Summary: This sermon is an evangelistic message based on the founding of the church by Jesus Christ as He talked with His disciples at Caesarea Philippi.
When you’re going to build a house or similar structure, the first thing you get in mind is some design. You get a picture in mind and eventually put it on paper called a blueprint. Then you begin with a firm foundation upon which to build.
That’s exactly what God did when He created the world, made mankind and sent His one of a kind Son into the world. God had a divine design for the founding of His Church. He had a plan in hand, a design in mind. Therefore, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. And at this point Jesus ministry is moving right along. He is on mission with God and part of that mission is the establishment of the New Testament Church by Divine Design!
God has created a great church here at Calvary. Oh, there have been those tough times and difficult days in your history. But Calvary is re-building and overcoming. In fact, Findley Edge an old Southern Baptist educator once stated that “we must go deeper before we can go farther.” I suggest that we as Calvary Baptist Church must go deeper before we can go farther. To do this I want you to understand more about the nature and mission of the Church. So let’s look at the Divine Design of the Church this morning.
I. The Church Exists By Divine Revelation verses 13-17
A. Divine revelation was given to the disciples
At this point in His ministry, Jesus was moving to reveal more of who He was and why He came to His disciples. This section of Matthew’s gospel involves more discussion with the disciples than with outsiders. So as He moves to a more intimate relationship, Jesus asks “Who do men say that I, the Son of man am?” As He reveals more of the divine will, he wants to see where they are in their commitment to Him and how they understand Him. So they indicate that in verse 14. That’s followed by a more personal question, “But who do you say that I am?” To which Peter jumped in an answered in verse 16. . . Then Jesus answered indicating that God had revealed it to Peter.
B. The Church exist by divine revelation
The church of God and of Christ exist by revelation of the divine will of God. Jesus said, “flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you.” That is, no man nor human reasoning revealed this to you, but My Father. And the truth according to John 6:44 is you won’t even come to Christ unless God takes the initiative towards you, unless Jesus calls you, unless the Holy Spirit draws you. You can come and try and be, but unless and until God reveals His love and grace to you, you will continue to reject His Son Jesus Christ. To become a member of the church you must receive divine revelation. So listen to His voice, hear His call. Is He saying “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden” today? Secondly:
II. The Church Has A Divine Foundation verse 18
A.The divine foundation of the church is Jesus Christ
The church is built upon a rock of which Jesus is the chief cornerstone. In the Old Testament rock always refers to deity or to God. In verse 18 Jesus says, “And I say unto you, that you are Peter” which word in Greek is petros meaning rock, a pebble, a little stone. Then He says, “and upon this rock” which word is petra meaning rock, a ledge rock, a boulder, a foundation stone; “I will build My church.”
Now many believe that Peter is the foundation of the Church. Others believe that people with faith like Peter’s is the foundation of the Church. Still others believe that Jesus meant people who make the profession that Peter made and I don’t have much of a problem with that. However, personally I believe that Jesus was pointing to Himself when He made that statement and He literally said “I will build of Me the Church.” Therefore, Jesus Himself is the divine foundation of the Church.
B. Why Are You A Member Of The Church?
My question to you this morning is, Why are you a member of Calvary Baptist Church? Is it because of your mother or father, your family? Is it because this is the only church you have ever known? Or is it because of your personal relationship with Jesus Christ? You are not a part of Jesus if you don’t have Him in your heart. And the truth is God wants you to know that you are a part of Him according to I John 5:11-13 . . . Thirdly,
III. The Church Has A Divine Mission verses 18b-19