By Larry Oats (PhD) - author, Dean of Maranatha Baptist Seminary: It is the purpose of this work to explore one theological segment—the doctrine of the church, including how the various men and movements came to understand this doctrine and how that understanding affected their affiliations and actions
Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead, (Acts 10:40-41)
If we only focus on the Cross, without the resurrection, then we have a dead Savior—who isn’t a Savior at all. If we don’t have a risen Savior, we don’t have victory over Satan, a perfect mediator between us and God, forgiveness, reconciliation, adoption into God’s family, the promise of eternal inheritance, the promise of eternal life, the promise of His second coming or the promise of a new earth in a new creation. In short, we have nothing at all.
Jesus rose from the dead—it’s part of the gospel, and people need to know about this and the cross of Calvary! God raised Him from the dead. God showed Him openly and plainly to the people. Peter and the others even ate and drank with Him—what more simple and forceful proof could there even be for His real resurrection? He wasn’t a spirit, an apparition or a ghost—He was flesh and blood, come back to life from the dead!
(Read Part 1.)
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him., (Acts 10:38)
Some “churches,” some denominations, and many cultural “Christians” seem to think of the Lord Jesus Christ as a Salvation Army employee. His job is to do nice things to make disadvantaged people feel happy, and to foster a sense of well-being and happiness in the community. This is the social Gospel, popularized by the novel In His Steps. It’s a false Gospel, which doesn’t bring peace.
In Acts 10, the Apostle Peter preached a gospel message to a Gentile named Cornelius, and to his household. Peter’s message was simple, to the point, and devastating in its bluntness and force. It’s a model of what evangelism looks like. If you want to know how to share the gospel, you need to read Peter’s message to Cornelius.
Peter did not care who He offended. He preached the truth and did not avoid hard sayings. Peter told Cornelius the plain, simple and powerful gospel. This Good News is becoming increasingly hard to find in America and the rest of the western world.
This raises the question—what should a local church spend it’s time and energy doing?
CHAPTER I - THE TRUE CHURCH
BY THE LATE BISHOP RYLE
Do you belong to the one true Church; to the Church outside of which there is no salvation? I do not ask where you go on Sunday; I only ask, “Do you belong to the one true Church?”
Where is this one true Church? What is this one true Church like? What are the marks by which this one true Church may be known? You may well ask such questions. Give me your attention, and I will provide you with some answers.
The one true Church is composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus. It is made up of all God’s elect—of all converted men and women—of all true Christians. In whomsoever we can discern the election of God the Father, the sprinkling of the blood of God the Son, the sanctifying work of God the Spirit, in that person we see a member of Christ’s true Church.
It is a Church of which all the members have the same marks. They are all born of the Spirit; they all possess “repentance towards God, faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ,” and holiness of life and conversation. They all hate sin, and they all love Christ. They worship differently and after various fashions; some worship with a form of prayer,
6 The Fundamentals