So overwhelming was the convicting power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost that the hearers responded immediately. Without any prompting from Paul, they cry out, “What shall we do?” – a question springing from a deep sense of guilt. They finally realized that the Jesus they had killed was God’s beloved Son! This Jesus had risen from the dead and was now in heaven, glorified. In light of these indisputable facts, how could these murderers escape judgment?
Pentecost is officially declared the day the Christian Church was born because Peter tells the followers of Jesus they must repent. First, they had to repent, admit their guilt and stand on God’s side against themselves. Also, Peter assured them that if they repented and were baptized, they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. So to insist that this command applies to us today would be to twist God’s administrative relationships in the early days of the church.
It is important to note that only the Jews were told that they were to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (see Acts 22:16). It is precisely in this fact that we believe the understanding of the passage lies. The people of Israel had crucified the Lord of glory. The Jews had cried out, “Let his blood fall on our children and us” (Matt. 27:25). In this way, the people of Israel claimed guilt for the death of the Messiah.
Read also: Why is Pentecost called Whitsunday?
Who was the leader of Christianity?
In the beginning, Christianity was very different from the religion we know today. Christianity was a scattered collection of small congregations that claimed to follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus of Nazareth was a leader of Christianity and a branch of the Essenes, who was crucified for the revolt in Jerusalem around 33 AD. He lived between 6 – 4 BC and 29 – 36 BC (exact date unknown).
According to the Christian religion, Jesus began preaching after being baptized by St John the Baptist at about 30. He preached for only three years, the last years of his life, but enough to mark all humanity.
Who took over Christian leadership after Jesus’ death?
James the Just was also called the Brother of the Lord, or James the Rude, the first bishop or Patriarch of Jerusalem. James was the son of Joseph, along with the other “brothers of the Lord” mentioned in the New Testament, from a marriage before his wedding to Mary.
After the death of Jesus the Nazarene, the Christian movement continued under the leadership of James the Just, the first so-called “bishop” of Jerusalem. James and his followers did not believe that Jesus had founded a new religion and continued to go to the temple daily. For them, the teachings of the Nazarene Jesus were in line with the Jewish mysticism of the Merkabah or health traditions.
The disciples used a transformative form of initiation to purify their members so that they would inspire brotherhood and justice among people. Jesus was considered a divinely inspired teacher whose goal was to “create an elite of the elite” who would purify the people of Israel and become “the light of all nations.” Until the Council of Nicaea in the 3rd century, the majority considered Jesus only a “teacher.”
Biography of Justin the Just
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Biblical places from the times of Justin the Just
Who was Paul, who converted 3000 people to Christianity in one day?
He preached the Gospel over a wide area, from Arabia to Spain, to Jews and pagans. The description of Paul’s missionary journeys and his epistles to the churches form an essential part of the New Testament. Paul was martyred together with the Apostle Peter under Nero by beheading.
Saint Paul, who converted 3000 people to Christianity in one day, on the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, was born in Tarsus and was one of the apostles of the tribe of Benjamin and was called Saul at birth.
After studies under the Chief Rabbi, Saul became one of the leaders of the persecution of Christians. Being under the Apostle Ananias, following a divine vision, Saul regrets his actions and is baptized by Ananias. Soon after his conversion, Saul changed his name to Paul and was later included in the company of the Apostles.
What did Jacob think of Paul?
Many contemporary Christians might be surprised to learn that in a short time, Paul became highly criticized and vehemently rejected by Laocobus and the early disciples in Jerusalem because there were significant and fundamental differences between the Way as interpreted by Laocobus and his Essene companions (who after the crucifixion became known as Ebionites or “the poor”) and the version preached by Paul.
Jacob and the disciples considered Paul a false prophet. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, quotes an Ebionite document describing Paul as “a renegade of the Law.” Another Ebionite document, Kerygmata Petrou, describes Paul as “a renegade of the Law” or “a speaker of cunning and lies” and “a distorter of the true teachings of Jesus.”
