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THE CHURCH

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Matthew 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.
To begin with brothers and sisters, Christian Friends, well wishers, and Saints of God as we cruse and peruse through the annuals of biblical history we find that The Christian Church has many dynamic and prevalent elements. According to the Matthew 16:18 there are at least three major points to cover. I’d like to explain, expound and exegete as much of the text as time will permit. Let’s get started
1. Peter is faced with the spiritual task of defining who Jesus was, is, and ever shall be .
2. Peter is given the accolade of being the Rock or the foundational stimuli that Jesus uses to set up the New Testament Church.

3. And Peter is given the responsibility of Feeding and nurturing the Ekklesia of God or the Church of God.

And so the story goes in the broader context in Matthew 16:13 that When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his followers, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

Brothers and sister Jesus was at the coast of Caesarea Philippi and the history is that for at least a thousand years The area of Caesarea, Philippi was a seaport trading station on Mediterranean Sea Coast. It used to be known as Strato’s Tower. And Many different empires occupied this region at one time or another. And now the Roman Empire is in charge. and Rome has Herod the Great as their Client King. Meaning that Herod was in charge over region.

and Herod the Great gets credit for rebuilding the Jewish Temple. But! Herod build other stuff too. Herod built a theater, a hippodrome, an amphitheater and many pagan temples for other gods.

So Herod the Great being the Client King for the Roman empire, re-built Caesarea in honor of Caesar in Rome . Caesarea was to be a tourist attraction town and a booming economic engine of trade and commerce on the Eastern Mediterranean seashore.

And the question is why did Herod do all of this? Herod was hoping to surpass the great ancient North African city of Alexandria. Herod did all of this for his own self aggrandizement. So Herod’s reasons for rebuilding the Jewish Temple wasn’t really for the good of the Jewish people it was for his own ego. And Jesus knew all of that yeah yeah yeah.

And brothers and sisters just because somebody goes way out of their way to help you, that doesn’t necessarily make them your friend. Don’t y’all forget that. Sometimes it’s just for their own ego.

Jesus knew the history and He and His disciples were surrounded everywhere in Caesarea by pagan temples and cultural idolatry.

And looking around at all of that idolatry Jesus ask his disciples in Matthew 16:13 Who do men say that I am? the NCV say “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” the KJV says “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? the ESV says “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” All three translations of the bible that were selected said the same thing. And so Jesus is looking around at all of this foolish stuff. I say foolish stuff because only what you do for Christ will last. Church Don’t get me wrong. There’s Nothing wrong with being cultured and going to the theater, or going to the movies, or going to the concerts, or going to Broadway shows, or going to the shopping malls or going to the popular festivals we celebrate but nothing supersede Christ being first in our lives.

Tell your neighbor: Jesus is first

So Jesus wanted to know what the street committee was saying about Him. They said in Matthew 16 and verse 14 Master, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Jesus says in essence Ok but whom do ye say that I the son of Man Am? In other words, Jesus is asking his disciples I want to know what Y’all think,, not what other people say.

This is personal now because this where ought to have a real working relationship with Christ. This is where We ought to know at least a little bit about Jesus for our selves.

We ought to at least know that in Genesis Jesus is the seed of a woman. In Exodus He’s the Passover Lamb. In Leviticus He’s the High Priest, In Numbers He’s the Shekinah Glory, In Deuteronomy He’s the True Prophet, In Joshua He’s the Captain of our Salvation , In Judges He’s the Delivering Judge, In Ruth He’s our Kinsman Redeemer, In Samuel Chronicles and Kings Jesus is the Promised King, In Job He’s our horse pawing in the valley. He’s Jehovah Adonai the Self Existing One. He’s Jehovah Jireh the Lord our Provider. He’s Jehovah Shalom the God of our Peace. He’s Jehovah Rapha the God that heals my body. “! You ought to know something about Him for yourself.

Jesus said to His disciples but who do you say that I am? Peter said “Thou art the Christ the Son of the True and Living God.” The Holy Ghost gave Peter the spiritual task of defining who Jesus is. And scripture tell us that Jesus is the sane today yesterday and forevermore.

