27/07/2022 Wednesday
Church: Introduction Review
When did Christ lay the foundation for the first church?
During his earthly ministry
When does your pastor believe the church started?
On the Day of Pentecost
What do dispensations have to do with the start of the church?
The law ended at the Cross and the church began in the New Testament
How is a local church like a Christian’s spiritual home?
It nourishes, teaches, helps, protects, fellowship, service opportunities, corrects
Church: A Brief History
What do we know about the church since Pentecost?
A Brief Church History – 1st Century (001-100 AD)
▰ Early congregations often met in homes because of poverty and persecution (Colossians 4:15).
▰ Churches quickly sprang up throughout Israel. (Acts 9:31)
▰ Christians fleeing persecution preached the Word and started churches (Acts 8:4) “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where
preaching the word.”
▰ Missionaries preached the gospel in distant countries and started churches (Acts 14:23).
A Brief Church History – 2nd Century (101-200 AD)
▰ Persecution worsened, but churches continued to increase throughout the Roman Empire. About this time the error of baptismal regeneration started
(the belief that baptism can save you, or is necessary for salvation).
▰ Another error began to surface in the second century as well. It was the formation of a hierarchal religious system, which means that some large
churches wanted to control the smaller churches. The New Testament local churches are to be autonomous (i.e., self-governing).
A Brief Church History – 3rd Century (201-300 AD)
▰ Additional false doctrine developed. Infant baptism began about 250 A.D.
▰ Faithful Christians suffered much persecution and death. Armitage, History of the Baptists, p. 179, 185; Carroll, Trail of Blood, p. 12.
A Brief Church History – 4th Century (301-400 AD)
▰ In 313 A.D., Constantine conquered Rome and united the erring churches and state. This was the beginning of the Catholic Church.
▰ Faithful Christians like the Donatists were severely persecuted. Diocletian the emperor of Rome, demanded the burning of all Bibles.
A Brief Church History – 5th Century (401-500 AD)
▰ Baptismal regeneration became widely accepted among the Catholic and other erring churches.
▰ They added the false teachings of purgatory and Mariolatry to their doctrines.
A Brief Church History – 6th Century (501-600 AD)
▰ The Catholic Church considered all followers of the Bible to be heretics, and she did everything possible to destroy them and their writings.
▰ These faithful Christians were not able to worship in public places and thus their churches were forced to become “underground churches.”
A Brief Church History – 7th Century (601-700 AD)
▰ Mohammed founded the Muslim religion in the year 610 AD.
▰ An underground church called the Paulicians began in this century.
▻ They believed in the priesthood of every believer, and encouraged the young and old alike to read the Bible.
▻ They taught that the only way of salvation was through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
▻ In harmony with the Scriptures, they rejected the worship of Mary, crosses, images, dead saints, and the belief that Mary remained a virgin until her death. Armitage, pdf,
p. 287f; Cramp, pdf, p. 44
A Brief Church History – 8th Century (701-800 AD)
▰ The unbiblical practice of pouring or sprinkling water over a baby and calling it baptism became common practice in the Catholic church after 754
AD. Cramp, Baptist History, p. 68.
A Brief Church History – Dark Ages (350-1550 AD)
▰ For about 1200 years, the Dark Ages of terrible persecution dominated the world. Through these years, faithful local churches were given names like
Paulicians, Bogomiles, Peterines, Albigenses, Petrobrusians, Waldensians, and Anabaptists.
▰ Many of these were essentially Baptist churches with different names. Historians estimate that 50 million Christians died as martyrs during the Dark
▰ Common charges laid against these “Baptist” forefathers were, baptism by immersion after salvation, possessing a Bible, and preaching the gospel.
A Brief Church History – Reformation (After 1517 AD)
▰ With the beginning of the Reformation in the 1517, persecution eased a bit. Luther, Zwingle, Knox and others tried to reform (or improve) the Catholic
church, but soon these reformers also began persecuting and killing members of biblical churches.
▰ All “reformed” churches (Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Congregational, Methodist, and Reformed church) have their roots in the Reformation and
ultimately in the Catholic church. They never fully rejected baby baptism or other false teachings of the Catholic church.
A Brief Church History – Reformation (After 1517 AD)
▰ Baptists are not reformers.
▰ They existed way before the Reformation, tracing their doctrinal roots back to the New Testament.
▰ They never tried to improve the Catholic church.
▰ They separated completely from it, and preached against its false teachings
A Brief Church History – Reformation (After 1517 AD)
▰ Since the first century, being a member of a biblical church often cost our forefathers their possessions, much pain, and even their lives.
▰ Being a member of a biblical local church that takes a Bible stand on salvation by faith in Christ alone and immersion after salvation is very

Let’s Get Practical
▰ What are some of the convictions for which our “pre-Baptist” and “Baptist” forefathers suffered and died?