“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” – Matthew 16:13
LIGHT FOR NOW: You and I are the church.
What did Jesus mean when he said I will build my church? Firstly, note the pronoun used: ‘ I will’ and ‘my church’. Meaning the building of the church, his church will be Jesus’ personal responsibility. He alone will be committed to do it. He will not need help from construction engineers to help or aid him carry what him alone has committed himself to carry out. What did the building of the church mean? The word, ‘build’ used in the text from its root word implies to establish. Jesus is saying I will establish my church. This obviously will not be a physical building. So what did he mean by the word church? The word’church’ was translated from the Greek word ‘ekklesia’ which implies the called out ones; it speaks of people. Who are these people to be called out by Jesus? They are the believers. So the churches fundamentally are the called out ones. The believers are the church and the gathering of the believers in a particular location (structures) is the gathering of the church. It is not the physical building that makes a church; it is the people that gather there that make it a church.
This statement, ‘I will build my church’ got fulfilled? Jesus further said ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. The phrase ‘gate of hell’ implies the authority of death. An understanding of the phrase now lets us see that he will die, but death will not prevail against it. The question isprevail against what? Against his resurrection.Jesus was saying I will build my church and the gate of death will not stop my resurrection. That is, the grave will not keep him captive. The church which is the believers; the body of Christ and the gathering of believers was established upon his resurrection and the phrase ‘I will build my church’ which was a futuristic tense was fulfilled when Jesus arose. Meaning the building of the church is no more futuristic. Jesus will not build His church; he has already built his church when he rose from the dead. The building of the church is not an answer to a prayer, neither is it a prayer point. It is what Jesus did when he rose from the dead. Paul in Colossians 1:18 explains this “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have preeminence”. Thus, the church is the body of Christ. Jesus is the head and we are the dwelling place of God; the habitation of God and the eternal home of God. Hallelujah!!!
INSTRUCTION: The building of the church is not a prayer point. Christ built his church and we are the church; we are his building.
PRAYER: Thank you father for making me your dwelling place and eternal home. You live in me and I live in you, in Jesus Name. Amen.
QUOTE: The church is not a building; the church is a movement of believers.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 16; EVENING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 1