Summary: Jesus promised to build His church, but we often get in His way. Want to know how to work in partnership w/ Jesus so that He can do His job of building the church?

Letting Jesus Build His Church

Matthew 16:13-20

After Caesarea Phillipi, Jesus heads to Jerusalem for the cross. What did the disciples need to understand before this could happen?

They needed to know who Jesus was.

The needed to know . . .


There is no other hope for the world

Messiah or “Christ”

They were thinking about a kingly figure to triumph militarily over the Romans, but God had a different plan.

Caesarea Philippi: known for Baal, Pan, Caesar worship, so Peter’s acknowledgement of Jesus as the Messiah take on new meaning when seen in this context.


There is no revelation without Him


There is no other foundation

1st occurrence of the word church

Was Jesus building the church upon Peter?

Yes and No

You are petros (small stone) and upon this petra (bedrock) I will build my church.

Petros: Jesus would build the church on the same stability that Peter’s name symbolized.

1 Corinthians 3:11

Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ.

Powers of Hell or “Gates of Hades” mean the realm of the dead.

Gates: essential to security & might of a city.

Place of combined power/wisdom (elders of the city often conducted business and civic dealings at the city gate).

Combined forces of death & Satan will not overcome the church b/c of our foundation.

Satan has no defense against the truth.

Authority to admit entrance into kingdom contrast with the religious leaders who refused to let others in and would not enter themselves.

Key given to all believers to open or interpret scripture.

Peter opens door to Jews (Acts 2), Samaritans (Acts 8), and Gentiles (Acts 10).

Binding/loosing is acting in accordance w/ principles and purposes of heaven. “On earth as it is in heaven” so says the Lord’s Prayer.


Not allowed the disciples to share “secret” of Messiah with others.

• Perhaps b/c the people wanted to make him king.

• Perhaps b/c the disciples didn’t fully understand Jesus’ mission until after his resurrection.

Are we willing to allow Jesus to build into our lives?

Are we willing to allow Jesus to build our church?

How do we Let Jesus Build His Church?


Who do people around you say Jesus is?

He is your Messiah; Savior.

Do you remember from what He saved you?

Peter went from fishing to walking on the water and fishing for people.

He is building into your life. Do you see it?

He is a builder of the church; not us.

Apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:4).

More than anything, Jesus wants us to recognize Him.


Even though we recognize Jesus as Lord, doesn’t mean we quit seeking revelation.

2 Peter 1:5, “. . . giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge . . .”

In what areas does Jesus want to build on what you already know?

Jesus built on Peter’s confession.

On your confession, God will build His church

God is going to build this church on the revelations that He gives us. We have to listen.

We often want to talk to God, but seldom want to listen.

Samuel: speak for your servant hears.


Gates of Hell cannot stop us.

We have the keys to the kingdom (lock and unlock).

What does God want this church to lock and unlock?

For your own life, God has something for you to lock and unlock.

Questions & Answer

Why do you think Jesus asked them what others were saying about Him?

How does what people think about Jesus affect us?

Was this the first time someone recognized Jesus as the Messiah?

“You did not learn it from any human being.” Does this negate the example/testimony of believers?

What do you think God is revealing to our church through the experience of the past number of months? (I will share one next Sunday afternoon).

“Be still and know that I am God.”

In what ways do you see Jesus building His church at Cornerstone? In the local Christian community? Worldwide?

In what ways do you envision God using our church in the near future? How do you envision God using you?

LIFE_Link Questions

In Matthew 16:17, Jesus calls Simon Peter blessed b/c God revealed Himself to Peter. In what ways do you feel blessed b/c of God’s revelations to you recently?

What do you think God is revealing to our church through the experience of the past number of months?

What does it mean to you personally when Jesus says, “I will build my church.”?

In what ways do you see Jesus building His church at Cornerstone? In the local Christian community? Worldwide?

What does it do to your confidence to hear that the powers of Hell cannot conquer Jesus church? What does it mean to you personally?

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