This period might be referred to as the “Gospel Age” for the gospel is the message preached, Mark 16:15-16. However, we call it the “Christian Period” as those who obey the gospel are called “Christians,” Acts 11:26. Jesus Christ is the focal point of all the Biblical history, and through Him God now speaks to us, Heb. 1:1-2. During the Patriarchal and Mosaic Periods God was preparing the way for the coming of Christ. Many prophecies and promises pointed to this age, to salvation through Christ, and to the establishment of His kingdom, 1 Pet. 1:10-12.
1. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ which is “the gospel”, 1 Cor. 15:1-4.
2. The book of Acts records the history of how the apostles preached the gospel and of what the early church did as they received it.
3. The books of Romans through Revelation are letters written to churches and individual Christians exhorting them to faithfulness and guarding them against false doctrine.
1. John the Baptist prepared the way, Matt. 3:1-6.
a. The law and the prophets prophesied until John, Matt. 11:13.
b. John bore witness that Jesus is the Son of God, John 1:29-34.
2. His earthly ministry was in preparation for the kingdom, Mark 1:14-15.
a. Jesus preached to the Jews only, Matt. 15:24
b. During His lifetime, He sent apostles only to Jews, Matt. 10:5-7.
1. Actually, the Christian Period begins with the death of Christ, for at death His will became “of force,” Heb. 9:16-17; Col. 2:14.
2. The church was not established till after His death, Matt. 16:18.
3. The gospel was not preached to “all the world” till then, Mark 16:15-16.
1. Promise to the serpent, Gen. 3:15 - Fulfilled: Heb. 2:14-15
2. Promise to Abraham, Genesis 12:3 - Fulfilled: Gal. 3:26-29
3. Promise to Moses, Deut. 18:15 - Fulfilled: Acts 3:22-26
4. Promise to David, 2 Sam. 7:12-16 - Fulfilled: Acts 2:29-36
1. Predicted to be established in the fourth kingdom from Nebuchadnezzar, which would be in the days of the Roman empire, Dan. 2:40-45.
a. Gabriel announced His kingship at His birth, Luke 1:31-33.
b. Peter declared His rule after His ascension, Acts 2:29-36.
2. His kingdom is spiritual, and His reign is in heaven, Eph. 1:20-21.
a. Jesus identified the kingdom as “not of this world” John 18:36-38; Luke 17:20-21.
b. He also taught its establishment was “at hand”, Mark 1:14-15.
(1) Mark 9:1 - the kingdom would come with power
(2) Acts 1:8 - power would come with the Holy Ghost
(3) Acts 2:4 - Holy Ghost came on Pentecost; thus kingdom established!
III. Those “In Christ” Make Up His Church, Body, Kingdom
A. These Terms Describe Different Relationships, Not Separate Groups.
1. A man may be a son, husband, and father all at the same time. He is not three separate individuals, yet he sustains different relationships.
2. Every person redeemed by His blood is “in Christ”, Gal. 3:26-27.
B. Every Person Saved By His Blood Sustains These Relationships In Christ.
1. In His Body
a. Christ is the head, we are the members, Col 1:18; 1 Cor. 12:14-27.
b. Saved by the blood of Christ, Eph. 1:7, 22-23.
2. In His Church
a. The saved are added to the church, (“called out ones”) Acts 2:47; 1 Pet. 2:9.
3. In His Kingdom
a. As citizens, we are subject to His rule, Rev. 17:14; Col. 1:13-14.
b. Redeemed by His blood, Rev. 1:5-6; Rev. 5:9-10.
IV. Characteristics Of The New Testament Church
Isa. 2:3; Acts 2:5
When: A.D. 33
ELDERS: Tit. 1:5; 1 Pet. 5:1-2; 1 Tim 3:1-7
CHURCH OF GOD: 1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 20:28
Individuals, Eph. 3:15
DISCIPLES: John 15:8; Acts 11:26
JESUS CHRIST: Matt. 16:16-18; 10:32,33; Acts 8:37
Rule of Faith and Practice
GOSPEL: THE WORD OF GOD
SING: Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; 1 Cor. 14:15
SAVE SOULS: John 6:45; 1 Thess. 1:7,8; 1 Tim 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:2
1. How has God’s manner of speaking to man changed? (Heb. 1:1-2)
II. True Or False
1. Some living in the time of Christ would not die before the kingdom came. (Mark 9:1)