THE LORD’S CHURCH
We claim ownership of a lot of things that we don’t actually own. Thieves and robbers claim and take property that belongs to other, like cars, purses, and wallets. Still, one of the worst things to take is another person’s identity. It is wrong to claim to be someone that you are not, illegally using their name for your own benefit. Unfortunately, for ages individuals have claimed to be the Lord Jesus, trying to steal His identity, going after His glory. In addition, millions have alleged that the church is theirs, asserting that the church belongs to them. However, Jesus has laid claim on the church for himself. He owns the church, according to Matthew 16:17-18.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 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.
Clearly, the church does not belong to the members, pastor, deacons, or other church leaders. It does not belong to one who started a particular local congregation nor their family. The church belongs to the Lord. He calls it “my church.” There are certain things Jesus does for the church, things no one else can do.
The first thing Jesus tells us about His church is He builds His church. To build is to construct, Jesus is committed to taking the various parts and putting them together to build His church. The builder of the church is flawless. However, the church has defects, imperfections, and shortcomings. Still, the Lord Jesus is committed to building His blemished church. He does not give up on the church. He does not throw the church away. The Lord’s wholehearted commitment to building the church is seen in Jeremiah 18:1-6.
18 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the bwheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
I am overjoyed that the Lord Jesus faithfully and patiently builds His church. Are you in the Lord’s church, the body of Christ? Are you allowing Him to construct your life according to His will and purpose? Trust me, you want to allow Him to make your life His construction site.
The second thing Jesus tells us about His church is He gives the church strength and power. In this day and hour, we desperately need the strength and power that comes from the Lord Jesus. Jesus’ promised strength and power for the church are in Matthew 16:18.
18 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.
Notice, Jesus mentions the gates of hell. Gates are designed to keep things out. The enemy wants to keep the church out, but his efforts will not win and will not succeed. Jesus is empowering the church to win and to succeed. Notice, Jesus promised that the church will prevail! This is great news. To prevail is to “overcome something or some person so as to be able to defeat, with the implication that the successful participant has greater strength.” In short, the church was, is, and shall be victorious.
Are you missing out on the power and strength that causes us to be victorious? Are you missing out on the Lord Jesus building your life, according to His will and purpose? You do not have to miss out. Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Surrendering to Him admits you to His church and positions you to have your life built by Him. All who are born again are His. The born again makes up His church. Remember, the church belongs to Him and He promised to build and empower His church.
By: Bishop Arthur F. Mosley