Jesus Builds his Church
Jesus will build his church
Last week we learned that flesh and blood did not reveal to Peter who Jesus Christ is but Jesus’ Father who is in heaven. Please read Matthew 16:13-20. Jesus tells Peter and the disciples that he will use them to build his church and that death will not be able to overcome it. Jesus will use his disciples as the foundation to build his church on discipleship and evangelism with Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. The Apostle Paul writes to the Ephesian believers that they are members of God’s household built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone. (Eph. 2:19-20) Jesus used his disciples then and uses his disciples today to build the church. He is the one who builds his church the way he wants to. Sometimes as pastors we are so interested in building our kingdom instead of Jesus’ kingdom that the church suffers. He uses those disciples who are obedient to him. As we obey the great commission, put into practice what his word teaches us as he builds his church. Notice that when we read the book of Acts, Jesus used Peter on the day of Pentecost to preach to the Jews in Jerusalem. Jesus used Peter and John in Acts 8 to confirm God’s work among the Samaritans. Again, it was Peter that Jesus used to take the message to the Gentiles in Acts 10. Even today Jesus uses his disciples to accomplish his plans and purposes. Jesus gave Peter and the disciples the authority to teach and to govern the church that he was building. He gives the keys to Peter and the disciples so that they can let people enter the kingdom of heaven. Unlike the religious leaders of their day who didn’t enter the kingdom of heaven they didn’t let others enter either. This authority to let people into heaven has been passed down to each disciple. You as a disciple of Jesus Christ have received the authority from him to go and make disciples by teaching people to obey his commands. The question becomes “am I obeying the commands of God myself so that other will see and follow my example?” You have to ask this of yourself, don’t just leave it up to the Sunday School teacher and the preacher. He also gave his disciples the ability to govern the church that he was building. The early church practiced church discipline as we read in the book of Acts. We read about church discipline with Anaias and Sapphira, Simeon the Magician who thought that the Holy Spirit could be bought. Jesus’ taught church discipline in Matthew 18 and Paul expounded on it and practiced it in the early church. Church discipline is seldom practiced today because we don’t want to take the sin out of life however when we deal with our sin, we can clearly see how to help others take the sin out of their lives.