Faithlife Sermons

I will build my church!

Shifting Focus: From Membership to Discipleship  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Welcome
Visitor’s connection card and bulletin
Members’ meeting
Clean-up Saturday
Scripture reading:
Matthew 16:13–28 ESV
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
What a powerful portion of Scripture! Worth your study and meditation.
: 13-
Who do you say I am? Peter comes up with the right answer.
Jesus’s predicting His death and resurrection
keys of the kingdom
Jesus’s predicting His death and resurrection
Discipleship - taking up your cross and following Jesus.
but I’d like to use as my text
Text:
18. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Prayer
Intro.
What is the church? The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.”
How do you see the church? Many see the church as a place of religious sentiments, soul-soothing music, people dressed up in their Sunday best, making nice conversation after the service. A place of piety, passivity and tranquility.
Who do you says I am? Peter comes up with the right answer.
When you attend church, you would have done your religious duty and it helps to make you a decent person and good citizen.
I will build my church
“Be quiet in church. You don’t want to disturb anyone who is sleeping.”
keys of the kingdom
Jesus’s predicting His death and resurrection
But from this portion of Scripture, Jesus paints a different picture. A place of
Discipleship - taking up your cross and following Jesus.
Divine revelation
Active development of a heavenly force
Intense spiritual warfare
Power, authority and dominion is waged over the world system
Men and women sacrifice themselves for Him
people lay down their lives for a greater cause, a greater eternal purpose.
As we continue this series, Shifting Focus
Slide: Shifting Focus
Today - the church itself.
Church- def.
I will build my church.
This church will thrive.
Four reasons why the church will thrive.

(1) Our church belongs to Jesus.

I - Jesus, My church.
The church is God’s, His divine institution on the earth.
It is not man-made, not government-run.
not the pastor, not the church HQ
not the pastor, not the church HQ
When we are a part of the church, we are a part of something big, something divine, something eternal, something relevant.
This is not a trivial pursuit. This is life and death, eternity in the balance, the souls of men and women, the success of the lives of people. save people from drugs, addiction, divorce, poverty, bankruptcy.
I consider it the highest privilege to be a pastor. This is the noblest of callings. Eternity will tell.
Struggle, stress beginning Friday afternoon, prayer meeting, evening, Saturday morning, day, evening, Sunday.
how will it go?
Struggle?
Attendance?
Sermon?
Then pull back. I am only the vessel.
I do my part. He does His.
I will build MY church
Psalm 127:1 AV
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
Pt in hospital. MRP. The doctor who is holding full responsibility for the care of the patient.
We work along with God.

For we are God’s fellow workers.

Pt in hospital. MRP. The doctor who is holding full responsibility for the care of the patient.
Jesus is the One who is ultimately responsible for the church.
In a sense, He takes care of the worldwide church, the mystical church whereas we are involved in the local church.

(2) Our church is confident in Jesus.

I WILL build
There is an assurance there. A confidence. No room for doubt.
You and I can be confident that we are a part of what God is doing in the world.
He is working, He is building, He is moving forward.
He does not fail.
Jesus is not like a politician who makes promises so you can vote for Him.
His first coming was promised. It was fulfilled
His death was predicted. It was fulfilled
His resurrection was predicted. It was fulfilled
His return is promised. It will be fulfilled.
God keeps His promises.
That’s why we sing
Standing on the promises of Christ my King, Through eternal ages let His praises ring, Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, Standing on the promises of God. Standing, standing, Standing on the promises of God my Savior; Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail,  Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail,  Standing on the promises of God.
I am sure Pastor held on to this when he was planting this church. He was not trusting his strength, preaching ability, eloquence, knowledge, his past experience.
All His promises are Yes and Amen.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 7

Our confidence rests on Jesus, the Lord of Glory.
Another reason why this church will thrive.

(3) Our church is built by Jesus.

