Jesus Built His Church
"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day" (Matthew 16:13-21, emp LS).
Jesus told his disciples that he was going to build HIS CHURCH. What is the "church" that Jesus said He would build? Did Jesus do what He set out to do? Is that church still in existence today? What does Christ's church do? How would we go about finding the Lord's church today? All these questions, and others, we will try to answer in our next few studies.
Many today do not use words in the same way that they were originally used in the New Testament. For this reason, man has come up with unscriptural practices, completely ignoring what the Word of God says. The word "church" is but one of many words that have been abused and misused throughout the centuries. If we are to be New Testament Christians, we MUST use Bible words as God spoke them, always looking to the New Testament (the Law of Jesus Christ) as our ONE and ONLY AUTHORITY in religion.
Paul says it this way, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Colossians 3:17) and "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (II Timothy 3:16-17).
Therefore, if we are to find out what the church is that Jesus promised to build in Matthew 16:18, then we must look to the Word of God for the answers. Next time - What does the term "church" mean?