The Foundation of the Church – Matthew 16:18

It’s Thursday, April 2, 2020. Welcome to our COVID-19 Connection Series # 14

  It is always wonderful to have a listening audience. I count it a privilege that you allow me to come into your home on a daily basis.

   How are you handling your emotions through all of this? I am hearing that some are stressed, some are worrying, some are scared, and some are living as if life is normal. You may experience a wide variety of emotions. It’s okay! God knows that we are human. Can I remind you however that if you are walking through some negative emotions that are affecting your daily activities that you give those emotions over to God in prayer? He told us through His Word,

   “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we might find mercy and find grace to find help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16).  

In The News Today: 

America is running out of supplies – Government’s emergency stockpile of medical supplies are nearly depleted because of the Coronavirus.

Los Angeles officials urged residents to cover their faces in public to prevent further transmission of COVID-19. This is a reversal of guidelines set by the CDC, but remember these are changing times we are living in.

6.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment. Doubling the record the week before.

In France the government is trying an experiment of paying companies not to lay people off.

A million N95 masks are being flown in from China.

Pause for Prayer: Psalm 5:2-3“Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD.” 

  • Church family and emotional stress
  • Shut-in’s
  • Cup of Grace & Senior center meals to those in need
  • Wisdom for every SLBC family – navigate during these days
  • Ministries of SLBC – Women’s Online Bible Study, Daily Devotions on Facebook, Church office staff
  • Local police – Kevin Ward
  • Spirit Lake Citizens
  • Miller’s grocery store
  • People in essential employment – protection
  • 6 million Americans who filed for unemployment benefits
  • Direction for our National leaders

Our WORD from the Lord today is taken from Matthew 16:18. It reads,

   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 

The Foundation of the Church 

   Notice what Jesus stated in this verse. He said very emphatically, 

   I will build My church. 

   Please hear this – the church is NOT built on Peter; nor is it build on a religious institution. The Church is built on Jesus Christ alone.

I am going to start something a little different, and together we are going to walk through a book by Pastor Mark Dever entitled: The Church. What we are going to be doing is taking a look three areas of the church:

  1. What does the Bible say? About the Church.
  2. What has the Church Believed? About the Ordinances and Organization.
  3. How does it all fit together? Why different types of ChurchesThe Utter Importance of the Church

   Christian Author and Pastor John Stott said, “The church lies at the very center of the eternal purpose of God. It is not a divine afterthought. It is not an accident of history.”

   The church should be regarded as important to Christian’s because of its importance to Christ:

  • Christ founded at the church – Matthew 16:18 

   And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

  • Christ purchased it with his own blood – Acts 20:28

   Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 

  • Christ intimately identifies himself with it – Acts 9:4

   Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

 What do we KNOW about the Church?

         1. The church is the body of Christ – I Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:12; 5:20-30; Colossians 1:18-24; 3:15
 
   2. The church is the dwelling Place of his Holy Spirit – I Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:18,22; 4:4
 
   3. The church is the chief instrument for glorifying God in the world – Ezekiel 36:22-38; Ephesians 3:10
 
   4. The church is God’s instrument for bringing both the gospel to the nations and a great host of the redeemed humanity to himself – Luke 24:46-48; Revelation 5:9

Jan Hus (John Huss), the fifteenth-century Bohemian reformer, put it this way: “Every earthly pilgrim ought faithfully… to love Jesus Christ, the Lord, the bridegroom of that church, and also the church herself, his bride.”

What we must watch out for as a Church?

  1. Shifting currents of pragmatism – what works now.
  2. Thinking success is the immediate response of non-Christians.
  3. The disowning of Christianity in our current culture.
  4. Evangelism being characterized as intolerant.
  5. Biblical doctrine classified as hate speech.
  6. Man’s felt needs replacing the message of the gospel.
  7. Numerical growth as primary indicator of church health.
  8. Compromise of biblical truth.

   Churches must remain true to the message of the gospel no matter what – PERIOD! (See Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 1:6-10)

   William Carey (The Father of Modern Missions) served faithfully in India and Adoniram Judson persevered and Burma not because they met immediate success or advertise themselves as “relevant”.

  William Carey didn’t see his first convert until after seven years of preaching the Gospel. He spent 41 years in India. After 41 years only 700 converts could be found.

   William Carey was a plodder for Christ. He just kept doing what He was commissioned to do – preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

   William Carey was instrumental in others going to the mission fields of the world.

   Here is one of my favorite quotes of William Carey,

   “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God!” 

   Church – don’t EVER criticize the Church founded by Jesus, the Church purchased by His blood, and the Church that He identifies with.