Our Biblical Heritage
1. The early church held to the Exclusivity of Jesus Christ.
a. Throughout the book of Acts, there is a consistency in theme: Jesus is the Christ; His death and resurrection qualify Him as the only Savior for sinners.
b. Throughout the book of Acts, there is a persistency in this truth.
Acts 4:8-12 Peter confesses that there is no salvation apart from believing in Jesus.
Acts 5:29-31 The congregation in Jerusalem prayed for "signs and wonders to be done through the name of...Jesus."
Acts 8:35 From Isaiah 53, Philip preached Christ to the Ethiopian.
Acts 9:20-22 The newly converted Saul (Paul) preached Christ as the Son of God.
Acts 10:34-43 To the Gentile, Cornelius, Peter preached that the resurrection of Jesus qualifies Him to be the Judge of all people, and to grant remission of sins to those who believe in Him.
Acts 13:33-39 To Jews and to Gentiles, Paul preached that all who believe in Jesus are justified from all things, something the law could not do.
Acts 15:11 Peter confessed that just as the Gentiles are saved the Jews would be saved "through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Acts 16:30-31 To the jailer who enquired about being saved, Paul and Silas said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."
Acts 17:1-3 For three weeks Paul showed the Thessalonians from the Scriptures that Christ has to die and rise again, and that Jesus was the Christ.
Acts 17:31 Paul, at Mars Hill, preached that the resurrection of Christ identifies Him as the one to whom all must appear to be judged.
Acts 18:24-28 Apollos proved by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
Acts 20:17-21 To the Ephesians, Paul summarized his ministry as testifying to Jew and Gentile "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
Acts 21:13 Paul declared his willingness to die at Jerusalem for Christ.
Acts 28:30-31 The last reference to Paul in Acts is that of "Preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ."
2. The early church held to the Authority of God's Word.
a. The ministry of the Word had priority over other church activities.
Acts 6:1-4, 7 Disiciples refused to neglect the Word.
Acts 18:11 Paul taught the Word for 18 months at Corinth.
Acts 19:10 Paul taught the Word for 2 years at Ephesus.
b. Persecution did not diminish the church's commitment to the Word.
Acts 8:1-4 Though persecuted and forced to flee, the early church did not abandon the Word.
c. The Word was the standard for what was taught.
Acts 17:10-12 The Bereans were not seeking to prove Paul wrong; they were serious about proving whether he was right!
(1) Beware of emphasizing your experience rather than the truth of God's Word.
(2) Beware of holding to a tradition more than you hold to the truth of God's Word.
Mark 7:6-13; Acts 12:24; 13:49; 19:10; 19:20; Revelation 1:1-2; 9