Summary: What is the Church? Why is it so important to attend? Can God use me if I just stay home?
Matthew 16:15-20 (KJV) He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 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. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
(What is the Church? Why is it so important to attend? Can God use me if I just stay home?...)
I. A Very Coveted Relationship with the Father
Understand that in vs. 20 Jesus “charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ”
There are some things God makes His children privy to
that the world does not need to hear us talk about
because they will not understand
It’s not that anything secretive is going on
It all has to do with relationships
You don’t tell everyone you know what is happening at your home do you?
(oh yeah, I forgot about Facebook)…
We have a Father-Child relationship with God
He loves to spend time with us
And that does not make sense to the world
So, God uses the Church to promote His unique relationship with us.
With that in mind,
Vs. 15, Jesus is concerned what we think, “But whom say ye that I am?”
Again, do you see how God is concerned with our relationship with Him?
He loves to know what you think
Because what you think, determines how you act.
And how you act determines what kind of relationship you have with the Father
And what you think, determines how God uses you in the Kingdom of God
Jesus told Peter in Vs. 17, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
This is how Prophets, Teachers and Preachers are formed in God’s Kingdom
If you want to be great in the Kingdom you need to train you spirit to hear the voice of God
John 10:27 (KJV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
This is accomplished through the Holy Spirit, by reading the Word, Prayer and being “Part of the Flock”…
I know that the Kingdom of God is more than our congregation.
We are a “Flock” spread throughout the world by God’s direction:
Matthew 28:19 (KJV) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
II. A Very Coveted Relationship with Each Other
When Jesus saved you,
He knew something that you were about to find out:
“You cannot live this new life in isolation.
You need the family of God.”
They hold onto you,
you hold onto them.
They instruct and nurture you;
you turn around and do the same.
This cooperation between you and God has been God’s plan from early on.
Vs. 18, “and upon this rock I will build my church”
It’s His, and He builds it.
In other words, It’s a God thing…not a YOU-thing
God is doing the building
God is bringing us together in order to make us strong
God is uniquely teaching us in order to make us think
God is speaking to us in order for us to prophecy & operate in the spirit
God has given us spiritual insights that the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. (i.e., The Church)
God does all this because we need His leadership and direction
The church-leader who would run the Lord’s church “for Him” is asking for big trouble.
God needs your obedience not your talent.
He gave us talent to do things and what God gives He can also take away.
But obedience is something YOU give to God
And it’s something that God blesses
In the same understanding
The follower of Christ who claims to be able to live for Christ better,
without the church is insulting to God.