Summary: What kind of a Church is the Lord building? What type of Church is it to be? There are three major things that the N.T. reveals concerning what the Church is to be. Tonight we want to look at one: The Church Militant and Victorious.
What kind of a Church is the Lord building? What type of Church is it to be? There are three major things that the N.T. reveals concerning what the Church is to be. Tonight we want to look at one: The Church Militant and Victorious.
The church in this passage is to be a church militant and victorious. This is what the church is to be in earth, as to its outward expressions, as far as the world is concerned and the kingdom of darkness.
The word “militant” means: (adj.) “fighting or warring. Having a combative character, aggressive, especially in service of a cause. N. “A fighting, warring or aggressive person or party.”
The word “victorious” means: being the winner in a contest or struggle.”
Let’s just note a few things tonight.
The church is built on the Rock, the foundation—Christ. Rock = firm, hard. If the church is built on anything else then it is on shaky ground. We can’t build it off of a personality or a doctrine or a feeling but it must be built upon Christ.
The church is built by Christ Himself, who is the Architect and Head. The church is not built upon a manual or a discipline. I know that there are times when we might possibly need a manual or discipline, but if it comes in conflict with the architect then we must ignore it and do what the architect and head man says.
The church is composed of called out and assembled ones. The church is made up of born again believers no matter what the color or nationality; whether you are rich or poor doesn’t matter, what matters is that you have truly accepted Christ as your savior.
The church militant is against the Gates of Hades. It is a church not “holding the fort” but “storming the forts” of darkness.
The gates are always symbolical of where the ancients held their meetings for counsel, business, amusement, etc., at their cities. They were to them what Law-Courts, Town Halls are for us today.
The Gates of Hades—conflict with the Kingdom of darkness, Genesis 3:15 – “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." The church, like “the woman” is at warfare and enmity with the serpent, the devil. Satan shall not prevail. The church shall prevail.
Genesis 22:17 - "Blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.” We are to possess the gates of the enemy, not just our physical enemies but also our spiritual enemies that try to destroy us.
Our Sunday school lesson this past Sunday let us know that we are to have the armour of God on to be victorious (Ephesians 6:10-20).
2 Corinthians 10:1-5 says, “(1) Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ-- who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. (2) But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. (3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (5) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God. Our Kingdom is not of this world system, hence we do not fight physically. The warfare is spiritual, with principalities & the powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits.
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Let’s notice the following keys in Scripture.
• The key of knowledge—Luke 11:52.
• The keys of Death & Hades—Revelation 1:18.
• The key of the bottomless pit—abyss—Revelation 9:1; 20:1.
• The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven—Matthew 16:19.
The key is always significant of power and authority; to open and shut doors, to let people in or lock them out; to lock or unlock that which is closed. Peter opened the door of faith to Jewry at Pentecost, and then to the Gentiles in Acts 10-11. The one who holds the keys holds authority of the Kingdom.
The church has a binding ministry. The church is to have power to bind those who oppose. Principalities, powers and wicked spirits have to be bound. FIRST bind the strong man, then spoil his house (Matthew 12:29; 13:30). The tares are bound into bundles first.