“Upon this Rock I will build my church”(Matthew 16:18)
Church was God’s idea, not mans’. Man, I believe has complicated the idea of church which has spun into hundreds of different denominations each based a round a core Scripture and cause that has done more to separate than to unify. But Jesus is continuing to build His church. The term “church” comes from a Greek word meaning a meeting of people called out and summoned together… an assembly of faithful people with a holy purpose. The word “build” means to construct a system of instruction of doctrine built up progressively and unceasingly more and more upon it’s foundation. We know that Jesus id the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23) and that the church is the pillar and ground of truth, (1 Timothy 3:15) Church is so important to the purposes of Christ that we are told not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together. (Hebrews10: 24-25) We are designed to be together!
We are to be those living stones put in place by Jesus, having that place in the body of Christ, valuing where we have been placed and caring for one another. Church is not only where we learn of Christ, become discipled, heal and be restored, be encouraged and built up, learn church doctrine and history… but also grow in the character and nature of Jesus… especially in interactions with each other. Iron sharpens iron so to speak! Church can be a place where we love and care for one another, forgive and forbear with one another, to not be taken out of place by offense, to fight “for” each other not “against” each other, to learn what true humility and brokenness is as we take the lower road in our relationships esteeming other more highly than ourselves, choosing sacrifice over selfishness, blessings others by our gifts and giving, serving one another and being consistent, involved and connected.
Today, can God use you as a living stone to build His church? Can he build on you as a unifying and functioning member of His church… caring for the church, supporting the work of the church, participating in the work of the church and being accountable and responsible to the church… the body of believers? If so… that’s where the rest of Matthew 16:18 is celebrated… “and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”!