April 16, 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).
Jesus is building His church on the confession of the Apostles that He is the Christ, the Son of the true and living God, and the Lord and Savior of God’s people. The ‘church’, those who are called out of the world and into the Kingdom of God, those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord because they believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead, these belong to Jesus. They are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). They are the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). They are the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:23-30; 2 Corinthians 11:2).
It is no accident that when Jesus said, “I will build My church” that He used the future tense ‘will build’. From the beginning of the ‘church’ on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, Jesus has been building His church, His assembly, His Kingdom on earth. The future tense of the verb ‘will build’ indicates He will continue to build His church. The point is one of certainty. His church will continue to exist in the earth until Jesus says otherwise because He is building His church.
“No matter how liberal, fanatical, ritualistic, apathetic, or apostate its outward adherents may be, and no matter how decadent the rest of the world may become, Christ will build His church. Therefore, no matter how oppressive and hopeless their outward circumstances may appear from a human perspective, God’s people belong to a cause that cannot fail” (John MacArthur).
Not only is the certainty of the church’s existence in the earth assured, the certainty that it is the church of Jesus Christ is likewise assured. The saints belong to Him. Every Christian belongs to Him. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
D.L. Moody (1837-1899) was a circuit riding preacher/evangelist. The story is told of him conducting and evangelistic crusade in an unnamed town. Many people made professions of faith in Jesus Christ. Moody left that town to preach in another place, then another, and another. A year or two passed when Moody revisited that unnamed town. As he rode into that town the town drunk recognized him and staggered toward him in a drunken stupor. “Mr. Moody, Mr. Moody. Do you know me? Do you recognize me? I’m one of your converts!” To which Moody responded, “You must be one of my converts because you certainly don’t belong to Jesus!”
It is not missionaries, evangelists, preachers, pastor, or teachers that build the church. The church belongs to Jesus. He is the one who builds His church through them.
“Thank You Jesus that we are possessed by one greater than ourselves. My joy is in knowing I belong to You and that the church I minister to belongs to You. May I do my best to let You build Your church as You see fit. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”