Discipleship | Lesson 6 | Devotion 1
Matthew 16:18 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 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.
Jesus Christ boldly declares, “I will build my church.” He guarantees the growth and building of His church. It is exciting to know that we are a part of something that has been guaranteed by the Son of God. As a Christian, you are a part of the church now. In fact, you are a part of the building of the church. If we are a part of the construction of the church, let’s evaluate our plans and the plans that we have received from Christ:
The church is built around Jesus Christ. In the passage that we just read, Jesus not only promises to build His church, but He also tells what it will be built upon. Some have taken this passage to mean that the church will be built on Peter. Jesus was not claiming to build the church on Peter, rather what Peter had stated in verse sixteen. Jesus promises to construct His church on the fact that He was the Christ and the Son of the Living God. Three times in the Gospels, Jesus Christ is referred to as the “head of the corner.” In Ephesians 2, Jesus is referenced as the “corner stone.” The cornerstone is the basis for the rest of a building. As the cornerstone goes, so goes the rest of the building. As a church, our desire is that everything we do be based on the life and Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anything contrary to this great example hurts the name of Christ’s church.
The church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. After the cornerstone of a building has been established, the foundation begins to develop. The foundation of the church is given in Ephesians 2:20, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” The Bible is packed full of Scriptures and examples of those who lined up with the Cornerstone! God have us the testimonies and examples of these prophets and apostles as a foundation for us to build upon. Anyone who leads you to believe that the church needs a different or unique foundation than those mentioned in the Bible is misleading you and looking to build a church that does not line up with Christ.
We are the framework of the church. After the cornerstone and the foundation have been laid, the framing can begin to grow. In Ephesians 2:21-22, we see our purpose in the local church, “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” We are the framing. The framing cannot stand on its own without the cornerstone and the foundation. As Christians and a part of the construction of the local church, we are responsible to grow and build upon the foundation and Cornerstone. It is our job to be growing, holy, and unified in presenting the message of Christ and His church to the world.
As we heard in this lesson, Jesus Christ made the payment for the church. He’s given us the promise that He will build the church. The question is, will we be apart of the construction of the church?