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Becoming a Member of the Church – Sylvanus Godspower
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Becoming a Member of the Church

 

JESUS’ PROMISE TO BUILD THE CHURCH

   “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to 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 also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,’” Matthew 16:13 to 18 (NKJV).

   What is special about these verses is that the Lord Jesus Christ said, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH”. Jesus could have said, “They will build a church for Me” or “They will build a church in My name” since He is the supreme Lord who deserves to be served, and His name is mighty and is feared among the nations. However, Jesus did not make such statements; He did not say that they will build a church for Him nor they will build a church in His name. He clearly said, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH”.

   This statement, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH” reveals six things. 1, our Lord Jesus Christ is building the church Himself. 2, He is solely the owner and the founder of the church. 3, He is committed to the building of the church. 4, He is building the church by His own subjective will. 5, the church is unique. 6, the standard of the church differs from the world.

   It must be well understood that our Lord Jesus Christ is building the church for Himself to raise a family whose membership is of regeneration. He is solely the owner of the church to have authority over her and to keep control of everything pertaining to her. He is so committed to its building by watching over her, lest His purpose should look unachievable. Behold, our Lord is building the church subjectively to prevent the element of the flesh from triumphing in her. Finally, the church is unique and its standard differs from the world because she has successfully passed through the first four stages.

   The first part of Matthew 16:18 says, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church.” Understanding the content of this verse is an issue since many people have just followed it literally, hence, it is a highly controversial topic in Christianity these days. To provide a solution to this, we must not only follow this verse in a literal way, rather we must take a step further to guess the contextual clue to the meaning of it and even trace it to the original language (Greek) it was written.

   When we trace this verse to the original language it was written, we will realise that the Greek word for Peter is PETROS which means stone, and the rock on which the Lord Jesus said He will build the church is rendered in Greek as PETRA which means a huge rock like Gibraltar. Hence, what Jesus Christ said in the first part of verse 18, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church” does not mean that He is building the church on Peter. But rather, it means that the church is been built on Jesus, the Living Rock, and the revelation given by the Heavenly Father concerning Him (verse 17). Behold, First Corinthians 3:11 confirms this truth, as it says, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ (NIV).” Assuredly, Jesus is the rock, the foundation, and the ground of the church.

 

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