Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 14 Logos since 31 July 2017 . The Church that Jesus Builds

. The Church that Jesus Builds

THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILDS

Matthew 16:18 (ESV) 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

While buildings benefit the programme of a church I need to state clearly that the church is not a building. Peter reminds us clearly in 1 Peter 2:4-5 (ESV) 4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

 

Peter is reminding us that the priesthood now belongs to all, that the church is chosen by God and precious to God, it is living, it is in Christ, and its purpose if to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. It is not to rule over one another or over your leadership.

 

It is not about programmes, but it is about all of us “being built up as a spiritual house.”

 

I present to you today the owner of Logos, the builder of Logos, the architect of Logos and the one to whom all glory belongs at Logos and that builder and owner is none other than the Living Logos of whom we read in John 1:1-2.

 

With the above in mind, let’s get to the text before us this morning. Matthew 16:18 (ESV) 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock,  I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Christ Jesus the Living Logos, makes a critical statement here. He says that He will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

 

Church family, while it will be a privilege to pastor you for however long the Lord will allow me, we need to realise that none of us are here to receive glory and none of us even as founder members own Logos.

 

In this text there are at least seven pillars on which the church rests and upon which we can find our rest.  I believe these pillars will unite us, it will excite us, and it will motivate us to work together for the glory of God. No one should take on the risk of revitalising the church or participating in its building until the defining truths of this Scripture have gripped our hearts and minds.

 

1st Pillar. The initial characteristic of the church involves a permanent foundation.

 

In His promise to build His church, Christ explicitly looked to an everlasting legacy. Jesus did not have in mind the temporary, the faddish, or the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ kind of organisation. It does not have a sell by date, and it does not have an expiry date. All human organisations will end but the church has an everlasting relevance. ‘I also say that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church.’ The foundation wasn’t Peter, because Christ here distinguishes between a moveable rock/detached boulder (the basic meaning of Cephas and Peter) and the unshakeable, immovable foundation suitable for the church.  The word Christ used for ‘rock’ means bedrock or mass of rock as used by the wise builder (Matt. 7:24-25).

 

What or who then is the rock?  The Old Testament pictures God as a rock in whom we find strength and refuge: (1 Sam. 2:2, Ps. 18:2, Ps. 18:31). Paul identifies Christ as the rock in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:4).  Earlier in 1 Corinthians 3:11, the Apostle wrote, 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Interestingly enough, one verse earlier Paul had claimed, ‘I laid a foundation…’ How did Paul ‘lay’ Christ as the foundation?  Obviously, it had to be in his preaching of Christ. Now, if Paul’s testimony of Christ is the foundation that no one else can lay, then it seems best to understand the ‘bedrock foundation’ of the church to be Peter’s testimony of Christ, Matthew 16:16 (ESV) 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 

So, whether we put our emphasis on Christ as the rock or the testimony of Christ as the rock, it is virtually impossible to separate the testimony of Christ from the reality of Christ, we can identify the ‘rock’ as Christ Himself in the fullness of His deity, His role as redeemer, and His headship in the church. Christ alone is the rock of redemption upon which the church is being built (Acts 4:11-12).  His eternal nature ensures the permanency of the church’s one foundation. But Logos members, we need to take our eyes off our local representation of the church and daily commit ourselves to the following statement, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God………. and this church has a permanent foundation, only because it is built on you.  Can I challenge you with a question: Do you believe in the permanence of the church, and that you should ensure your commitment to it for the sake of future generations, or are you going to leave it to others to strengthen?

 

2nd Pillar. Christ promised His personal involvement. I will build My church.

 

 

What a joy to know this. Logos will not be built by any of us; Christ said He will do it. Now I know that we are fellow workers. Paul reminds us of this fact in 1 Cor. 3:9. Just a few verses back in verse 6 he reminds that the one sows, the other one waters, but Christ personally gives the growth. If you think that any of us are going to grow Logos, you are making a terrible mistake. But what a privilege to be partners with Christ in building His church. How comforting to know He built the church before we arrived, and He will continue to build long after we’re gone.

