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Summary: It is indeed a fact that Christ built the church. That is undeniable in its biblical and spiritual premise. However, when considering this subject in a contemporary prism, I feel it necessary to make a comparison through an illustration of modern home

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EVANGELIST HERMAN E. WESLEY III

The Church That Was Built By Christ

Matthew 16:13-18; Psalm 127:1

PRELIMINARIES

I think it necessary that when we come together for functions such as this that we spend time sharing lessons that will have a meaningful impact on our ministries and on our service. These types of gatherings should be opportunities for us to refresh, or strengthen ourselves and to gain insight in areas where we can become more effective and more successful in our presentations of the spirit and the purpose of the Christ. To this end, our goal tonight is to share a message that will be challenging, reflective and instructional as we all seek to better equip ourselves for meaningful Ministry in our separate and distinct locales. The subject given to me tonight comes from Matthew 16, vs. 13-18, and the 127th division of Psalms, verse one.

THE CHURCH THAT WAS BUILT BY CHRIST

INTRODUCTION

It is indeed a fact that Christ built the church. That is undeniable in its biblical and spiritual premise. However, when considering this subject in a contemporary prism, I feel it necessary to make a comparison through an illustration of modern homebuilding. It is not uncommon, in our vernacular, to state that we are building a house, when in actuality we may have designed the structure, we may have determined and approved the specifications...we may have even decided the color of the carpet and the type of wallpaper for various rooms throughout the house, but in all honesty, we say we are building a house, but we have actually contracted the labor and the finalization of the project to somebody else. It becomes their responsibility to adhere to our specifications, if it is indeed our house. There is a great amount of responsibility placed on the contractor to do the job right. In light of this illustration, I think it necessary to talk about the church built by Christ, contrasting it to what we may have today, to see if the two mesh together when it comes to the faithful execution of Christ’s blueprint.

Psalm 127:1

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:

except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

The “a” section of this verse is our first focus, however, being true to the text and its context, it is talking about the home. Hence, we are making a secondary application with this timeless truth. Whether it is the home-or the church-if Christ is not the builder, you’re wasting your time!

Now, first of all, I think we need to spend some time...

I. UNDERSTANDING THE AUTHORITY OF THE BUILDER.

A. Because He is the owner, it is His right to set the specifications.

The church belongs to Christ, because He purchased it with His own blood

(Acts 20:28). Since He has ownership, it is altogether fitting and proper that Christ and Christ alone set forth the specifications for His Church. This is why we don’t submit to manuals and man-made doctrine books and human creeds. He determines, in the church He built, how we come to receive redemption, the terms of entrance, the methodology of worship, the reception of the Holy Spirit.

B. Because He is the Chief Architect, it is His right to determine the

plans and the purposes associated with His Church.

He sets forth the plans for salvation, for restoration, for forgiveness, for growth, for leadership, for evangelism, for development. You may ask, where does He set forth these plans, but the answer comes back, “He sets them forth in His Word!”

2 Tim. 3:16

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

C. Because He is the Primary Resident, it is His right, and expectation, to be welcome in His own house.

We fully understand, the audience here tonight, that the word “church” has at least two modern connotations. One connotation addresses the people of God, the called out, the greek “ekklesia”. The people who have been grafted into the family of God, and, through obedience in faith and baptism, have made a free-will decision to be governed by God’s Word, filled with God’s presence, and moved by God’s mandate.

The second modern connotation addresses bricks and mortar, steeples and pews, pulpits and stained glass, as it were. In my own humble estimation, having been associated with the church of our Lord for 47 years, and having been a Gospel preacher for 31 years, having been up and having been down, I would suggest that while we have become experts at erecting physical structures to the glory of God, somewhere down the line, the quality of the spiritual structure has been compromised.

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