Written by gregdenham on April 14th, 2009

 I have been thinking about what the “early church” looked like at this time nearly two thousand years ago. What was happening in their lives?


Today, we’re just a few days after NISAN 17, the day Jesus rose from the dead.


If we were living at this time, nearly two thousand years ago, we would be amidst what Acts 1:3 identifies as the forty day period in which Jesus showed Himself alive — risen from the dead! Eventually, on Pentecost (fifty days after resurrection), 3,000 Jews turned to Jesus as Savior and Lord and were baptized in Jerusalem.


Then what happened? What did the early church look like, the church now made up of thousands of people? What were they doing? 


Acts 2:42 tells us that they “CONTINUED in the apostles doctrine!” The early church was learning the Scriptures! They were continuing in the Word of God.


Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God!”


O’ how we need the nourishment of the truth of God’s Word on a daily basis …   




The Bible records that God spoke to man over four thousand times!


If this is true, then inherently the Bible is of the highest and greatest authority. After all, “if God has said it then that settles it.” And if God has spoken to man only a fool would not listen, right?


Abraham Lincoln once said, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.” Philosopher and skeptic Immanuel Kant said, “The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.”


But the main reason the Bible can be trusted is not because men of renown have testified of the Bible’s authority. We know the Bible is true because Jesus said it is. There is no greater authority than Jesus, who demonstrated He is the Son of God by resurrecting from the grave. Put another way, the Bible is not infallible because it says it is – but because Jesus says it is! In one statement Jesus authenticated the threefold division of the old testament – the law, the writings, and the prophets – as the Word of God, saying, “These are the words, which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:4).


Jesus said, “If you continue in my word you will be my disciples you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:31-32)


Let’s “continue” in the commitment to the Word of God in OUR generation!


God Bless you as you “continue” …

Onward! 2 Tim 4:7



5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Marsha L. Gallup says:

    Pastor Greg,Stephanie,Peter and Lily,
    Don’t think for a minute that we are not going to miss you on Wednesday. Don’t think for a minute that we are not praying for you and your family as you travel.
    Don’t think for a minute that we are not learning Phil. 4:6-13.

    We ask You,Lord,to please return the Denhams to us safely. Thank You.In Christ,
    the Gallups


    That is so kind and thoughtful! We send love, Greg and family

  2. Pastor Greg, I loved the message about the early church from Acts last Wednesday. They were one body and I think what you said about them being a learning church, a praying church and a loving church was right on target and true to the text. Recently I was asked if I was religious to which my answer was “no”.
    “I think religion as we know it today is man’s attempt to please God, or worse, vying to be God’s favorite.
    I think the early church was of one accord, not divided, and truly represented the Bride of Christ, pure and focused more on the groom than on herself.
    Thanks for bringing scripture to life with you enthusiam and passion for God, His Word and the Church.
    To God be the Glory,
    Marci Seither

    I too am so enjoying our study on Wednesday nights! Thank you so much for your remarks … :)

  3. Beth Wright says:

    Pastor Greg ~ I’ve taken the “challenge” you issued on Sunday to read Phillipians 4:4-13 three times a day. In fact, I think I’ve been reading it 5-6 times a day. I’m in the midst of trial right now, and the Lord has just been teaching me and showing me His power thru these verses. He is working in me and thru me. Praise God!

    Praise the Lord!! He carries you …
    I will pray for you, Beth!
    Blessings, Greg

  4. Rey & Carla Munoz says:

    Dear Pastor Greg, At the 2000 Summer Jam at Arco Arena my oldest daughter Kim who was 13 at the time asked me at the end of your message if I would go with her down front to ask Jesus into her life. What a thrill it was then and now as I send you this note. I thought back then how cool is this, I”ll now get to walk my daughter down the aisle twice. Last Saturday Kim and I walked down the aisle again but this time for her wedding to a great young man, Chris who also loves Jesus. Thankyou,thankyou,thankyou for sharing the love of Jesus that night that gave me the opp to walk the aisle twice. Love you man, Rey and Carla Munoz, Woodland,Ca.


