And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47b)
Why The Church Is Important
It was near Caesarea Philippi in the final year of the ministry of Jesus, the Lord promised to build His church. He asked the disciples whom men said that He was and the answers varied from John the Baptist, to Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. Jesus asked them who they thought He was and Peter declared Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. The foundation of the ministry of Jesus was to declare Himself to be the Savior of the world, to bring all men to the Father, and to bear the sins of humanity. His work was drawing to a close and in less than a year, Jesus would suffer the cruel agony of the cross. It was at that time Jesus directed His attention to speak of something that would happen after He returned to the Father. The church of Christ would be established.
Ten days after the ascension of Jesus to the Father, the apostles were gathered in the city of Jerusalem when they were endued with power from the Holy Spirit. This was in fulfillment of the words of Jesus that they were to remain in Jerusalem and from the city of David, the gospel would be proclaimed throughout the world. As the twelve apostles were given the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the multitudes gathered together to hear the Galileans preach the redeeming message of Jesus Christ. Peter spoke up to explain what was happening as many were puzzled, amazed, and some scoffed. He showed from the prophet Joel that the coming of the Spirit was God’s eternal plan and that the name of Jesus was to be proclaimed that day as the Son of God. Peter convicted many that Jesus was the Christ and the man they killed nearly seven weeks earlier was the Messiah.
Out of the multitude of devout men gathered from every nation under heaven, three thousand heeded the word of God and were baptized for the remission of sins. The long-promised kingdom had come to reality and the age of the New Testament church had begun. It was a day of glory and praise for the grace of God to offer sinful men the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. Redemption was found in the waters of baptism. Luke records that God added to the church those who were being saved. These are those who were baptized for the remission of sins. The church and redemption are eternally connected.
Many in the religious world decry the importance of the church. If the church is not essential, why did God add the saved to the church? The church is essential because that is where the saved are. Jesus promised to build His church and it is in the church the redeemed are added. The church is the grace of God as the ark was grace to Noah. It mattered whether Noah and his family were in the ark when the flood came. When the judgment day comes, only those in the church will be saved. All others who are outside will perish.