1. These verses illustrate how incorrect views can be held concerning the Lord. a. Some thought Jesus was John, Elijah, Jeremiah, or another prophet. b. Those who held these views were wrong. 2. These verses illustrate how correct views can be held concerning the Lord. a. Peter correctly identified Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God." b. Peter went to the right source for information, and he was "blessed." 3. Just as people held incorrect views about the Lord's identity, there are incorrect views held today concerning the church. 4. We can know the truth concerning the church by going to the right source for information (John 8:31-32). 5. In our lesson we are concentrating on the fact that "Jesus built His church." 6. This is an important subject that deserves our careful attention.
I. ACCORDING TO MATTHEW 16:18, JESUS CONSIDERED THE BUILDING OF THE CHURCH TO BE AN IMPORTANT MATTER
A. The Lord said that: 1. He would build His church upon "this rock" [the fact that He is "the Christ, the Son of the living God" -- vs.16] 2. the gates of Hades would not prevent Him from building His church. a. David had made a prophecy many years earlier about the soul of God's Holy One not remaining in Hades (Psalm 16:8-10). b. On Pentecost Peter explained how David wrote about the Lord's resurrection (Acts 2:25-32). 3. Peter's conclusion to his sermon is significant (Acts 2:36). B. Notice how the church is in existence in Acts 2:47. C. Jesus considered the building of His church to be important.
II. ACCORDING TO PSALM 127:1, A CHURCH NOT BUILT BY CHRIST CANNOT BE THE CHURCH OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
A. This verse teaches an important principle: "if the Lord is not the builder, those who build the house are working in vain." B. 2 Old Testament building projects illustrate this principle. 1. First, a negative example is the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). a. (vs.1-4) A plan was made to build a city and a tower [this was a manmade plan -- it did not come from the Lord]. b. (vs.5-9) The Lord stopped this building project. c. All the resources used and the time spent were in vain. 2. Second, a positive example is the tabernacle. a. The Lord gave Moses a plan for building the tabernacle (Exodus 25:9). b. The Israelites followed the Lord's instructions (Exodus 39:32, 42-43). c. The Lord was pleased with the tabernacle (Exodus 40:33-34). C. Let us apply this information to the church. 1. We learn from 1 Timothy 3:15 that the church is God's house. 2. Unless the Lord is the builder, a church cannot be the New Testament church.
1. Jesus overcame death to build His church. 2. Has the Lord added you to it?