THE CHURCH JESUS STARTED
Matt 16:13-19 NASB

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." 15 He said^ to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. 19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

INTRODUCTION

I heard a humorous story about a Catholic Priest, a Presbyterian Minister and a Baptist Pastor. They meet weekly to discuss some theological topic. One week the topic was "What Church would Jesus attend if he were on earth today." The Catholic and Presbyterian expressed their thoughts but the Baptist remained silent.

The other ministers finally asked the Baptist for his opinion. He simply replied "I don't think he would change"; Meaning of course Jesus was a Baptist 2,000 years ago and would remain one today.

What church did Jesus start? Some say it was a Roman Catholic Church, others say a Greek Orthodox Catholic Church, and some will say a Baptist Church. I say the more important question is: what church is most like the church Jesus started. I think that church will have a foundation that endures even to this day. I want to consider:

1. The Creation of the Church.
2. The Construction of the Church.
3. The Conflict of the Church.


1. The Creation . . of the Church. v 13-18


13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." 15 He said^ to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock . . . "

A. Some say the "rock" refers to Simon Peter.

1. Simon Peter knew what it meant. Petros vs PETRA-

STRONGS 4074 Petros (pet'-ros); apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than 3037); as a name, Petrus, an apostle: KJV-- Peter, rock. Compare 2786. THAYERS4074 Petros- Peter = "a rock or a (small) stone"; one of the twelve disciples of Jesus STRONGS 4073 petra (pet'-ra); feminine of the same as 4074; a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively): KJV-- rock.

THAYERS 4073 petra- a rock, a cliff or a ledge a) a projecting rock, a crag, rocky ground b) a rock, a large stone c) metaphorically, a man like a rock, by reason of his firmness and strength of soul

(Rom 9:33 NASB) just as it is written, "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

(1 Cor 10:4 NASB) and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

1 Pet 2:5-8 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.. 6 For {this} is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner {stone} and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner {stone,} 8 and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

Simon Peter the vacillating did become Simon Peter the stable.

Simon Peter the unreliable did become Simon Peter the dependable.

2. Simon is rebuked by Jesus in verse 23

(Mat 16:23 NASB) But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

B. Some say the "rock" refers to Simon Peter's confession.

C. Some say the "rock" refers to Jesus Christ.

D. I say it is a combination of Jesus and confession of Him.

ILLUSTRATION METHODISTS ADDRESS HOMOSEXUALITY, INFANT BAPTISM. Word and Way 5-15-96

The United Methodist Church turned back a strong effort to soften the church's opposition to homosexuality and decided infants should become church members at baptism rather than when they make a profession of faith.

Delegates to the church's general conference in April in Denver rejected a proposal that would have replaced an assertion in church law declaring homosexuality "incompatible with Christian teaching" with a statement that United Methodists are "unable to arrive at a common mind" on the subject. Delegates voted 577-378 against the new language. Delegates also refused 598-304 to approve same-sex marriages and rejected a proposal that would have allowed church funding of organizations that "promote" homosexuality.

The general conference unanimously affirmed a document redefining the role of baptism. Under the new policy, people are considered full members of a Methodist church when they are baptized rather than when they have a "born again" experience and ask to join the church.

The chairman of a committee that recommended the change following an eight year study said the change was a return to the denomination's roots. The baptism study upholds the legitimacy of infant baptism and discourages rebaptism, but it still encourages individual response through ceremonies of confirmation and "remembering one's baptism," according to United Methodist News Service.

APPLICATION

The Methodist are talking about returning to their roots. Their roots ought to be the word of God not their books of dogma. The Church Jesus started will have a foundation that is: Sure Safe, Solid, and Surviving.



2. The Construction of the Church.


". . . I will build My church;. . . "


A. Christ will build His church . . Numerically.

1. 120 on day of Pentecost then 3,00 added, then 5,000

2, At the end of second century 2,000,000

3. Every major city had a Christian congregation.

B. Christ will build His church . . Financially.

1. He has a plan as old as Abraham it is called the "tithe"

a. Christ and His New Covenant did not change it.

C. Christ will build His church . . Positionally.

1. He has a remnant in every field of endeavor.

ILLUSTRATION

It seems that churches everywhere are doing things today

To try to bring their attendance up by giving things away.

They're running buses all over town in a way they think is dandy

Giving all the boys and girls that ride some bubble gum or candy.

And maybe they'll have a contest give the winner a free plane ride

Or offer them a ten-speed bike that would make one swell with pride.

God does not use this kind of plan to save one from his sin

But uses visitation to bring the sinner in.

So if you're using this unscriptural plan perhaps you'd better stop

Or your rewards in heaven might be just a lollipop. -- Gene Sutton

APPLICATION

The Lord is the builder of His Church. We must seek to follow His leading.



3. The Conflict of the Church.


". . . and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. "

A. The church does not take a passive position.

B. The church does take an aggressive position.

ILLUSTRATION

In the days of the Roman Emperor Nero, there lived and served him a band of soldiers known as the "Emperor's Wrestlers." Fine, stalwart men they were, picked from the best and the bravest of the land, recruited from the great athletes of the Roman amphitheater.

In the great amphitheater they upheld the arms of the emperor against all challengers. Before each contest they stood before the emperor's throne. Then through the courts of Rome rang the cry: "We, the wrestlers, wrestling for thee, O Emperor, to win for thee the victory and from thee, the victor's crown."

When the great Roman army was sent to fight in Gaul, no soldiers were braver or more loyal than this band of wrestlers led by their centurion Vespasian. But news reached Nero that many Roman soldiers had accepted the Christian faith. Therefore, this decree was dispatched to the centurion Vespasian; "If there be any among your soldiers who cling to the faith of the Christian, they must die!"

The decree was received in the dead of winter. The soldiers were camped on the shore of a frozen inland lake. It was with sinking heart that Vespasian, the centurion, read the emperor's message.

Vespasian called the soldiers together and asked: "Are there any among you who cling to the faith of the Christian? If so, let him step forward!" Forty wrestlers instantly stepped forward two paces, respectfully saluted, and stood at attention. Vespasian paused. He had not expected so many, nor such select ones. "Until sundown I shall await your answer," said Vespasian. Sundown came. Again the question was asked. Again the forty wrestlers stepped forward.

Vespasian pleaded with them long and earnestly without prevailing upon a single man to deny his Lord. Finally he said, "The decree of the emperor must be obeyed, but I am not willing that your comrades should shed your blood. I order you to march out upon the lake of ice, and I shall leave you there to the mercy of the elements."

The forty wrestlers were stripped and then, falling into columns of four, marched toward the center of the lake of ice. As they marched they broke into the chant of the arena: "Forty wrestlers, wrestling for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and from Thee, the victor's crown!" Through the night Vespasian stood by his campfire and watched. As he waited through the long night, there came to him fainter and fainter the wrestlers' song. As morning drew near one figure, overcome by exposure, crept quietly toward the fire; in the extremity of his suffering he had renounced his Lord. Faintly but clearly from the darkness came the song: "Thirty-nine wrestlers, wrestling for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and from Thee, the victor's crown!"

Vespasian looked at the figure drawing close to the fire. Perhaps he saw eternal light shining there toward the center of the lake. Who can say? But off came his helmet and clothing, and he sprang upon the ice, crying, "Forty wrestlers, wrestling for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and from Thee, the victor's crown!"

CONCLUSION

This church Jesus started is alive and well today. It will be discovered by looking for these aspects of involvement and theology

1. The Creation of the Church.

2. The Construction of the Church.

3. The Conflict of the Church.

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