Build
Imagine building a house or doing a major renovation. Takes months.
Visit the project - all the workers are idle, taking extended breaks, smoke-break, coffee-break, lunch-break, FB-break, telephone call -break.
not active on the job.
Jesus - I will BUILD. There’s work involved.
Jesus’s baby
When someone in a company comes up with a project - it is called their “baby’. They are told that’s your baby, you run with it.
In a sense, the church is Jesus’ baby!
But it’s more than that. It is His body!
His construction plans
Paul gives an insight into God’s construction plans, His blueprint in Ephesians
Ephesians 2:20–21 ESV
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
Cornerstone -refers to the first and most important stone laid in a new building. Proper placement of a cornerstone ensured a straight and level foundation.
Peter tells us we are living stones in this building []
The foundation has been laid. Jesus stills keeps laying bricks.
Psalm 127:1 AV
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
We work along with God.
He is the Chief Architect and Cornerstone.
And He is actively building His church.
But He invites us to be a part of that. 1 Cor. 3.9

For we are God’s fellow workers.

SLIDE
1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
The point here is that church is not for play and passivity. There is active work being done by the Chief Builder. And He calls us to lend a hand or more accurately, “Give your life.”
Ephesians 2:20–21 ESV
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
.
Cornerstone -refers to the first and most important stone laid in a new building. Proper placement of a cornerstone ensured a straight and level foundation.

Refers to the first and most important stone laid in a new building. Proper placement of a cornerstone ensured a straight and level foundation.

Peter tells us we are living stones in this building []
The foundation has been laid. Jesus stills keeps laying bricks.
The point here is that church is not for play and passivity. There is active work being done by the Chief Builder. And He calls us to lend a hand or more accurately, “Give your life.”
What are you doing as a part of God’s church?
In a sense, the church is Jesus’ baby!
But it’s more than that. It is His body!
What are you doing as a part of God’s church?
Everything you do in this world will fade away. We have so many frivolous pursuits - sports, entertainment, leisure. We try to improve our earthly state. But it will pass. Why work, labor for that which will soon pass away?

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:1 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Why not build with Jesus? Something that will last for all eternity?
I am sure we can do with more ushers, greeters, parking lot attendants, hospitality members, cleaners, SS workers, SG leaders, opening homes, special event workers.
Ask God. Lord what can I do?

(4) Our church will win because of Jesus.

SLIDE

the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Many different interpretations
physical, literal gates? A passive entity. They don’t move so the church is advancing against it.
But the word prevail suggests otherwise, hell is on the offensive.
gates - It was at the city gates that important business transactions were made
Satan’s plans cannot prevail against the church
gates of [hell] Hades as a metonymy for the power of death [NET Bible]
“and the power of death” (taking the reference to the gates of Hades as a metonymy).

r “and the power of death” (taking the reference to the gates of Hades as a metonymy).

The impending death of Jesus will not stop the growth of His church.

Jews would understand hades’ gates to refer to physical death. Jesus was thus telling the disciples His death would not prevent His work of building the church.

His death will not allow Satan to prevail against the church.
Gates - English perspective.
If His death will not allow Satan to prevail against the church how much more powerful it is with His resurrection and life today?!
Whatever plans, attacks Satan may bring against the church, they will not prevail.
Is Satan on the offense or defense? It seems offense.
Whatever plans, attacks Satan may bring against the church, they will not prevail.
Satan has tried and continues to try to destroy the church but He keeps failing.
His strategy is to work from the outside or if unsuccessful, try from the inside.
External
legal system. passing laws to delegitimize the church.
Educational system
Persecution. religious, political.
Ostracism.
Internal
Failure of leaders - Adultery, Financial impropriety, abuse of power.
Ananias and Sapphira
Division, quarreling, gossiping

Conc.

I don’t know about you but I am not excited about too many things in this world but I am tremendously passionate for Jesus and His church, for what He is doing in the world, what He is able to do.
It is an exciting journey.
The church will thrive.
so what does this mean for you?
Members, young and old - be cognizant that you are a part of something significant, something important, something eternal. If you are not contributing in some way, ask yourself “What can I do?” I can help
Christian non-member - Should you not commit to a local church? What’s preventing you?
Guests- checking out the faith, beginning to experience the Lord, - what’s the next step you need to take? Keep coming.
Christians are not called to be church members but disciples. We are not called to be consumers but contributors.
Your joy and significance awaits you.
When God sees you honoring Him, He will begin to pour into your life - strength, power, blessings, peace.
It is no secret what God can do.
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