Jacob and the Ebionites devoted themselves entirely to the Torah, strictly forbade contact with the ordinary people, and adhered without deviation to the diet of Judaism. This strict interpretation was the opposite of Paul’s, who mingled among the common people and preached that the Torah no longer applied. In addition, it was Paul who first advocated the blasphemy that Jesus was divine and died to redeem our sins.
Read also: Paul in Rome. In the Footsteps of Saint Paul
What day is the birthday of the Catholic Church?
Each of the churches had its books. With their disappearance, the books disappeared too. Many of them have recently been rediscovered, being those that fall under the so-called Gnostic Christianity: The Gospels of Thomas, James, Jude, etc. But many of them have been lost.
The Day of Pentecost is declared the official day of the church’s birth, which took place on the 5th of June, 0033 AD. From this was born Pauline Christianity which differed from other Christians in that they believed Jesus came to reveal a Gnostic Jewish, absolute path to initiation. They also thought that Jesus was God, who came to earth to redeem the ancestors’ sins.
This branch of Christianity, called Pauline Christianity, suffered the primary attacks of Emperor Nero. They were blamed for the great fire in Rome, and many ended up in the Colosseum.
Read also: Who Are The Saints In The Catholic Church?
Key Verse related to the Birth of The Church
“And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people (of the Church). Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream, and your young men will see visions.”
Why is Pentecost the church’s birthday?
More than 2,000 years ago, our Lord Jesus Christ intervened directly in human history. Although He was God (together with the Father and the Holy Spirit), He became man or, as we usually say, became incarnate – took on flesh. Mankind, from its very beginnings with Adam and Eve, had turned away from the divine life, choosing sin and falling under the power of death. But the Lord Jesus, through His incarnation, dying on the Cross, and resurrection from the dead on the third day, broke the power of death upon men. Through His teaching and His whole saving work.
Pentecost represents the birth of the Christian church because, on this day, Paul converted 3000 souls to Christianity after being baptized with the holy spirit and the tongues of fire. According to the Bible, Pentecost Sunday recalls the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Holy Apostles after the 50 days following the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. On this occasion, the 12 disciples of the Lord began to speak in foreign languages, unknown to them until then, which signifies the universality of the Lord’s teachings throughout the world.
In 0325 AD, the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church was held in Nicaea, laying the dogmatic and canonical foundations of the new religion. On Constantine’s initiative, a bridge across the Danube was inaugurated in 328 between Sucidava and Oescus, reflecting the importance of the northern Danube regions to the empire. He recovered part of the territories of Dacia, abandoned by Emperor Aurelian.
When was the Church born in the Bible?
Indeed, Evangelicalism, the deification of Jesus, conflict, lack of unity, and the rise of a repressive society were the highlights of the first four hundred years of Christianity. So after almost three hundred years, the members of the Church were called “Christians,” a name was first given to them in Antioch (Acts 11:26). Also, this name has always been accepted by believers, for it is Jesus Christ we preach and worship, and He is our way and our life. He is the one who founded our Church and promised to be among His people “to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20).
According to apocryphal and biblical sources, the Church was officially born on June 5, 0033 AD. When the baptism with Tongues of Fire took place, at that time, Christianity was very different from the religion we know today. So it was a scattered gathering of small congregations who claimed to follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the leader of a branch of the Essenes, who had been crucified for the revolt in Jerusalem 0033 AD.
The Romans destroyed Druid culture in both Gaul and Britain simply because the Druids acted as a wall of resistance against the empire. The periodic persecution of Christians began due to the whims of the mentally alienated Emperor Nero. Although others have repeated it, it was infrequent, intermittent, and, in later years, primarily financial.
Read also: Who are the angels of the seven churches?
What is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?
The teaching of the Holy Fathers introduces us to the operative work of the Holy Spirit shown in the Sacraments and Mass. So, the theocentric Sunrise, before considering the Mysteries as the supreme remedy for our needs, sees in them the Epiphany, the revelation of God, and the outpouring of indicative energies.
