This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Issue Features
Discovery Magazine 8/1/1998

God Sends Us a Gift—His Son’s Church

 The writers of the Old Testament often said that someone important was coming. That "someone" was Jesus Christ. He would be called "Immanuel," which means "God with us" (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), and would save people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

In the New Testament, we learn that Jesus was the Son of God. He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22) to set an example for us. But before returned to His Father, He said He was going to leave something special behind to help people get to heaven if they loved and obeyed Him. That "something special" was His church (Matthew 16:17-18).

Shortly after Jesus returned to heaven, many people were visiting Jerusalem because it was an important Jewish occasion (the "Day of Pentecost"—Acts 2:1). The apostle Peter preached a powerful sermon to these people (read Acts 2:14-36), and convinced them that Jesus was the Son of God. Approximately 3,000 people believed Peter, and asked what they should do to be forgiven of their sins.

One purpose of the New Testament is to answer that question for all people of all ages. On that day long ago in Jerusalem, God sent us a gift—His Son’s church. The word "church" refers to people who are "called out"—because they have done what God commanded to be saved from sin; thus, they are "called out" from the world to be Christians. The apostle Paul said that Christ is the Savior of His body (Ephesians 5:22). But Paul also said that Christ's body is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18,24). Therefore, if we want to be saved from our sins, we must be a member of Christ's body, the church. But how do we become a member of Christ's church?

First, we must hear God’s instructions so that can build faith, and know what God expects of us (Romans 10:17). Second, we must believe that Christ is God’s Son (John 3:16; Acts 16:31). Third, we must be sorry that we have sinned and be willing to repent, which means we will try not to sin in the future (Luke 13:3). Fourth, we must be willing to confess to others that Jesus is God’s Son (Romans 10:9-10). Fifth, we must be baptized to wash away our sins (read Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and 1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is where someone places you completely under water and then raises you up. This pictures the burial and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:3-4). When we have done all these things, God Himself adds us to His Son’s church (Acts 2:41). If we remain faithful, God will take us home to heaven to be with Him and His Son when we die (Revelation 2:10).

It is very important to be a member of the Lord’s church, because it is the body of saved people who were purchased with Christ's blood on the cross (Acts 20:28). We should be extremely thankful for the New Testament, which tells us about the "churches of Christ" (Romans 16:16) in the first century, and how we today can become members of the church.

Copyright © 1998 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558

Web Store

Separation of Church & State? - DVD

Is "separation of church and state" constitutional? Bottom
 Line: The Founders believed that the general doctrines of the Christian religion are the basis of the American way of life. To the extent our nation expels God, the Bible, and Christian principl

Featured Audio


Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio