Summary: God wants to bless His church so that Others will see his greatness. The Church God will bless has the proper foundation, the proper fromation, and perservering faithfulness.
Intro: Jesus as the most important question anyone can ever ask. Who do you say that I am? Peter who normally suffers from foot in mouth disease gets a chance to shine. As the spokesman of the disciples he stands up and says you are the Christ the Son of the living God.
Jesus not only tells Peter well done, He also tells the disciples this is How I will build my Church.
We know God is the master architect. He designed the entire universe and through Jesus the word spoke it all into existence. Because of Adam and eve and your and my sin God’s original design was demolished.
Jesus as the master builder tells us that He has plans for a church that will be around forever. “and the gates of hell will not overcome it.” It is a way of saying Death, Hell and the Devil will not be able to destroy my church. Death lost its sting in the resurrection, the Deavil lost His bite at the Cross, and Hell is not the eternal home of the redeemed.
Jesus says Upon this rock I will build my church. As God designed it Jesus is still in the process of building His Church. As anyone makes the same confession as Peter they are added to the building program called the Church.
So what type of foundation does this project have that will make it last forever?
I. The Church’s Foundation
A) The Profession of Jesus Christ as Savior, and Lord
Matthew 16.18 “upon this rock I will build my church”
1) Confusion about the “rock”
-- some would say that Peter is the rock.
We have to ask ourselves the question how would the hearers have understood what Jesus said. He was speaking to people familiar with symbols and pictures of the Old Testament
Deuteronomy 32.3-4 “For I proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice Righteous and upright is He.”
1 Samuel 2.2 “There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.”
2 Samuel 22.2 “He said, The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.”
1 Corinthians 10.4 “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.”
Jesus was speaking to Jews. In the Old testament the word rock was never used to speak figuratively of a man. It was always the used to speak symbolically of God.
Jesus came down from heaven clothed in human flesh suffered bled and died to become the foundation of our relationship with God.
Jesus is the reason we come together on Sunday. Church
Why speak of Him as a rock. A rock is unmoved by the winds and waves of adversity. A rock is not shaken by public opinion. A rock is not rattled by dislike. A rock stands in the force of winds and waves of life and so does our Rock.
He can be our only foundation because when we face the reality of life we need the real presence of God.
--That is why God’s church was never meant to be built on programs, or personalities.
It was and is always to be built on the person and work of Jesus Christ!!!
1 Corinthians 3.11 “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.”
Why do churches fail today? Not culturally relevant? Not enough programs for the people. Oh no I believe it is simply because of a faulty foundation.
A church that Is blessed by God will have no other foundation!!
B) The Preaching of the apostles
Ephesians 2.20 “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone.”
Revelation 21.14 “And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the lamb.”
It is because of the confession, teaching and sacrifice of the Apostles that we know who Jesus is!!
1) The proclamation of God’s Word
1 Corinthians 1.21 “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.”
a) -- God’s word is practical for us
1 Timothy 3.16 “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.”
b) – God’s word probes us
Hebrews 4.12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the hearts and intentions of the heart.”