Summary: What did Jesus have in mind when He said, "I will build My church"?

My Church or His Church?

Pastor Scott D. Snyder

Matthew 16:13-18


(A person’s possessions are an indication of the quality of that person—expound.) You don’t expect, at least you shouldn’t expect, to find a lottery ticket in the pocket of a true disciple of Christ. Or a bill from the liquor store sitting on their counter top at home.

Ownership and quality of character have a close relationship to each other. So when Jesus said, “…on this rock I will build My church…” He indicated its character by the use of the possessive pronoun.

How could Christ stand morally responsible for the bringing into existence of a spiritually inferior product? Think about this! Would a holy Christ build an unholy church? Would a merciful Christ produce an unmerciful church? Would a compassionate Christ build an uncompassionate church? Wouldn’t an evangelistic Christ produce an evangelistic church?


Can a person be born again, born of God, and not partake of the divine nature of God? Can we claim to be the products of Jesus’ concern for the redemption of mankind and then fail to show concern for others? You have all probably seen the signs that you can put on a door of a room that says, “Do Not Disturb.” Will a Christ who was so disturbed about the needs and condition of man produce a church, which can sleep soundly in the face of the vital, pressing needs of society?

What did Jesus have in mind when He said, “I will build My church”? He meant it to be a conquering, overcoming church, or else He would not have said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” In the light of this statement, what excuse does the church have for defeat?

Remember, we have these promises—“Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). “Greater things than these shall you do” (Jn. 14:12). The church was equipped to be completely victorious. There is little excuse for defeat at any point.

It would be inconsistent for an omnipotent God to produce a powerless, weak, failing church. It is inconsistent for a divine head [Jesus Christ] to be joined together to a sickly, diseased, helpless body. And the church is called the “body” of Christ. It is inconsistent to go forth in Jesus’ name to failure, to go forward in the Conqueror’s name to defeat.


The church is truly the church only when it reflects the character and spirit and power of Christ in its fight against evil.

a. Christ is holy. So then the church also must be holy!

b. Christ belongs completely to God. So then the church must belong to God alone!

c. Christ reveals a compassionate love for all mankind. The church then must also go out into the world with the story of redemption!

d. Christ gave Himself unselfishly for others. The church will become sick and die unless it does the same!

If the church has been lacking in victory and power, it is the fault of the church, not of Christ. The church was birthed to do battle against the powers of evil. It is brought out everywhere within scripture that victory is the outcome of such battles. If victory is not won, something is wrong with the church.

If we are supposed to be the light of the world, why does so much of the world still lie in darkness?

If we are supposed to be the salt of the earth, why has the salt lost its flavor? When will we learn that we find our greatest significance in service to God, in service to the church, and in service to mankind?


Is the church of today what Jesus had in mind when He said, “I will build My church”? We our in danger of making it our church instead of His church. And in many cases, it’s already happened! If it is His church, He must continue to make the rules governing it. When you and I change the rules or make them to suit us, it is mutiny against God and evidence of our lack of spiritual vision—evidence of our spiritual inadequacies. When we set up a human head for the church, which is replacing Christ as our head, we are guilty of treason against the government of God.

Christians today need a new vision of the true nature of the church. We need a new baptism of fire. Fire heats, purifies, and consumes. There is carelessness and absentmindedness in the church today, which threatens to cancel out what ought to be effective service for God.


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