The Establishment of the church
In Matthew 16:13-18 we get a glimpse into the plans of Jesus to build His kingdom, which is the church. The New Testament church had its inception into the world as a result of the long range plan and purpose of God. When Jesus died upon the cross, thus purchasing the church (Acts 20:28), it was not accidental. His death was according to God’s determinate counsel and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23).
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He inquired of His disciples as to the public opinion of His identity. They replied by saying that some thought He was John the Baptist, others that He was Elias, other Jeremias, and others announced that He was, at least, one of the prophets. It was then that Jesus asked, “But whom say ye that I am?”
With boldness, Peter answered Jesus by saying, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus then said to Peter, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
Then Jesus declared, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” This is the first place that the word “church” is to be found in all of God’s revealed word. Notice that Jesus said, “I will build.” Christ is the builder of the church. If an organization was built by any other, at any other time or place, it is not the church Christ built.
Further observe that Jesus declared, “I will build my church.” This is why we can speak of it as the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). If one takes money for which he has worked and buys a watch with that money, he can say, “It is my watch.” Jesus paid the purchase price for the church (Acts 20:28), hence He has the right to call it “my church”.
Let’s seek the wisdom of God concerning the church. May the Lord bless you and keep you!