Summary: The Church’s has but one foundation – Jesus Christ. The building of it belongs to Him – not us. As its members, we are to be engaged as instruments to build the church.
Except the Lord Build
A certain congregation was about to erect a new church edifice. The building committee, in consecutive meetings passed the following resolutions:
1. We shall build a new church
2. The new building is to be located on the site of the old one.
3. The material in the old building is to be used in the new one.
4. We shall continue to use the old building until the new one is completed.
Well, I don’t think that they thought that plan out very well. - copied
What does it take to build a church – not a church building but a church? All of our efforts are futile if we do not realize three basic truths. The Church’s has but one foundation – Jesus Christ. The building of it belongs to Him – not us. As its members, we are to be engaged as instruments to build the church.
I. The foundation of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ
A. The church is not and was not built upon a man. Christ is the builder or founder of the New Testament church. But not only is Christ the founder of the church, He is also the foundation of the church.
B. Matthew 16:18 “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.”
C. "...you are Peter (ðÝôñïò, petros) and upon this rock (ðÝôñá, petra) I will build My church..."
D. 1 Peter 2:5-7 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 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. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone (petra) which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.”
E. Ephesians 2:19-20 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”
F. 1 Corinthians 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”
G. The only foundation is Jesus. The only rock of truth is Jesus Christ and we, as his redeemed, need to keep our eyes fixed on Him.
H. Christ founded the church to be:
1. A place where God is glorified instead of man. He alone is to have preeminence in the church. – Colossians 1:18
2. A place where the Word of God is magnified. Where the Word of God is the rule of faith and conduct for the body of believers. - 2 Tim. 3:16
3. A place where the preaching of the Word is loved and heeded.
4. A place where sinners are loved and evangelized. The church is to be a “hospital for sinners” not a “rest home for the saints.”
5. A place where families are unified and strengthened. Strong families make for strong churches which make for a strong nation.
6. A place where lives are built up in the faith and made useful in the Lord’s Service. Sunday School is important! Youth Meetings are important! Preaching on Sunday mornings, Sunday Night Bible studies, and Wednesday nights are important!
7. A place where sin is hated and holiness is exalted. The church is not to be Six Flags or Cedar Point! It’s God’s House!
8. A place where apostasy or false teaching is exposed and liberalism is rejected. A place where the “faith once delivered” is contended for.
9. A place where unity is prevalent and encouragement is offered. The church is family, fellow servants of Christ, Co-laborers!
10. A place above all things, God is both preeminent and pleased - adapted
II. The building of the church belongs to the Lord
A. Psalm 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”
B. In as much as the church does not belong to the pastor or the body of members, but to God, who purchased it with the blood of Jesus, we must seek Him in determining every course of action the church takes.
C. God is the Architect and the General Contractor of the church. Note that Christ said to Peter, “I will build My church”. We are to follow his instruction explicitly.
D. If we are to be used by Christ as He build’s His church we must spend time on our knees. A church is never more like the New Testament church than when it is praying.