Summary: A message to challenge God's people to return to the basics of what His Church is to be. Pastors please feel free to use, modify, exhort and expand on this message. Use these talking points to go the direction the Holy Spirit leads you.
Where is the Church
Sunday Morning, 01-12-14
Text: Matt 16:18
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The title of the message this morning is “Where is the Church” now some of you are starting to think your pastor has gone crazy again. I want to assure you this is not the case. Of course I know that our church is right here around us, still on the same street and that is true. That is not what I am asking though; I want to know where the church that was founded in Matt. 16 verse 18 has gone. Turn with me there and lets read our text for this morning…
I want to make clear that it isn’t Peter that I am talking about. To know we must look at verses 15 and 16. Listen to what it says…
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
You see Jesus was asking His disciples who they thought He was and Peter declares “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter got that knowledge from the Holy Ghost. From this seemingly small beginning the “Church” began to grow. At the start however it looked as though it was going to fail. The leader of the whole movement, Jesus was accused, sentenced, crucified and buried…done deal. At least that’s what the world and the Enemy believed; God had other ideas about His Son and His Church and they did not include a dead god being worshipped by a dying religion!
No, His Church continued to grow and grow as the Book of Acts bears witness.
Listen to what Acts 2:38-47 tells us…
Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Act 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Act 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Act 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
Act 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Act 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Did you get what was going on? Peter the one whom declared the rock or foundation on which Jesus’ church is going to be built continues to declare Jesus as the One who can forgive sin, exhorting them to save themselves from this untoward generation! Look what happened, first three thousand were added and then in verse 47 “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
From this the church continued to grow and spread the Gospel message to all parts or the known world! Under threat of jail, punishment, even death they still proclaimed Jesus Christ! The church grew so as to have the need of structure and order because God is not a God of confusion as the Word tells us in…
1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Because He is the God of order He has set in place certain positions or offices for the church as in…
1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
First the foundation the church…we are founded on the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that He forgives sin and is the Savior of the world. Secondly these positions, gifts and talents… all the church is and does flows from these. Without Christ we have no power, no authority and no strength.