Summary: A Sermon that discusses the nature of the church

The Church.

In the world today there are many kinds of people.

There are many races, classess, occupations - languages and so on.

Among a myriad of distinctions that qualify people in different ways to belonging to one group or another there is a distinction of incredible importance.

MT 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

MT 16:14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

MT 16:15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

There are those who are part of the church that Jesus has built and those who are not.

This morning I would like us to think what is it God reveals to us about the church and secondly to ask what should we be doing about it. The first thing that is revealed about the church is that God is going to build the church on a rock called Peter. God chooses to use people to build the church. There are some things about Peter that reveal the character of the Church.

Peter was faulted - on one occasion Jesus rebuked him and Get behind me Satan - because Jesus was suggesting the easy way out - on another occasion Peter denied Jesus three times and broken hearted he wept tears of bitterness and grief. On another occasion after being filled with the spirit - we find Peter being rebuked by Paul for siding with the world instead of with the people of God -

if Peter is a type for the Christian church then we should not be surprised to find the church faulted. People in the church make mistakes they are human. I remember on one occasion being told I am a hypocrite - a hypocrite is someone who pretends they are something they are not.

I am a sinner you are - the truth is we are forgiven sinners - we do not try to sin but we do make mistakes it is part of the human condition and it is to people that Jesus trusts the church to.

We must allow people to make mistakes and we must allow ourselves to as well. Because that was the condition of Peter.

But we also need to remember that Peter responded to the call of God and gave it absolute priority over his life God’s call took priority - and so we find Peter being wonderfully used by God -

Just a representitive selection of events Peter is involved in was:-

MT 4:18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." AC 2:14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: AC 2:14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:

AC 2:36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

AC 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

AC 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."

AC 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

AC 3:6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

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