    WOW! I am so touched by your message! Congratulations. Praise the LORD! Your friend, Greg :)

  5. Jim Mc Farland says:

    Our world looks like it is turning inside out:

    Amos 8:11 ¶ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

    The apostle Paul writes, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12).

    And in Paul’s list of amour to put on – our only weapon in this war of the worlds is what?

    Verse 17, “The sword of the Spirit. Which is the word of God.”
    (Ephesians 6:17).

    In James 1, I want us to consider how we, and those we love, can indeed be transformed by the truth of God’s word.

    Spiritual growth is the process of replacing lies with truth.

    Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)

    Sanctification requires revelation.

    The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God.

    To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.

    It is somewhat ironic that there are more Bibles in print today than ever before, yet millions of believers are plagued with spiritual anorexia, starving to death from spiritual malnutrition.


    Because a bible on the shelf is about as beneficial as bread in a pantry.

    It’s only of benefit when we take it out and feed on it.

    In examination of James 1 we see how God’s truth can transform us to become like Jesus.

    To do so we must

    1. Accept its authority (James 1:17-18)

    Accept the Authority of God’s Word (James 1:17-18)

    “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.” (James 1:17-18).

    We must accept its authority.

    The Bible must become the authoritative standard for my life:

    the compass I rely on for direction,

    the counsel I listen to for making wise decisions,

    and the benchmark I use for evaluating everything.

    The Bible must always have the first and last word in my life.

    Many of our troubles occur because we base our choices on unreliable authorities:

    culture “everyone is doing it”,

    tradition “we’ve always done it”,

    reason “it seemed logical”, or

    emotion “it just felt right”.

    All four of these are flawed by the Fall.

    Which is why they will never provide ultimate solutions for the wars of the world, merely perpetuate them.

    What we need is a perfect standard that will never lead us in the wrong direction.

    Only God’s Word meets that need.

    Solomon reminds us, “Every word of God is flawless,” (Proverbs 30:5) and Paul explains, “Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word.

    All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

    To be a healthy disciple of Jesus, feeding on God’s Word must be your first priority.

    Jesus said “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” (John 8:31).

    God’s Word is unlike any other word.

    It is alive.

    Jesus said, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63).

    When God speaks, things change.

    Everything around you-all of creation-exists because “God said it.

    He spoke it all into existence.

    Without God’s Word we would not even be alive.

    In verse 18, James points out, “God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made.” (James 1:18)

    The Bible is far more than a doctrinal guidebook.

    God’s Word generates life,

    creates faith,

    produces change,

    frightens the Devil,

    causes miracles,

    heals hurts,

    builds character,

    transforms circumstances,

    imparts joy,

    overcomes adversity,

    defeats temptation,

    infuses hope,

    releases power,

    cleanses our minds,

    brings things into being,

    and guarantees our future forever!

    We cannot live without the Word of God!

    Never take it for granted.

    In the early years of his ministry, Billy Graham went through a time when he struggled with doubts about the accuracy and authority of the Bible.

    One moonlit night he dropped to his knees in tears and told God that, in spite of confusing passages he didn’t understand, from that point on he would completely trust the Bible as the sole authority for his life and ministry.

    From that day forward, Billy’s life was blessed with unusual power and effectiveness.

    The most important decision you can make today is to settle this issue of what will be the ultimate authority for your life.

    Decide that regardless of culture, tradition, reason, or emotion, you choose the Bible as your final authority.

    Determine to first ask, “What does the Bible say?” when making decisions.

    Resolve that when God says to do something, you will trust God’s Word and do it whether or not it makes sense or you feel like doing it.

    Adopt Paul’s statement as your personal affirmation of faith:
    “I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets.” (Acts 24:14).

    To be transformed by the truth we must first accept the authority of God’s word.


    But I have decided.

    When the word of God says one thing, and I think another, then I am wrong!

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