Summary: The Church has been given the authority to bind all demonic spirits that keeps the people in bondage of any kind, and those that prevent people from seeing the gospel light towards their salvation
THE ADVANCING CHURCH
Study Text: Matthew 16: 13 – 19
- Jesus questioned His disciples concerning His identity:
a. He asked who others thought He was
b. He then asked who they thought He was
c. Peter responded: "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
d. Jesus commended Peter, stating that his confession of faith was based upon what the Father Himself had revealed
- Jesus then used this opportunity to speak of His church
a. He promised to build His church
b. He mentioned the foundation upon which it would be built
c. He described the ultimate victory of His church
d. He spoke of great authority that would be given
- In this passage, Jesus tells us a little about the character of the church He is going to build.
- First, He says that the church is to be built upon Himself. Jesus Himself is the foundation of the church. His death, shed blood and resurrection form the foundation upon which the church stands.
- Then, Jesus says His church is to be a militant church. He says that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Gates are not offense weapons, but they are defensive in nature.
- The church Jesus described was not a body of weak, oppressed people who were sitting around in fear waiting on the next attack of the devil. Instead, the church Jesus pictures is one that is on the move.
- They are active in the Lord's work and they are charging the very strongholds of Hell itself. They do not operate on fear, but on faith. Literally, the church Jesus came to found is a church that Satan and his kingdom cannot overpower.
- We shall discuss the topic under three sub-headings:
1. The Foundation of the Church
2. The Fortification of the Church
3. The Fantabulous Gift to the Church
1. The Foundation of the Church
- Every building has a foundation, the strength of which determine the stability and strength of the building.
- Then, if the Church is described as a building, then there must be a foundation.
- Jesus is the Rock upon which the Church is built. 1 Cor 3:11. The foundation of the Church has several implication:
1. The Strength of the Church
- The Church is built on the right, sure and solid foundation, hence, it is expected to stand the test of time.
2. The Guiding Principles of the Church
- The Church is to be guided by the principles of truth, love and righteousness, not just for a while, but as long as it exists.
3. The Mission of the Church
- The mission of the Church is to be a local assembly of believers, gathered together for the work of God: elevating the Saviour, evangelizing the sinner and edifying the saints
4. The Power of the Church
- The Church is expected to operate only through the power of the Holy Spirit in following the principles and fulfilling the mission. Acts 1: 8
5. The Future of the Church
- The Church has a future home in heaven, after faithful observation of the guiding principles and fulfilling the mission here on earth.
- All of the hardships, afflictions and heartbreaks of this life will soon be over for Christians, and we will be in the presence, provision and safety of our loving Saviour in Heaven (John 14:1-3).