Summary: A hard look at the church. what it is and what it is not. We have to be what Jesus Christ defined as the church if we will make an impact on the world.
What about the church?
I want to talk about the church this morning. I want to talk about this church, Rosedale Church of the Nazarene. RNC for short, and I want to talk about the church universal (all churches). I started this on Wednesday during Bible study and I almost called every one of you this week because I felt like I was going to explode. I am praying that we will grab unto this principal this morning like never before. We need to see the church as Jesus saw the church. We need to stop playing church and be the church. People half in the door of the church, half heartedly serving God need to know that God is desiring for you to climb over what ever keeps you on the outside and enjoy the benefits of being a child of God.
Who do others say that I am?
Who do you say that I am?
(The truth that I am the Son of the living God) I will build my church and the gates of hades will not overcome it. He says that I will give you a binding ministry. Whatever you bind on Earth, will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven. I will give you the keys of the kingdom to do that And the gates of Hades will not stop it.
The most important question being asked: what is the world saying about Jesus? Who is Jesus to you? Until they know who Jesus is, they will continue to search but not find Him. Until you know who Jesus is, you will not be able to help someone on their journey. Until you yourself know where you are going and what you are to do. These are the foundations of the Church that Peter grasped unto in this verse.
Jesus builds the Church- “I will build my church”
That takes a lot of pressure off us. Off me (explain)
Jesus owns the church- “I will build my church. Everything we have belongs to Jesus, even the building that we are worshiping in.
The church is meant to grow - “I will build my church.”
In spite of the economy. In spite of weather people give what they are suppose to. In spite of the enemies of the church. In spite of denominational differences. I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
No outside force can stop Jesus from building the church.
The church Jesus builds is un-stoppable.
The church lives like we do not know how this will come out. People will be drawn into the church by the Spirit of God. Not by a dead dried up religion. By an active relationship with Christ the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being religious. He spent time with sinners because they knew they needed help, and He wanted to help them.
The church is un-stoppable when:
He builds it.
He owns it.
He plants it.
He is the commander -in chief.
He runs it. These are exciting days There are some that have turned their backs on God, but there is a awful lot that are diligently searching and desiring to have more than religion, more than a building to come to, they are looking for and hungry for a relationship with God. The church of Christ needs to raise up and be what God intended it to be. The people of God need to raise up and be what is intended by their calling of being a Christian. Step back and look a minute- most people don’t hate God- they don’t like the institution of church just being a place of rules. They don’t like some of God’s people. God is abstract, it is hard to trust someone you cannot see. The only Jesus they see is you and I. If we don’t get it right, they walk away from God. Jesus looked at Peter and said “Who do you say I am?” What would your answer be? What does your life say that Jesus is to you? He said you are the Son of the living God. Jesus acknowledges that was revealed to him by heaven. He didn’t get that revelation by man. It was directly sent from the Father. Jesus is the great shepherd, we are suppose to be his sheep. I want you to know as shepherd of this flock. Sheep Bite Some of the worse bites I’ve received have been from the sheep . The followers of Christ. And you have too.
Let me give you a working definition of the church from God’s word, and what it is not Start with what it is not- The church is not a building We worship here, it’s beautiful, it keeps us out of the elements, but it is not the church. The church is believers filled with the Spirit of God. That is why we can worship at the park, quietly by ourselves, or in a crowded stadium. We are the temple where the Spirit of God resides. We don’t come here for the Spirit of God to find us. We bring the Spirit of God in with us and together we worship God in the Spirit of worship.