I Will Build My Church - II
April 18, 2021
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it (Matthew 16:18).
The word ‘build’ is oikodomeo. It means to construct, confirm, edify. The word ‘church’ is ekklesia. It means ‘the called-out ones’ and often refers to a local congregation, but sometimes it refers to the church universal - the Kingdom of Christ on earth and throughout the ages. As stated before, it is Jesus Christ who builds His church through faithful and committed Christians. It is Jesus Christ who builds His church - not a physical building, but a fellowship of believers. Worldly Christians want buildings, budgets, and broadcasting. Jesus wants spiritually mature believers regardless of building, budgets, and broadcasting.
Throughout the New Testament we have instructions on our attitudes and actions as Christians. It tells us how to be holy in character and righteous in conduct. It tells us how to pray, how to persevere in faith, how to share Jesus with others, how to worship, how to minister. The Scriptures also guide us in selecting those whom the Lord would have serving in His church. The Bible reminds us of the blessings that come when the right people lead us, and warns us of the consequences of selecting the wrong people to lead us. And yet, “the most sincere and diligent efforts to fulfill those commands and standards are useless apart from Christ’s own divine provision and control" (John MacArthur).
Jesus desires and uses the faithful work of those who belong to Him. It is through them that He builds His church, the church that He loves and for whom He gave Himself up . . . that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having not spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27).
We should not, therefore, stop working and serving the Lord as if the ministry of the Kingdom of Christ on earth (the church) has nothing to do with us nor can it grow and develop through our efforts. There must be a shift in attitude on our part that reflects the reality that the church belongs to Jesus, the church is built by Jesus, and the church is to glorify Jesus. Our part is to be F.A.T. - faithful, available, and teachable under the leadership of His Holy Spirit so that Jesus can build His church according to His plan and purpose - in and through us. (Thank you John).
“Lord Jesus, I ask that You continue to build Your church and that You will do so in Winton. Open our ears to hear, our eyes to see, our minds to understand, our hearts to love, our spirits to believe, and our hands to do what You desire to do in and through us to build Your church. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”