We made it, we made it to the final book, The Church, and I am super pumped about it.
How many love the church? I love the church. The Church as a whole or the local assembly. I love it!
So, here's what we are going to talk about.
Who is the church?
We'll also address the;
Are you a member of the church? How do you know?
What is the church?
These are all great answers, but to know who's a part of the church, we must first start at the foundation.
The church is built on what foundation? All things must start at the foundation, right?
In short, the answer is Jesus, but let's see what that means.
The most important thing, or the very root, must be established and we can read from the following verse, the foundation of the church is upon the Rock.
13 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?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 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.
18 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.Matthew 16:13-18 (KJV)
Praise the Lord!
Let's break down this scripture.
The gates of hell, meaning the plots and stratagems and machinations of the enemy of the church, the devil.
Any power of darkness will not be able to overcome it.
Praise the Lord for that!
If you are built on this Rock, the devil and whatever he throws at this Rock will not be able to overcome it.
It will not wash away, it will not be defeated, it will not, ever, diminish.
Praise the Lord!
So, you're a winner! You're a winner if you're built on this Rock.
Therefore, if something is not built on this Rock, is it not the church? Yes!
Here's some fun examples.
Which one do you think is on the Rock? (If we're taking "the Rock" literally)
It's very obvious the winds of adversity will not prevail against this house on the left.
So when the winds of adversity come and the last day falling away and evil runs rampant, only those upon the Rock will survive.
The house on the right may not look like that now, but the winds will come and this is what is going to happen.
I have another example.
Which church is built on the Rock?
You can't tell, right?
You can't tell which one is built on the Rock.
They both look the same.
They both have a cross on the front door. But you can't tell just by looking at it. One's built on the Rock. One is on a sure foundation.
One is going to stand against the gates of hell and the other is not.
Here's another example.
Which ones on the Rock?
We have to interview each of them and see if they are baptized in Jesus' name and filled with the Holy Ghost, right?
If we strictly look at the comparing the size of each group, the ones on the left are built on the Rock because few there be that find it.
Wide and broad is the way leading to destruction, right?
We look at this picture and it's actually kind of sad, right? Therefore, our prayer and mission in life is to spread the message of Jesus Christ to all, despite knowing there are "few" that will accept it.
That's a lot of churches. How many are built on that Sure foundation?
Remember, we must start at the foundation.
Only those churches built on the Rock are "the church" and will stand the gates of hell.
This is about as many as Google will show when you search churches.
Now, when we refer to "the church", I can refer to the church as a whole across the entire world, the body of Christ or we can refer to the church as a local assembly within the body of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:8 (KJV)
What if you found a local church that was built upon the Rock? It would be fantastic!
If you have found such a church, hang on to it!
That is the best thing you can find, other than Jesus Himself.
You are privileged and blessed in so much that you have found a local assembly that's a part of the body of Christ that is built upon that Sure foundation. The Rock (we're going to get into what that Rock is soon).
You, nor I, want to be washed away.
I don't want the gates of hell to prevail against me.
So, hang on to that church.
A church on the Rock is like the pearl of great price. When I find that church that stands on that Rock and preaches that Rock, then I found something precious, something of great value.
Do you think you've found it?
I know this, The Master's House is built on the Rock!
I can not express how amazingly wonderful it is to be a part of a local assembly that stands upon that Rock.
I shouldn't take it for granted.
I cannot cherish it enough.
Churches may all look the same. They may all have a cross out front, but they're not all the same.
So let's answer this question, what is the Rock?
Peter was talking to Jesus and says, "...thou art the Christ and the living God." Jesus replied and said, "Upon this rock will I build my church."
So, Peter, are you yourself the Rock?
Or is Peter's statement the Rock?
Let's see if Peter was right. Let's see if his statement correlates with all the rest of the scriptures, right?
We need to look at all scripture because scripture is meant to be understood, line upon line, precept upon precept here a little there a little. (Isa 28:10)
There's no one verse that's holds at a higher truth than another verse.
Psalm 118:21-23 (KJV)
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
Acts 4:10-12 (KJV)
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Ephesians 2:20-22 (KJV)
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
It's safe to conclude that it is not Peter, himself, but it is Peter's statement:
Peter calling Jesus, the Christ, means that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah spoken about in scripture.
So, therefore, the church (the only church) is built on the revelation of who Jesus is.
The church (local assembly) that is built upon this, shall never fail. It will not crumble at the attacks of the adversary.
The interpretation corresponds with other scriptures...
Isaiah 28:16 (KJV)
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
1 Corinthians 3:11 (KJV)
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:6 (KJV)
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
Are you founded upon the Rock, Christ Jesus?
What have we missed? Comment below if you would like to share more.