How did Christ say he would build His Church?
Someone took fault with my consistent comment that there is one Church as there is one God and one Christ.
I asked them how did Christ say he would build his church.
But they asked "Is the church a place to gather for prayer and worship? Didn't Jesus himself go to church?"
No Jesus did not go to church. He went to synagogues which is the Hebrew word for congregations. Even when the word is translated in the Greek it is translated congregation and assembly and means a bringing together, gathering (as of fruits).
Jesus gathered with others in assemblies.
And yes He went to some buildings where people gathered.
Most of the time Jesus was out in the fields or streets preaching. When He went into the buildings they tried to throw him over a cliff. If He went into most of your modern churches and told them what he was telling the Jews they would want to throw him over a cliff again because the modern churches are more like those Judeans than the early church.
Lots of people have love and passion to follow Christ. But do they know what that means?
What does it mean to follow Christ?
There are lots of opinions about God and Christ and people like to divide themselves up into groups based on those opinions because what they believe is dependent upon what other people believe. This leads to the creation of denominations which divides the people from each other, from love and from Christ.
Our belief should not be dependent upon flesh and blood opinions of others.
There is one Church only but part of the problem is that the Church is not a place.
We are trained to think this is a church and that is a church and there is another one over there or down the street but none of that is true in the context of the bible. The Church is not a building or a denomination.
The word "Church" is from the Greek word ekklesia meaning "called out". God knows who He has called out to be his ministers. You may find them in lots of buildings and they may appear in lots of places that we call churches.
How did Jesus say He would build His Church?
- Matthew 16:18 "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."
Did He mean He was going to build the Church on the opinions of men or set men to rule over the faith of the people?
What is the context of this statement?
Jesus had asked all, "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?" Matthew 16:15
- "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:16
- "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." Matthew 16:17
So was Simon Barjona the rock or was it the revelation of the Father in heaven that is the rock?
Is it not the rock of faith in the way of Christ that saves us?
It is the revelation in our hearts and minds by God not the badgering or preaching of men with fine but private interpretations.
We do not tell people what God wants of them individually but we tell you the context in which He spoke His doctrines.
Religion is how you perform your duty to God and your fellowman.
That duty is to love our neighbor and not take a bite out of him or curse his children with debt. People complain about the fiscal irresponsibility of their government to which they have bound themselves to by agreements in order to obtain security but they pretend to have faith in God.
They apply to Benefactors who exercise authority one over the other which Jesus forbade but then say they love to follow Him.
Faith is Probity which is the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency. You can tell me what you believe but I do not believe someone believes in Jesus unless I see the fruits of that belief in the real Jesus.
So this idea that the Church is a building or a denomination is not what the bible is talking about when it says Church or the Church in the wilderness. The Church in the wilderness is talking about the ekklesia in the wilderness or the called out. The Levites were called out to be the public servants of the people. They did that with free will offerings of the people who learned to care for one another through charity. Those who could not learn that left Israel.
Those who do not learn that the lesson of Christ and Moses is to love one another through the ministers of love and faith have left the Church and are not following Christ nor Moses. They can call themselves the Church or Christians but they are workers of iniquity who are under a strong delusion.
The 1858 Bouvier's law dictionary defined "CHURCH. In a moral or spiritual sense this word signifies a society of persons who profess the Christian religion; and in a physical or material sense, the place where such. persons assemble. The term church is nomen collectivum; it comprehends the chancel, aisles, and body of the church. Ham. N. P. 204."
But what is Religion and how do you profess it?
That definition goes on to make a distinction between the Church as a society and buildings.
"2. By the English law, the terms church or chapel, and church-yard, are expressly recognized as in themselves correct and technical descriptions of the building and place, even in criminal proceedings. 8 B. & C. *25; 1 Salk. 256; 11 Co. 25 b; 2 Esp. 5, 28."
So the question remains who is adhering to Christ's doctrines?
Well in every Church building and many denominations there are probably some people who are truly seeking His will.
But who is really seeking the whole truth of Christ and willing to come together to do His will with their whole heart and soul?
There is the Church.
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== Footnotes ==
- Hebrews 8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
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