Upon This Rock
When the Lord Jesus gave us his teachings concerning his church detailing its initiation and importance, by what he had to say becomes of utmost importance to the sincere, obedient believer. Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). The Lord, the Rock of all Ages, is in the building business of his church, on HIMSELF and of HIMSELF. The church, being the “ekklesia” (called out) believers who gather as an assembly of the body of Christ is God’s building project. God has placed a most glorious emphasis on the local church, for HIS church to be in the proclamation business of HIS Word, to be in the viability of his life, in the ministry of his teachings, in fellowship of his Spirit, in evangelism of his world, and in the edification of his believers. The Apostle Paul writes to the church at Ephesus and tells them of the Lord’s importance of the church: “Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). The purchase price was “with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). If you are born again of the Spirit of God, you are his purchased possession, and Christ lives within you; however, “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9). With the Spirit of HIS life, comes his love for you and in you, as well as his love for the church (the fellowship of believers). His church is comprised of born-again believers, so gathered: “So, we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:5). “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (I Corinthians 12:27). As Christ said “I will build my church” and as “HE loved the church and gave himself for it” may Christ who lives within us also move us with the same building ideals, and the same love for HIS CHURCH. Let’s be built up in him and then BUILD with him. “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).
Yes, the Lord will build HIS CHURCH, and we with him and for him and his glory. It’s been said, the church that we may desire to have built just may not be the church that God is interested in building. The church that the Lord is building is built on the written Word as well as the LIVING WORD, Christ himself: “the Word was God” and “in him was life” (John 1:1, 4). He is the foundational Rock, “for other foundation can no may lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” ( Corinthians 3:11). Life comes to the church with the evangelism of the lost through the life-giving message of the gospel: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel” (Matthew 28:19). In that gospel proclaimed message is “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son (that) cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7). It’s repentant belief in the life-giving Savior who shed his life-cleansing blood that gives us the new birth (John 3:3), enabling the born-again believer to be part of the church. His Holy Spirit then gives us life-giving fellowship with the One who gave himself for the church. A Bible-believing church is a Bible centered church which has the commission to “Preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2), for God “hath in due times manifested his word through preaching” (Titus 1:3). As Jesus told Peter (Petros “small stone”), “upon this rock (Petra “large ROCK” - Jesus himself) I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). So, the church is all about the Lord, his Word, his building project (the believer growing in him), our lives in a living relationship with HIM regarding what a church should be. A. W. Tozer makes a very important statement that says it like it is: “I don’t want the world to define God for me, (or for that matter, the church) or my fleshly mind. I want the Holy Spirit to reveal God to me through His Word.” Concerning what the Bible does say concerning “Upon this Rock, I will build my church” his message is clear: “And unto church … write: these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness” (Revelation 3:14). Oh, yes, HE IS THE FINAL AMEN; let Jesus be your final Amen concerning HIS CHURCH, his love for HIS CHURCH, his Word proclaimed in HIS CHURCH, and his Spirit pulsating our love for the same: HIS CHURCH.