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I Will Build My Church!

Your Pastor's Heart  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:11
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This is the last Sunday I will be sharing my heart concerning the things God really laid on my heart and challenged me with over my sabbatical. While away I definitely had my concerns for those I shepherd, I prayed faithfully for you, but God gave a peace as well. He is the One ultimately in control, He is the One that draws people to Himself, He is the One who is building His Church… not me, I am meagerly to be a willing vessel to be used by Him for His purpose.
Today as we look at our passage in Matthew 16:13-18 I want us to take time to look at a place (Caesarea Philippi), Two questions and the responses, and then the challenge that is given after this!
Matthew 16:13–18 NASB95
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
As we look at this passage consider quickly with me the location Jesus chooses to bring up this discussing… Mind you, NOTHING Jesus ever did was without reason:

Caesarea Philippi

This was a predominantly Gentile region and city. A very Roman influence was in this area.
This was also a PAGAN place...
Multiple pagan gods were worshiped there open
The main god worshiped was Pan… half goat half man with horns from its head.
The temple to Pan was built at the base of Mt Hermon in front of a massive rock cliff
In this rock cliff was a cave… many in that worship of Pan believed caves, especially this one, were gateways to the underworld were the gods would go to winter.
The rock walls had carved out areas for the idols of these gods they worshiped
Jesus had brought His disciples to the “Red Light” district of their time, respectable Jews would never go there!
This was a city who were knocking on the doors of Hell wanting and desiring what Satan offered
Here Jesus ask two questions...

Who do people say I am?

If we are to share WHO Christ is it is pertinent for us to have a grasp of the world around us and who they believe He is!
John The Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah… ALL prophets, men with a message from God.
These were all men, all had a message from God, NONE were God, they all called for a repentance… as did Jesus.
Who is Jesus Christ today?...
A curse word to some...
A good man who taught wise things
Some still hold to Him as a prophet
Many still believe He is just another man.
You see Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Man… BOTH fully God and fully Man!
Not one prophet EVER claimed that!
The real question… The most IMPORTANT question is:

Who do YOU say I am?

We see Peter take a leader role once again… the mouth piece for the disciples. Matthew 16:16
Matthew 16:16 NASB95
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
THE CHRIST… this is a title not a name…
Anointed one, such as a king or priest (the expected one)
This was the term the Jews had given for the expected Messiah… look at John 4:25
John 4:25 NASB95
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”
Peter is saying… you are the Messiah! It was understood that the Messiah would be greater than a human being… He would be GOD! (Isaiah & Jeremiah)
“the Son of the living God”…
Peter gives equality with God here
What a great picture here as Peter and the disciples stand where there are dead idols all around… Peter declares God as LIVING!!!
God gives this understanding… as Peter had declared Christ humanity and deity… Jesus declares Peter’s humanity, yet his wisdom in his statement is given by God!
God reveals Himself to mankind… what an amazing blessing He does this for us!

I will build my Church!!!

The next statement Jesus makes, I got to tell you ignites my heart on fire!!!!!! Matthew 16:18
Matthew 16:18 NASB95
18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Scholars speculate all that is entailed in this statement… truth is we may never fully know, BUT here is what we do know and can make observations from...
“You are Peter… Petros “rock”: Peter was living up to his name! We need “Peters” in the church!!! Take a stand, strong, immovable, bold!
“on this rock”… greatly debated
Is Jesus talking about Peter?
He could have, Peter was a leader in the early church did great things
Was it a statement to all the disciples?
This too could be! Jesus used these young men, teens and early twenties to rock this world for the sake of Christ!
What if??? This was another vivid visual example that Jesus wanted to make a statement?

I will build my Church!!!

He has brought them to this rock that overlooks the belly of sin, what man was calling the entrance to hell...
A place littered with dead idols of sin all around.
Jesus did not want His followers hiding from evil, setting up a commune somewhere, He wanted them to storm the Gates of Hell!!!!
He wanted them to boldly say in the face of opposition, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
GATES! were defensive structures in that day...
Church… WE are on the offensive here! Death and hades has lost its grip!
Jesus Christ has overcome… He has the victory!
Victory is assured here… LOOK “I will build my church”
Jesus is the one doing it
He desires and wants you and I to join in the victory
Jesus Christ loves His church… He shepherds her, calls her His bride, He gave His life for her. In a couple weeks we will look at some messages He would send to the churches (people) He loved and cared for. He has given us His Word. So much did He want to communicate His love that this Word, John says, Became flesh and dwelt among us! The Christ the Son of the Living God”
When it comes to this battle against evil, do you find yourself on the defense or offense?
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