This study from the book of Acts will challenge the church to become more like a church.  The Church: First Thirty Years, traces the development of the early New Testament Church in both doctrine and practice.  It will challenge the church to fulfill its purpose, mission, and ministry. The purpose of the church is to worship God personally and collectively with God’s children.  The ministry of the church is to prepare the saints (the people of God) to understand the purpose and engage in the mission of the church. The book of Acts will reveal the God of church growth.  The book will be challenge the modern church to abandon the god of the church growth movement.  The god of the church growth movement is modernity and all her children.  I devoted the last chapter (46) to the god of the church growth movement.  Rather than being clouded with confusion, Christians must remember the mission of the church is to make disciples and teach the whole counsel of God. 


The doctrinal principles in the Book of Acts are relative for every generation of the church.  These principles, explained in layman terms, will be valuable for study and meditation.  For instance in Acts chapter ten Peter preaches to Gentiles about the universality of the gospel. “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality’” (Acts 10:34).  The exposition for this text defines this as “the seizure principle.”  Explained in layman language, “Christians must take hold of the truth.  To put it another way, they have to engage in the process of acquiring the truth.  Peter took hold of the truth and the Bible says Peter opened his mouth (Acts 10:34).  The religious leaders in Jerusalem tried to stop Peter and the other disciples from preaching the truth of the gospel, but Peter’s response to them was, “ we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Even unbelievers can see the difference between simply knowing truth and taking hold of truth.  Everyone has some understanding of truth in a general sense.  For instance, everyone understands the truth that God exists.  They may not like the truth and they may try to suppress it, but they cannot avoid the general truth relative to God’s existence.  Those who belong to Jesus Christ not only understand truth in a general sense; they have a more specific understanding of truth.  When God speaks to His people, they listen to Him.  They may not fully understand, but God will graciously speak again and again so they will be able to grasp the truth.”


The Church: First Thirty Years, identifies and explains the doctrinal principles found in the Book of Acts. The first thirty years of the church ought to be a flagship for the church in every generation.  

The Church: First Thirty Years, by Martin Murphy, 340 pages is available from Amazon Books and in Kindle format.