Jesus told the disciples that He himself would build His church. Yes, others have their ideas about who Jesus is, but the Spirit revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. On this confession that Peter shared, Jesus said that it was on this rock, this foundation, that He would build His church.
You may recall at our Vision Talks that I remind you of a question that Jeff Christopherson posed at an associational event two years ago: “What would the church look like if Jesus had His way?” If Jesus is building His church, what is he building it into and how. In the next paragraph, Jesus reminded His disciples that he would be crucified and raised again. Peter disputed this, saying he would never allow something so tragic to happen. What did Jesus say? “Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men.” These two paragraphs, side by side to each other, show the problem. Jesus would leave but would build His church through His church, His people. Yet, like Peter, we spend our time thinking “on the things of man” rather than “setting your mind on the things of God.” How do we do this?
Through the Word and by the Spirit. I remind you of a conversation I had with my search team back in the Fall of 2011. They asked, “When you come to ARBC, what is your priority?” “Preach the Word and love the people at first and get a lay of the land.” When it comes to the Word, we tend to believe that it’s the “preached” Word on Sunday morning behind this pulpit or during our small groups (SS/CGs). Yet, the Word must permeate and marinate in every last area of the church! Jesus tells us how to have His way and how to build His church.