by pastor david
“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.”
According to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, a pronoun is, “A word used instead of a noun or name, to avoid the repetition of it”. In the passage above, there are two significant pronouns, used for our Lord Jesus, each of which, shine radiant and revealing light on the essential subject of the Church. Those notable pronouns are, “I” and “My”. Jesus said, “I will build My church”. A careful study of the passage reveals that this statement applies to both the universal church, of which every believer is a member, and the local churches, which meet at various locations around the world.
There is a great deal of comfort associated with these two prevailing pronouns.
1. Christ is building the Church, not man.
Each member of a local church fellowship has been given certain responsibilities to be exercised within the context of that local assembly. Ultimately, it is our Lord Jesus Christ, however, who is building the Church. How comforting that is. As a Pastor, I am given many tasks that must be carried out on a regular basis, relative to the local Church to which I have been called, but “building” the Church is, in actual fact, Christ’s responsibility.
Often, I remind the Lord and myself of course, that the Church I serve is His Church and not mine. This is especially true when things are not going as I had hoped or planned. Christ is actively and aggressively building his Church locally and universally. I do not have the experience or proficiency to take on such a daunting task on my own.
Out of this profound principle, there arises another insightful truth.
2. The Church belongs to Christ, not me.
The Apostle Paul puts it this way; “Christ is head of the church”. (Ephesians 5:23)
If the Church I serve is His Church, then I must follow his lead as He directs the affairs of the congregation. Fortunately, He has revealed His will for the Church in His Word, the Bible, and as long as I am following His Word, I know I am following Him.
Twice the wise writer of the Proverbs reminds us that, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death”. (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25) If I do things my way, the result of my endeavors will be death.
Our loyalty to the local assembly where we worship must emerge from our love and loyalty to Christ, who is the “head” of the Church. We are to be faithful in our attendance and participation simply because we love him.
When we call a particular local assembly our “Home Church”, there is associated with that a certain accountability to the leaders of that Church and to its members. However, we are, in the final analysis, responsible to Christ who is the Head of the Church and the One who sacrificed His life to redeem it. The Bible says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:10) This, I am sure, is something that is not to be taken lightly or flippantly.
Today, I am resting and relaxing in the fact that our Church belongs to Christ and is being built by Him. However, there is a lot of work for each of us to do, in order to see our Church reach its highest potential. Amen?
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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