Summary: A message about the church and how Christ has given us power to overcome the enemy.
Title: The Power of the Church
Theme: To show the power the Christ has given the Church.
Text: Matthew 16:13 - 19
Over the last few week we have been looking at what happens when the church is the church. As we learned from Matthew 21 Jesus went into the temple and He cleansed it. Then right after this the scriptures says,
Matthew 21:12-14 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.' " 14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
This to me is a description of the church. When we clean the clutter of the church and see what God has us to do then we become a powerful church.
Listen to what Jesus said about the vitality of the church in Matthew 16:13-19
The Gates of Hell
Matthew 16:13-19 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" (14) So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." (15) He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" (16) Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
We looked at this passage back in February. We established a few things as we looked at a lesson that Jesus was teaching his disciples. 1) People view Jesus in different ways. Some say he is just a great prophet, some say the greatest of prophets, others say a revivalists and finally a prophet.
Yet the most important question to answer is not what others think of Jesus but what do we think.
(17) Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (18) And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
In Defense of the Church - The Gates of Hell
I was studying this passage once again last week. I began to pray and ask the Lord what does this mean. I was trying to get my head wrapped around this idea of the "gates of hell". What is the big deal. I know that gates represent entrance and authority.
Yet I had a vision of something different. The Lord showed me that the enemy surrounds the church with gates all around. What he wants to do is keep us from moving forward for his kingdom.
This week as I was meditating and studying on this passage I had another thought about these gates. The first question I asked is why does hell have gates. If gates are used to 1) keep things in 2) keep things out then there must be something that hell is trying to keep in and keep out. I believe this is the church.
Hell doesn't mind keeping people blinded. Hell doesn't mind keeping people bound up. Hell doesn't want the church to wake up to its potential and power.