Matt. 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Matt. 16:17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
Matt. 16:18 Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
I think this passage of scripture is often overlooked when you talk about why Jesus came to the earth. Most often we refer to the fact that He came to take upon Himself man’s sin, and man’s punishment, providing the way of relationship back to the Father. Thank the Lord He did all of that and more at Calvary, but I can’t help but look to these verses of scripture where Jesus is asking His disciples who man said that He, the Son of God was. They gave the answers of those of His day, but then He asked them who they said He was. I often wondered how many believers would have a similar answer as Peter’s?
Peter responds declaring that Jesus was the Messiah, which Jesus notes Peter got that by revelation from the Father. Jesus then makes this very important and powerful statement, “Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church”. Is Jesus building His church? The answer would be “yes” because He said He would. That is where I believe we have missed a major revelation in the body of Christ, including in my own walk with God for years. We don’t make ourselves the church, it is Jesus who builds the church and it is done by revelation of who He is. I will get back to that in a moment.
First of all let me address what the “church” really is according to the scriptures. Most believers have been taught that the word for church here in the original Greek language means “The called out ones”. Stop and think about that definition for just a minute. If Jesus is building His church, and the church refers to the called out ones, then would it not be obvious that what He is doing in the lives of the church is calling them out from the world? Anyone who knows scripture would have to say yes because the Bible teaches us that we are in the world but not to be of the world.
There are several reasons why this is true. Once we are born again our lives are to begin a transformation process that is continually being changed from one degree of the glory of God to the next degree of God’s glory. Why would Jesus build a church that would look like, sound like, act like, and continue to walk in the same results as those who are bound by the things of this world? To be a part of the “church” that Jesus is building is to be someone who is in fact becoming more Christ-like and less world-like. When you start talking like this many today claim you are trying to put them into some sort of religious bondage, but if that were true then the picture of the church that Jesus is building would obviously not look like Him. But that is, as we will see that is what scripture teaches us, what we can become.
Part of the problem is the fact that many have not actually like Peter had a true encounter with God, and they have only met the church. They have never truly had a life changing born-again conversion experience. I realize this is not true for everyone, but it is a major problem in what is being called the church today. Far too many don’t realize they have heard stories about Jesus, just as others of Jesus’ day did, but have never had a revelation in their hearts of who He is. This is what Jesus said would be the rock, the foundation stone upon which His church would be built, and in fact that for those who are a part of this church the powers of hell would not prevail against this true church.
Yet if you look at many today who do attend or at least claim to be a part of the church of Jesus Christ, why are there so many lives being ransacked by the devil and his demonic powers? As a Pastor it is difficult to watch people go through such pain that comes as a result of a lifestyle patterned after the world, sinful and destructive. Some get upset when you preach about sin, but the reason we still deal with this subject is because the wages of sin have not changed. There are more reasons as to why there are those who are born again still live in sin than I can address in this one teaching, but what I want to focus in on is the key to Jesus building His church.
John 4:25 The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will tell us everything.” (Messiah is the one called Christ.)
The term for “Christ” is translated in our foundation text as “Messiah”. This was used in speaking of Jesus as the Anointed One who would deliver us from our sins. In this account found in the gospel of John, this is where Jesus appears to the woman at the well. He actually confronted her living in sin with a man to whom she was not married too. She did not say He was trying to put some form of religious bondage on her, but in fact she declared that she knew the One who would come and deliver her from such a lifestyle was the Messiah. She did not know until after this statement that He was standing right in front of her. In the next verse Jesus revealed Himself to her and said that it was He.
So those who knew the writings of the Old Testament knew that when the Messiah would come He would tell them everything. In this woman’s life that included how to get free from this lifestyle of sin she was in bondage too. So here we find a vital key to how Jesus would build His church through the revelation of who He is. They would listen to everything He had to say. This is where many are not making the connection with the One who came, not to endorse their worldly lifestyle and ways, for He did not, and not to introduce them to the church for He did not, but to make them the church by way of revelation of Him. To get this revelation of all He has for our life, including how to live a life set apart from the destructive, painful, sin-filled, stress filled, and bondage filled way of the world, WE MUST HEAR HIM!
Luke 9:35 Then there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, My Chosen One or My Beloved; listen to and yield to and obey Him! AMP
Jesus upon the mount of transfiguration had with Him Peter, James, and John. In the midst of this encounter with Moses and Elijah the heavenly Father speaks and declares to the disciples that they were to recognize Jesus as the Chosen One (Messiah), and they were to listen to and yield to and obey Him! To have revelation from the Word of God that is life changing one must come to the Word and to God’s house with a heart to hear from the Lord Jesus what He is saying to us, and be willing to apply what you hear. If we do not come to the Lord with a yielded heart and a willing vessel then we are not going to walk in the light of who He is.
The “church” that Jesus is building that will not be overcome by the powers of the devil, but will in fact keep satan under their feet where he belongs, are those who want to hear what Jesus has to say to them. They want to not only hear Him, but have a heart yielded to the Lord so that He can reveal more of Himself to them, and then they will continually see their lives transformed through the power of His anointing that brings about a deliverance in our life from the world and it’s destructive ways. The more Jesus works on His church, the more we begin to sound like Him, act like Him, be consumed by Him, and do what He Himself did for we will then begin to learn who we truly are. This is what changed the lives of the early church.
Mark 4:24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.
So we see that Jesus Himself is going to build the church, the called out ones from the ways and bondages of the world, by way of revelation. This revelation of His Word will come to those who, as the Father stated, will listen too, yield too, and obey what His Son has to say. So how important is it then as to what we are listening too? Jesus tells us here in the gospel of Mark we are to take heed to what we hear. The measure of what we are hearing will determine what will be measured to us. If we don’t pay attention to what we are hearing this will affect our outcome in life. I have heard my Pastor, Dr. Mark Barclay say many times, “Whoever has your ear, has your heart.”
It is in our hearts that revelation comes, which in turn will bring about transformation of our lives. Why are so many not seeing this transforming effect of Jesus, the Word of God, building their life? Because if we are giving our ears to that which is not of Jesus what do we expect to receive? As the old saying goes, “Trash in, trash out.” No matter how much you may say you love Jesus, if you don’t pay attention to what you are listening to it won’t be long before you begin to allow things in your life that are not good. What we listen to effects what we believe. Revelation of who Christ is and who He made you to be comes from the heart. One must believe in their heart to walk in the transforming power of the Anointed One.
So make sure it is Jesus who is the builder of your life. Take time to pay attention to who has your ear. What are you listening too? Are you making sure it is a godly influence and not a worldly one? You can’t say it better than our heavenly Father Himself did. “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker