Summary: Message regarding Jesus’ building of His Church and how it will prevail.

The Power of Jesus’ Church

Matthew 16:13-20

February 18, 2007

When I was a guy about Lance’s age (10 years old, I was in Little League baseball in Eagle Butte.

I’d love to tell you that I was the best player on the team, and that my hitting and fielding were just awesome.

But the fact of the matter is that I was pretty lousy at baseball. I was so small I couldn’t swing the bat with any sort of authority whatsoever.

I was the easy out.

And I have a feeling that when my teammates saw me go into the game, they were less than thrilled.

I honestly don’t know if we won any games at all or if we won most. All I remember was striking out most of the time and hearing my teammates chew me out.

My point here is that I didn’t feel like I was part of a winning cause.

I think that a lot of people have either been part of something that had little or no effect in life or knew someone who has.

Part of a service club that spent most of its time talking and precious little time actually doing anything.

Or maybe a sports team like mine or worse yet, Charlie Brown’s baseball team that lost every single game.

It’s hard to motivated when you know you’re part of a losing cause, isn’t it.

But on the other hand, when you know you’re part of something big, something good, something special, then motivation comes easy, and you find yourself ready to work hard and do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Maybe YOUR service club actually puts feet to its words about making a difference, and so they really do.

Or your sports team is one that is generally successful.

Or your organization or business continues to grow to a point where it can have a positive impact in the community or industry.

When you can grasp those sorts of things, you can get excited about them.

In today’s Scripture passage, Jesus gives us some words about something worth getting excited about – His Church.

And His words about the Church should motivate us to get involved in a way that’s tangible and effective.

Matthew 16:13-20 (p. 694) –

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

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

15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17 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. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

We began looking at this passage a few weeks ago, but I want us to continue through it.

Three weeks ago we looked at how dangerous it is to listen to the world’s ideas about Jesus ideas, and I said that to get the truth about Jesus, you go to the Word, not the world.

Two weeks ago we discussed just what is meant that Jesus is the Christ. That Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, divine and not just human. The Savior who is the only access to God the Father.

And my point in that message was that Jesus doesn’t bend to our ideas about Him – we bend to His ideas about Him.

Next week we’re going to look at this whole issue of “binding and loosing” because without properly understanding that stuff, it can be taken and used improperly.

Today I want us to look at the fact that the church of Jesus Christ will prevail.

There is a lot of debate among conservative evangelical scholars about just what Jesus meant when He said, “Upon this rock I will build My church.”

Some feel that the “rock” is Peter himself as the main spokesman for the Church after Pentecost. And that he would be the leader through which Jesus would lay the foundation of the Church.

Others feel that Peter is not the rock, but that his testimony of Jesus as the Christ is the rock or foundation.

I grew up hearting that this meant that Peter was made the first Pope.

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