The Biblical Framework
The study of church history, like any subject, must be viewed through the lens of biblical truth. This lesson looks to God's Word to identify three doctrinal pillars that define the true church.
These pillars are:
1. The Supremacy of the Word of God -- Scripture is the final authority for what we believe and how we live
2. The Sufficiency of the Work of God -- Salvation is based solely on the finished work of Christ on the cross
3. The Sanctity of the Worship of God -- The worship God accepts must be both pure in heart and pure in doctrine
The video lectures below were delivered at The Master's Seminary. They do not directly follow the Student Workbook or the Teacher Guide. Rather, they are intended to provide supplemental content for the material found in Lesson 1.
Another way to articulate these three doctrinal pillars is this:
The true church is characterized by (1) a right view of Scripture, (2) a right view of salvation, and (3) a right view of the Savior. The following video explains.
HELPFUL HINT: As you work through the material in Lesson 1, look up the Scripture references cited and take a few moments to consider the implications of each text.
Below are four sermons that relate to the three doctrinal pillars listed above. These messages do not directly follow the material in the Student Workbook or the Teacher Guide. Rather they are intended to provide supplemental content that relates to the material found in Lesson 1.
1. The Supremacy of the Word of God (the Scriptures)
The following sermon on Mark 7:1-13 illustrates the truth that Scripture is the authority over religious tradition. This is a critical principle to understand as we embark on the study of church history.
2. The Sufficiency of the Work of God (in Salvation)
The true church has always understood that sinners are justified by God's grace alone, and not on the basis of works. This message on Acts 13-15 highlights that reality.
3. The Sanctity of the Worship of God (in Spirit and Truth)
This lecture evaluates the teachings of Eastern Orthodoxy from a biblical perspective. In so doing, it highlights the three doctrinal pillars listed above, including the worship God requires.
Note that corresponding lecture slides can be viewed here.
Putting These Principles Together
This final message brings those three pillars together in answer to the question: "How can Christians spot a counterfeit movement?"