The Christian Period | Timberland church of Christ

The Christian Period

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.

I. The New Testament Is God’s Revelation For Christians

A. Its Central Theme Is Christ, Gal. 4:4-5; Matt. 1:21-25.

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.

B. The Birth And Life Of Christ

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.

C. The Death Of Christ

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.

II. God’s Eternal Plan Of Salvation Fulfilled In Christ, Eph. 1:10, 3:10-11

A. Old Testament Promises Are Fulfilled In Christ.

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

B. The Promised Kingdom Is Fulfilled In Christ.

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

Founder: Christ

Matt. 16:18

Where: Jerusalem

Isa. 2:3; Acts 2:5

When: A.D. 33

Acts 2:47

Head: Christ

Eph. 1:22


Phil. 1:1

ELDERS: Tit. 1:5; 1 Pet. 5:1-2; 1 Tim 3:1-7
DEACONS: Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 3:8-13
MEMBERS: Acts 2:41-47; 1 Cor. 1:2


Collective Designations

CHURCH OF GOD: 1 Cor. 1:2; Acts 20:28
BODY OF CHRIST: Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:23
BRIDE OF CHRIST: Rom. 7:4; Rev. 21:9


Individuals, Eph. 3:15

DISCIPLES: John 15:8; Acts 11:26
SAINTS: Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1
BRETHREN: Luke 8:21; Gal. 6:1
CHILDREN: Gal. 3:26; Rom. 8:16
CHRISTIANS: Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16


Gal. 1:6-8

JESUS CHRIST: Matt. 16:16-18; 10:32,33; Acts 8:37

Rule of Faith and Practice

Matt. 28:18-20

All Power: Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12
Complete: 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3
Seed of Kingdom: Matt. 3:3; Luke 8:11
Sword of Spirit: Eph. 6:17


Matt. 15:7-9

SING: Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; 1 Cor. 14:15
PRAY: 1 Thess. 5:17; Col. 4:2
COMMUNION: Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-28
CONTRIBUTION: 1 Cor. 16:1,2; 2 Cor. 9:7
TEACHING: Acts 2:42; 20:7


SAVE SOULS: John 6:45; 1 Thess. 1:7,8; 1 Tim 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:2

Warning: 2 John 9; Rev. 22:18-19

Study Questions

I. Answer The Questions:

1. How has God’s manner of speaking to man changed? (Heb. 1:1-2)
2. What was “the gospel” preached by Paul? (I Cor. 15:1-4)
3. When did the Testament or Will of Christ become “of force”? (Heb.9:15-17)
4. What did Jesus preach about the kingdom? (Mark 1:14-15)
5. What did He promise about the church? (Matt. 16:18)
6. After His death, what were men told to do for salvation? (Mark 16:16)
7. Of what is one a member if he is in the “fullness of Christ”? (Eph.1:22-23)
8. Those redeemed were translated into what? (Col. 1:13-14)
9. What is God’s power unto salvation? (Romans 1:16)
10. Why is it absolutely necessary to follow the doctrine of Christ? (2John 9)

II. True Or False

1. Some living in the time of Christ would not die before the kingdom came. (Mark 9:1)
2. Those who are redeemed by His blood are in the kingdom. (Rev.5:9-10)
3. The church was purchased by his blood. (Acts 20:28)
4. Jesus is the savior of the body. (Eph. 5:23)
5. The Lord adds the saved to the church. (Acts 2:47)