Constantine the Great The situation of the Christian church changed greatly in the early 300s. When Constantine I (“the Great”) became Roman emperor, he issued the Edict of Milan (313 AD) declaring freedom of religion. Soon after, he made Christianity the state religion. In just two decades, Christianity changed from being severely persecuted to being … Continue reading CH 05: Who is Jesus?
From its very beginning, the church faced two types of challenge: opposition from the outside, in the form of persecution, and corruption from the inside through heresy. Growth of the early church In the first centuries of its existence, the Christian church grew rapidly. At the end of the second century, we find churches all … Continue reading CH 04: Persecution and heresy
The great missionary of the earliest church was Paul of Tarsus. After his conversion to the Christian faith, he brought the gospel throughout Asia Minor (Turkey), to Greece, and ultimately to Rome. Saul of Tarsus Saul was a Roman citizen from birth. He was born in Tarsus in Cilicia and apparently had a thorough education … Continue reading CH 03: Paul, apostle to the Gentiles
Initially, the Christian church was mostly limited to Jerusalem, although the gospel reached people from a variety of places. When the first martyr, Stephen, died, the church started to spread. What is the church? The English word church goes back to the Greek ekklesia kyriake, “assembly of the Lord”. By using the word ekklesia, the … Continue reading CH 02: The Jerusalem church
The beginnings of the Christian church are recorded in the Book of Acts. The church is defined by the commission Jesus gave them, and empowered by the Holy Spirit who guides them. The Book of Acts The four gospels at the beginning of the New Testament tell about the ministry of Jesus during his time … Continue reading CH 01: The Church begins