Part of God’s purpose and plan was, and continues to be, the forming of a unique group of individuals called ‘the church…the household or family of God” so that “we are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19, 22). Christ is building His church! After Peter received the revelation from the Father that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God”, Jesus declared, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:16-18). Notice the plan and the promise in verse 18:
· The Plan: Christ will build His church! He does not say that the pastor or the church board will do the building of the church. It is not the work of programs or committees. The building of Christ’s church is a divine work of grace, as we see in Ephesians 2. It is accomplished as we submit to God working in and through us (see Philippians 2:13).
· The Promise: In one sense, part of the promise is that Christ will build His church. In the context of this verse He has also promised that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Even though the church down through the centuries has gone through many conflicts, persecutions and splintering, we still have this promise. Nothing will stop or hinder God’s in Christ to build His church.
This truth should strengthen our faith and also our determination to be yielded to the Holy Spirit so that this work will proceed and accelerate in our day. Be sure to keep your spiritual eyes on Christ and follow Him, not the external events of this world. “The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).
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