The Church That Jesus Built
January 14, 2011
"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." Matt. 16:18 KJV
The word church is used 115 times in the Word of God. The word church comes from a Greek word (ekklesia) which means a called out assembly. Some have used this verse to say that the church was built on Peter. That would be a sad thing considering Peter denied the Lord three times. Peter denied the Lord three times. Peter was a human man, and though a great man of God he was fallable. The rock that Christ built his church on was Himself. The eternal rock of ages is the chief cornerstone and that stone is Christ. The first question I want to look at is when did the church begin?
One common belief is that it started on the day of Pentecost. This cannot be proved by one verse of scripture. The Bible plainly teaches that the church began during the earthly ministry of Christ. In our text verse Christ said he would build his church. Christ is the Founder and Rock of the church. We must use common sense and see He must have built it before Pentecost.
Those saved on Pentecost were added to the church (Acts 2:41). To be added to something it must already be in existence. Church discipline was practiced before Pentecost. Some say the church is outdated and has no use. The church still has a purpose and will till Christ comes in the clouds. The church has two main purposes. First the church is to preach the Gospel to the whole world. The gospel is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The subtitutionary death on the cross for the sins of mankind. The good news that Jesus Saves. Any church that adds anything else for salvation outside repentance and believing the gospel is not a church that Christ built. Secondly the church has a purpose to protect and keep pure the doctrines of grace. So much false doctrine is out there today, but I am glad that the church that Jesus built is still here today. The Lord's church can trace her roots all the way back to the apostles.
Jesus tells us that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. There is time in church history where the church was large and prosperous. Other times they were meeting in caves because of religious oppression. But one thing was always present, the pure doctrines of the Bible. So we see that Jesus built one kind of church and He promised to preserve it. Amen!