Baptism with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the anointing with Holy Myrrh is the Mystery which confers the gifts of the Holy Spirit in excellence; on Holy Thursday, there is the service of the consecration of the Holy Myrrh, composed of oil and spices; the prayer said for the blessing of this mixture is analogous to the Eucharistic epiclesis. It is a true rebirth that requires the intervention of the sanctifying Prince himself.
So the outpouring of the Holy Spirit makes the water of baptism the vehicle of divine energy, the sensitive sign of His life-giving power to create new life; also, this power penetrates our life and transforms it. According to Saint Dionysius, the pseudo-Areopagite, the baptismal bath becomes the “breast of inflation” because it restores the Father to the Son.
What happened to the Christians who converted at Pentecost?
Many were martyred in Colosseum. However, persecution of the new religious sect was sporadic, occasional, and like that directed against St. Mauritius, for example, was usually limited to fines, loss of property, and exclusion from public office.
Christians who accepted the doctrines St. Paul had developed on Pentecost congregated in Ephesus, Corinth, and even Rome. So it was this newly-emerging branch of Christians that bore the brunt of the persecution of Emperor Nero, who used this community as a scapegoat to blame for the great fire in Rome.
Also, the reasons for this increased tolerance are not hard to discover. In his epistles, Paul emphasized the duty which united all Christians: obeying the law’s authorities. This gave rise to helpful law-abiding congregations. Indeed, the persecutions after Nero’s death were almost exclusively directed against those who refused to worship the traditional gods of Rome in public.
- So, people were overcome with a sense of awe and reverence. The incredible power of the Holy Spirit was so evident that silence, a certain restraint, fell over hearts. Also, their souls were filled with wonder, seeing the apostles perform many miracles and signs. So “miracles” are synonymous with gifts, producing amazement. “Signs” were miracles meant to convey teaching. A miracle can be both a miracle and a sign.
- Although the Church had already begun its existence, the links with the Jewish temple were not immediately severed. Shedding the mortal garb of Judaism continued throughout the events in the book of Acts. And so believers continued to attend temple services where the Old Testament was read and expounded.
- So it is good to note the care with which the number of converts is recorded – almost three thousand souls. It would not hurt all the Lord’s ministers to show the same respect when they tally the totals of those who have “decided” for Christ.
The most remarkable element of the lives of the early Christians was their firm conviction that they were God’s people, people called and set apart by Him. The Christian church, in their thinking, was a divine, not a human, institution. But God founded and controlled it, and even the world was created because of it. After the crucifixion of Jesus, James the Just was the true leader of Jesus’ disciples, but neither he nor St. Peter is known as the “Father of Christianity.” So the title goes to Saul of Tarsus, the first apostle to describe Jesus as God. Saul of Tarsus is known as Saint Paul.
This conception… dominated the life of early Christians, both individually and socially. They saw themselves as separate from the rest of the world but bound together by mysterious ties. Their citizenship was in heaven, not on earth, and the principles of law by which they strove to guide themselves came from above. Their world was only temporary; their true life was in the future.
Thank you for joining us in understanding how the Christian Church was born. Also, take care of yourself! I wish you all the best! In the following trivia, you can test your biblical knowledge about the Birth of the Christian Church with the apostles’ help.
Quizlet about The Birthday of the Church
- Crossan, J. D. (1999). Birth of Christianity. A&C Black.
- Schaff, P. (1867). History of the Christian church (Vol. 3). C. Scribner.
- Kurien, P. (2004). Christian by birth or rebirth. Generation and difference in an Indian American Christian church. See Carnes & Yang, 2004, 160-81.
- Jones, W. (1812). History of the Waldenses: Connected with a Sketch of the Christian Church from the Birth of Christ to the Eighteenth Century. Author.
- Walker, W. (2014). History of the Christian church. Simon and Schuster.