The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
There are three schools of thought relative to the time the church was established, namely:
- Some say it was established in the days of Abraham.
- Others say it was established during the personal ministry of Christ.
- Still others say it was established the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus.
The following are some scriptural evidences why I believe that the church did not begin in the days of Abraham, or on the day of Pentecost, but rather during Christ’s earthly ministry. The church already existed before the day of Pentecost.
1. Jesus Christ said, "I will build me church" (Mat. 16:18) which He did during His earthly ministry.
2. The authority of discipline was placed in the church during Christ’s earthly ministry (Mat. 18:15-19).
3. Jesus Christ sang the praises of God "in the midst of the church" (Heb. 2:12, Mat. 26:30).
4. They had a commission to preach the Gospel before Pentecost (Mat. 10:5-7).
5. They had "the keys of the kingdom of heaven," and these were given to His church (Mat. 16:18-19).
6. There were baptized believers before Pentecost (Matt. 3:5-6; John 4:1).
7. They had authority to baptize before Pentecost (John. 4:1; Mat. 28:18-20).
8. There was an ordination service before Pentecost (Mark. 3:13-14).
9. There were apostles before Pentecost; and the office of apostle was a church office (Eph. 4:11; I Cor. 12:28; Luke 6:12-13).
10. They had a church roll of 120 members before Pentecost (Acts 1:15).
11. They had the Great Commission before Pentecost (Mat. 28:18-20).
12. About 3,000 were added unto His church roll on the day of Pentecost; You cannot add to something that does not already exist (Acts 2:41).
13. They had a business meeting before Pentecost (Acts 1:23-26).
14. They had a church treasurer before Pentecost (John 13:29).
15. The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was instituted and observed before Pentecost (Mat. 26:26-30).
According to I Cor. 12:28, "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers,..." and Eph. 4:11, "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers",
I believe that we can determine the exact time in the personal ministry of Christ when He organized His church. He organized it with the 12 Apostles. They were the first ones set or placed in the church. Jesus went up into the mountain and spent the night in prayer to God. The next morning He called all His disciples together, and out of the great group He chose twelve, and named them Apostles.
Thus he started His church. Mark 3:13-14, "And He goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto Him whom He would: and they came unto Him. And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach..." Luke 6:12-13, "And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles."
Paul stated that the Apostles were the foundation of the church, Christ Himself being the cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20, "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone."
It is my conviction that the church began when Jesus ordained the twelve Apostles.