 

So, the building of the church is not out to tender, it does not belong to your pastor and leaders, but we all are invited to join Christ in the church He is building. But His Church He will build. And may I remind you that this church is universal, and it spans denominations. You and I are as members of Christ, firstly members of the worldwide church of Christ. But locally, this is where we align, and we work together with Christ, on this local representation of His body.

 

Let me ask you another question: On a scale of 1-10 how good is your personal involvement as a fellow worker under Christ going to be?

 

3rd Pillar Christ’s confident declaration guarantees that the church has a positive expectation I will build My church.

Church family, if this was not true, I would give up now. This is no idle dream about what might be. In times like these when the future of the church looks bleak and its condition uncertain, this powerful promise should encourage and motivate us. The church will be triumphant because Christ began building the church with the intention of completing her (Eph. 5:26-27).  His sovereignty over all guarantees the outcome. There is no corruption here. The job will be completed until that day when men and women of all cultures stand before the throne crying holy, holy, is the Lord God almighty. For this reason, we are looking forward to what the Lord is going to do in and through this newly united body. I get worried when I look at national statistics of denominations, the picture is bleak. But then I look at this verse and I take heart.

 

Let me ask you another question, have you looked at the world around you and lost heart. Have you lost confidence in His ability to build His church? Then take courage today my friend…. He will…….”

 

4th Pillar: Jesus claimed that His church will have a powerful advance. I will build My church.

 

The church experienced an explosive beginning with 3,000 members being added on the first day (Acts 2:41).  ‘And the Lord was adding to their numbers day by day those who were being saved’ (Acts 2:47).  What is contained in one mere sentence in Matthew 16 mushrooms into an expansive reality by the time of John’s Revelation. Before the New Testament ends, churches existed across the face of the Roman Empire.  They included locations like Rome, Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, Colossae, Laodicea, Ephesus, Galatia, Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, Antioch, Jerusalem, Crete, Cyprus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Caesarea, Berea, and Joppa. His building efforts continue to this very hour, even in the founding of Logos Community Church, just as He intended (Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47).

What is your part going to be in this, are you at least praying for it, giving towards it?

 

5th Pillar Christ possesses the exclusive paid-in-full ownership of the church I will build My church.

 

Acts 20:28 (ESV)28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

 

Make no mistake; Logos is not our Church does not belong to its members, neither corporately or individually. It does not belong to the denomination. Therefore, Logos will not be exposed to the following statements, “I want, I demand, I feel, I believe, do it my way or else I withhold my attendance or giving, or leave.” We are not going to toy-toy when things do not go our way, because the church is not ours. It is not mine, no matter my participation; it will not belong to the pastor or elders or the rich or anybody else.  Christ is Lord, and He is Lord of Logos, all we are His servants. Paul writes to the believers in Rome, ‘All the churches of Christ greet you’ (Rom. 16:16). We can build and own buildings, but we have no ownership claim over the church.

 

Another question to you, do you desire to own the church. Do you feel that Christ cannot build it without your opinion, criticism or vote?  While none will argue the validity of our participation even in levels of decision making, can I invite us all to relax and enjoy the ministry knowing it did not start with me and does not end with me and does not belong to me?

 

6th Pillar For Christ, the church has a people-centered priority‘I will build My church.

 

 

The church comprises an assembly of people who have believed in Jesus Christ for eternal life (Acts 4:32). Jesus uses living stones—individual people—to build His church (1 Pet. 2:5).  That is why the mandate of evangelization is to take the gospel to all the nations (Luke 24:47).  Even the goal of edification is to present everyone complete in Christ (Col. 1:28). The Greek word ‘ekklysia’ translated ‘church’ literally means the congregation which has been called out.

