Matthew 16:19-20 – “…I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, and the gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE CHURCH IS IMPORTANT
Hosea 4:6 – “My people are destroyed for lack of KNOWLEDGE”.
IMPORTANCE OF THE CHURCH
As we understand the importance of the church; come to know its value, and understand better its role and purpose – it makes a big difference in how we live, and our understanding and view of life!
God’s purposes for the church are great! As His church, we have an eternal role forever in HIs kingdom.
Ephesians 3:10 – …to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Ephesians 3:21 – …to Him be glory in the CHURCH by Christ Jesus to all generations (throughout all ages) , forever and ever. Amen.
JESUS LOVES THE CHURCH
Jesus loves the church so much that He was willing to die for it! How much do you love the church?
JESUS LOVES YOU!
Ephesians 5:22-27 – Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body… Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself A GLORIOUS CHURCH, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Jeremiah 31:3 – “I have LOVED YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (The Lord)
John 15:13 – …GREATER LOVE has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
The LOVE OF GOD
The LOVE of Christ passes knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19); Christ LOVED us, and has given himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice (Ephesians 5:2); God showed His LOVE to us, that even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us… (Romans 5:8); We love Him because He first LOVED US (I John 4:19); God who is rich in mercy, for His great LOVE wherewith He loves us – even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together in Christ (by grace you are saved)… (Ephesians 2:4-5); What manner of LOVE the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God (I John 3:1)
DEFINITION OF CHURCH
JESUS and PAUL used the word “CHURCH” in reference to the people of God. “Church” is never referred to in the Bible as a religious building.
THE CHURCH IS HIS FAMILY
Ephesians 3:14-16 – I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the WHOLE FAMILY in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant YOU, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…
Ephesians 2:19 – you are no longer strangers and foreigners, [outsiders without rights of citizenship], but you are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.
Galatians 6:10 – … household of faith.
Hebrews 3:6 – Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
The house of God, which is the CHURCH of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15).
PEOPLE OF GOD
I Peter 2:5,9-10 – …you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual HOUSE, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own SPECIAL PEOPLE, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are NOW THE PEOPLE OF GOD, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
They gathered the CHURCH together… (Acts 14:27); Saul made havock of the CHURCH… haling men and women committed them to prison. (Acts 8:3); Tidings of these things came into the ears of the CHURCH which was in Jerusalem… (Acts 11:22).
CHURCHES IN THE HOMES
…greet the CHURCH that is in their house (Romans 16:5); …the churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the CHURCH that is in their house (I Corinthians 16:19); As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house…(Acts 8:3); Salute… Nymphas, and the church which is in his house (Colossians 4:15); And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in your house…(Philemon 1:2).
JESUS SAID, “I WILL” —
Truly it is happening! It’s all about Jesus, and what He is doing! We are workers together with Him! We need to know what He is doing, what HIS WILL is, in order to assist Him in getting the job done!
THE WILL OF GOD
Matthew 6:10 … Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 18:19 – “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father…
HIS WORD WILL BE PERFORMED
Jeremiah 1:12 – Then said the Lord unto me… I will hasten my word to perform it.
Hebrews 6:18 – That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation…
Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Psalm 127:1 – Except THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE, they labour in vain that build it:… Unless the Lord guards the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
Edification has to do with building up.
I Corinthians 14:26 – Let ALL THINGS BE DONE UNTO EDIFYING!
Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary EDIFICATION, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Ephesians 4:12, 16 – …for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the EDIFYING of the body of Christ… from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies,… causes growth of the body for the EDIFYING of itself in love.
HOW IS JESUS BUILDING HIS CHURCH?
As His people bring Him glory! As His people pray! When we do spiritual warfare! As we are thankful, praise, and worship! As we witness and share the gospel! As we live holy lives! As we work together in Unity! As we serve one another in love! In righteousness! In truth! In faith! By His Word! By being filled with the Spirit, and led by the Spirit!
As He revealed His will in building his church as seen in the New Testament Scriptures, He is also continuing His building of HIs CHURCH today!
Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.
