Building a Church

 

(Mat 16:18-19 KJV)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. {19} And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 

Here is a seemingly clear statement of how Jesus will build His church. But is it really that clear? As a Roman Catholic I was taught that it was here that Jesus made Peter the first Pope. It seemingly gives Peter absolute power. It is helpful however to refer to your Strongís concordance if you are not fluent in Greek. Let me do it for you.

 

4074. Petros, pet'-ros; appar. a prim. word; a (piece of) rock (larger than G3037); as a name, Petrus, an apostle:--Peter, rock. Comp. G2786.

 

4073. petra, pet'-ra; fem. of the same as G4074; a (mass of) rock (lit. or fig.):--rock.

 

But does it in fact give Peter unlimited power? Clearly it doesnít. Common sense tells you so. And it says nothing about passing on such power, if it existed. What it does tell us is this: Christ is the foundation on which the Church is built! Men, such as Peter, have the ability to bind and loosen things of this life through the teaching of the Gospel and the Word of God. Letís read more about the Church.

 

(1 Cor 12:4-31 NIV)There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. {5} There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. {6} There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. {7} Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. {8} To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, {9} to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, {10} to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. {11} All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. {12} The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. {13} For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. {14} Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. {15} If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. {16} And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. {17} If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? {18} But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. {19} If they were all one part, where would the body be? {20} As it is, there are many parts, but one body. {21} The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" {22} On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, {23} and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, {24} while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, {25} so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. {26} If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. {27} Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. {28} And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. {29} Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? {30} Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret? {31} But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.

 

 

(Mark 16:11-20 NIV)When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. {12} Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. {13} These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. {14} Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. {15} He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. {16} Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. {17} And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; {18} they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." {19} After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. {20} Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

 

But there is much more to the story than can be told here and now. Here is an example to study.

 

(John 14:15 KJV) If ye love me, keep my commandments.

(John 14:23 KJV)Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

(John 15:10-14 KJV)If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. {11} These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. {12} This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. {13} Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. {14} Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

 

So this is the model we will live and grow by.