Matthew 16:18, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be Peter and hear that Jesus was going to use you to build the most important thing on the planet? Jesus declared, to this rugged fisherman, that He was going to make him a living stone, to establish His “hell-conquering church” — what an honor!
The Greek word for church, “ekklesia,” wasn’t a new or special word during Jesus’ time, it was a common word that meant, “a gathering of people.” The word could refer to any political or religious gathering of the day. Jesus wasn’t coming up with a “new concept,” but rather a “new gathering” of world changers, history makers and chain breakers!
Why was Peter set apart from the rest of the disciples? Because, when Jesus asked them all, “Who do you say I am?” Only Peter answered correctly, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15-16). The reason Peter was chosen to be the first member of Jesus’ new church was because of his confession of faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Peter was able to hear the voice of the Father concerning Jesus’ identity and confess it clearly.
The reason Jesus promised to build the church was because it was God’s way of establishing His kingdom on earth. The church has received and preserved the Word of God in the Bible, trained up new disciples to preach the gospel around the world, performed the greatest acts of charity of all other organizations and, has been the pillar of truth in society regarding morality, science and democratic freedom (1 Timothy 3:15).
Allen Redpath said, “We need, men so possessed by the Spirit of God that God can think His thoughts through our minds, that He can plan His will through our actions, that He can direct His strategy of world evangelization through His Church.”
When you confessed Jesus as the Messiah, you became a part of the church of Jesus Christ, also known as the “Body of Christ,” and the “Bride of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:7 & Revelation 19:7). There is nothing more important to Jesus, on this earth, than His church establishing the kingdom of God. If you haven’t already, join a Bible believing church and ask God to build the church through you!
Are you committed to growing Christ’s church?
- Pray and commit yourself to a Bible believing church.
- Ask the church’s leadership how you can become a leader and help build the church.
- Go and do what Peter did and build Jesus’ church with new disciples.