It’s important to note that Jesus makes it very clear who the CHURCH belongs to. He said, “It is MY CHURCH”. Although we have the great privilege to be a part of it, it is HIS CHURCH. He is the head of the chuRCH! If people get too possessive of HIs CHURCH, and displace His rightful place, it is not HIs order, and needs correction.
WHAT KIND OF A CHURCH?
A VICTORIOUS CHURCH
A WILLING CHURCH
The Tabernacle of Moses was built with those whose hearts were WILLING! The people brought WILLING sacrifices and offerings.There was more than enough provided for the building of the tabernacle…
Exodus 25:2 – “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it WILLINGLY with his heart you shall take My offering.
Exodus 35:21 – …they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service…
Exodus 36:5 – And they spoke unto Moses, saying, The people bring MUCH MORE THAN ENOUGH for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.
Psalm 110:3 – Your people will offer themselves WILLINGLY [to participate in Your battle] in the day of Your power; In the splendor of holiness (AMP)
Isaiah 1:19 – If you are WILLING and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land:
A BEAUTIFUL, GLORIOUS CHURCH (Temple of Solomon)
The temple was built with beauty and excellence! (I Kings 5-8)
With willing worshipers that praised the Lord for His mercy endures forever, and as prayer was made the temple was filled with the glory of God
2 Chronicles 7:1 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
2 Chronicles 5:13-14 – …when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
A VICTORIOUS CHURCH
I Corinthians 15:57 – Thanks be to God who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ!
I John 5:4-5 – For whatever is born of God OVERCOMES the world. And this is the VICTORY that has OVERCOME the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who OVERCOMES the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
“AND THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT!”
Jesus is rescuing people! As we work together with His purposes, and share to gospel He wants us to help rescue people from an eternal destiny of torment! People in bondage are set free through the power of the gospel – rescued from hell!
“Gates” are barriers from people or anything getting in, or getting out. Jesus makes it clear that He wants us to aggressively pursue our rescue mission, and not allow the gates stop us! It not just protection from the enemy in this context, but about the barriers not being able to stand in our way!
GATE – “ an opening in a wall or fence. 2 : a city or castle entrance often with defensive structures (such as towers) 3a : the frame or door that closes a gate. b : a movable barrier (as at a grade crossing) 4a : a means of entrance or exit.”
A MILITANT RESCUE OPERATION
- Jesus wants us to be faithful witnesses – sharing the message of salvation only through Him.
Acts 1:8 – “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me” (Jesus).
- People are to be called out of darkness into His marvelous light.
I Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
- He wants us to let the light of the gospel shine through our lives.
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
- He wants us to GO AND TELL the great things He has done for us!
Psalm 107:2 – Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
There was a demon possessed man who was delivered, set free, and healed by Jesus (Mark 5).
Mark 5:18-20 – …he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.
SHARING THE GOSPEL
Romans 10:14-15 – How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
GOSPEL PREACHED TO THE POOR
Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, …
Acts 1:8 – .. you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
“The CHURCH is God’s instrument to extend His kingdom on earth. The CHURCH is the New Testament ’House of the Lord’ “. (Pastor Dick Iverson) (1)
The type of church Jesus is building is a VICTORIOUS CHURCH that overcomes the kingdom of darkness. It is made up of many local churches throughout the world. These are Bible-believing, Holy Spirit empowered, Jesus exalting fellowship groups that love the Lord, and are obediently following His commands and instructions.
A ROCK-SOLID FOUNDATION
The CHURCH is being built with rock-solid, lasting principles around which methods should be built. The pattern for the CHURCH is in the Scripture. (Pastor Dick Iverson) (1)
SPIRITUAL BUILDING BLOCKS
2 Peter 1:2-11 – Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
BENEFITS OF LOCAL CHURCH
There are many benefits of being part of a local church! Some of them include: 1) friendship; 2) fellowship; 3) worship; 4)discipleship; 5) spiritual leadership and nurture; 6) growth; 7) fruitfulness; etc.
Let’s continue to greatly value the CHURCH, and to be a part of HIs loyal and faithful, GLORIOUS CHURCH when Jesus comes!
- Special thanks and acknowledgement to Dick Iverson – “Building Churches that Last”, 1995, Bible Temple Publishing, Portland, Oregon.