the truths of God’s word for pleasure, profit and for so-called church growth and tolerance has become a great harm to a hurting world that desperately needs to here the gospel of Christ. If people do not hear and believe the truth of God’s word, they are going to miss heaven. The church is not about being some sort of nice, safe, social club! The New Testament Church is about thundering forth the Word of God in the power of the Spirit of God and giving people a fixed point of reference to see the truth contained therein. Let’s pray. NDBC Adult Sunday School


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