 

The New Testament pictures the church as made up of those who have been delivered out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13).  The Thessalonians had turned from idols to serve a true and living God (1 Thess. 1:9).  The church has been called into fellowship with Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:9).  Christ has called His redeemed out of darkness into His marvellous light (1 Pet. 2:9). Let me say this. The church is not about a membership certificate or a legal identification. You are either a member spiritually or you are not a member. It is not about privileges without responsibility. It is not about constitutional rights, but about Biblical unity and responsibility. The prisons are full of people who have an official tie to the church but who never had a spiritual tie. Our national constitution reflects a much larger membership than what we see in worship on Sundays.

 

We are a body and not a business, we are a church and not a club, we are a bride and not a building, we are a living organism and not an organisation. For that reason, our relationships are not determined by constitutions but our unity in the blood of Christ.

 

You must be part of the church in a living way, you have to be involved, you have to use your gifts, you have to participate on all levels, you have to give, you have to attend. You cannot sit at home, ignore the body, and claim that you are part of it because you have a paper. Try and belong to a rugby club without playing rugby. This is serious people. You do not want to be one who stands before the Lord one day and says to Him: Lord, Lord, I had a membership certificate, or I was baptised in the church, or married in the church, and He says to you that He does not know you. The church is not there for your children to be hatched, matched and dispatched.

 

Have you lost the true meaning of the church? Has it become a club to you, or just a circle of friends, or maybe a convenience where you can see your children hatched, matched and dispatched? How does this affect your commitment to faithfulness?

 

7th Pillar Jesus has promised success to the church until death us do part.

I will build My church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

 

How is this success to be understood?  In the Old Testament ‘gates of hell’ is associated with Sheol (Isa. 38:10) and death (Job 38:17; Ps. 9:13; 107:18), both referring to physical death.  ‘Death’ is really the only enemy that could ‘potentially’ overpower and defeat the church since she is comprised of people who shall live, even if they die (John 11:25). The writer of Hebrews encourages us to know that through death Christ rendered powerless him who had the power of death, which is the devil (2:14).  Christ conquered sin, Satan and death, our three greatest enemies. Paul wrote this Christian victory song to the Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (ESV) 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

For the New Testament believer there is a new confidence based on the death and resurrection of Christ, where the finality of the brevity of life, does not scare us but fills us with joy because on the cross, Christ conquered sin, Satan and death, Hallelujah.

 

My question to you on this point: Do you know for sure that when you die you will go to heaven; are your truly part of the church that Christ is building? Then and then alone you can know and have confidence in Him alone.

 

So, when Christ builds the church these seven pillars or features will be identifiable:

 

  1. Christ is the permanent foundation.
  2. Christ is personally involved.
  3. Christ sees the church as having a positive expectation.
  4. Christ promises a powerful advance.
  5. Christ owns the church with a “paid-in-full ownership”.
  6. Christ’s church had a people-centred priority.
  7. Christ promises success over sin, Satan and death.

 

Who could possibly want to build the church any other way?

 

Nothing will bring Christ greater pleasure than the building of His church. So, aim your life at the bull’s-eye mark of His pleasure and you will never miss the spiritual target.  You’ll not be disappointed, and neither will Christ.  Your heart will be filled with a great sense of commitment by being part of Christ building His Church His way for His glory.

 

There are a few questions that we need to ask as we embrace the future together.

 

  1. To whom do we look when the church is in a poor condition—Christ or your leaders?
  2. Who knows more about the current needs of the church—Christ or your leaders?
  3. Who can provide better for the church—Christ or your leaders?
  4. From whom did the original idea of the church come—Christ or your leaders?
  5. In whom rests the church’s future hope—Christ or your leaders?
  6. Who built the church up until now—Christ or your leaders?
  7. Whom do we trust for future direction—Christ or your leaders?
  8. Who owns and sustains the church—Christ or your leaders?
  9. For whose glory does the church exist—Christ or your leaders?
  10. Who is the head of the church—Christ or your leaders?

 

So, in a world of corruption, it is a privilege to know that there is at least a real deal that will never fail: “Christ will build His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: - 11 March 2018