And Peter the leader said Thou art the Christ the Son of the True and Living God. Every Christian Preacher has the responsibility of declaring that Jesus is the Christ . Jesus is the Monghanes God 100% God and 100% man. Jesus is Unique and One of a Kind.

Jesus is talking to Peter and the disciples but also each and every one of us today. Brothers and sisters what Jesus says next is is profound, prolific, and prophetic Because He says in verse 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.

This brings us to the second thing we want to teach, talk, and tell us today Point 2. Peter is given the accolade of being the Rock or the foundational stimuli that Jesus uses to set up the New Testament Church. Because Christ’s church is Built on the Rock.

Listen church,Jesus is looking around at all of the sinful idolatry and he begins to give a narrative that is reflective of the ancient Rock city of Dedan. The ancient folk in the city of Dedan were heathens who thought that they were invincible because they lived in that Rock City.

The word Rock in the Greek vernacular is the word Petra. Petra means Rock. Jesus use the term Rock to illustrate a point. And the point was that The Rock city of Dedan was described as a defile and only a handful of men could come through the pass at one time. In other words you had to go through a narrow narrow narrow passage way to get into the Rock City of Dedan. It was strategic because only a few people at a time could get through to attack the Rock city of Dedan.

And Jesus uses this example to explain to us that His Church has a narrow narrow narrow way to get into it. And that narrow narrow narrow way fortifies His church against the Mightiest wicked armies, fortifies His church against the most Malicious evil people and fortifies His church against Mischievous Malignant folk whose aims and intentions are design to infiltrate God’s church and Metastasize a fatal terminal blow hoping to cause GOD’S church to die! Wicked folk mean for your GOD’S church to die!!! And believe it or not but it’s got people who wish your church would fall, wish your pastor would fail, and wish your congregation would fizzle out before the finish. Oh But God!!!

Tell your neighbor: Oh But God.

God ain’t having it. Tell your neighbor: Because Mt Olive gon be here. Jesus said Upon this Rock I build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church. Listen me, Saints of God I just pastor God’s Church I don’t own it, and I’m just preaching here today at God’s Church. You’re just here serving His Church, and you’re just here giving God glory today in His church. Brothers and sisters this is God’s Church Not mine not yours it’s His Church.

Because the doctrine of Ecclesiology teaches us that The Church is a collection of people that meet together for the Worship of the Judeo-Christian God. And the term Church applies to the Worship of God after the coming of Jesus Christ. Because before Jesus came it was the tabernacle, the temple and the synagogue.

And when we come to Worship Him in His Church we have to do it right because I heard Jesus saying that God is a Spirit and they that Worship God must Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Am I talking bible here? And then finally Jesus says in verses 19 &20. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; the things you don’t allow on earth will be the things that God does not allow, and the things you allow on earth will be the things that God allows.”

And what this means is “Whosoever sins you remit [forgive] shall have already been forgiven them, and whosoever sins you retain [do not forgive] shall have already not been forgiven them.”

And so the third thing I want to briefly present in Point 3. is that Peter is given the responsibility of Feeding and nurturing the Church of God or the Ekklesia of God

And so 1. Jesus made it clear that Peter was the leader because He said Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I’ll build My Church My Ekklesia.

2. Jesus had given Peter the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven in order for Peter to have the privilege of “opening the door of faith” to others.

and then 3. As saints of God, Jesus is saying to us in 2022 we are responsible to forgive each other. We ought to be forgiving so we can move on and serve God with our whole heart. Let’s forgive somebody that may have done us wrong, Amen?

And then in verse 20. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Over the years I’ve toiled with this statement and I’ve come to understand this about scripture now, It’s not my will but His will that must be done.

Because As I close here today brothers and sisters before the foundations of the world Christ died for our sins before Jesus was ever bornnnnn in Bethlehem. Great God. The Church ought to be a perfect precious place that we can come to and find God’s Love God’s Care and God’s Compassionate concern for His people. I don’t know how you feel about it but on Sunday if I can just get to the church house, Then everything is going to be Alright. Um um Because jesus said Upon This Rock I’ll build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her. Oh Lord. And Jesus sacrificed His Life for His Church. Oh yes He did.. Because One Friday Yes Lord,

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