FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
309 East North St. Sidney, Ohio 45365
937-492-4909

Sunday School 9:15am

Sunday Worship Service 10:30am

 

Scripture: Matthew 16:13-18                                                                                                                                                                               April 28, 2019

Sermon:       “Jesus Founded (or started) His Church”                                                                                        Pastor John Young

 

            For the past several weeks we’ve been considering the life and work of Jesus Christ.  When Christians consider the resurrection of Christ there is usually a sense of climax or closure to His wonderful and fulfilling life, but that’s a little premature.  For you see, Jesus did many things after His resurrection too.  One of which is recorded for us in our text this morning.  I want to center your attention on verse 18, “...upon this rock I will build my church....”  One of the things that Jesus did before He left this earth was He founded (or started) His Church.

I.         First, let’s deal with the difficulties of our text¾

A.  Who’s the “rock?”

1.  Some say it is Peter¾“...Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church....”

a.   But a close examination of the text reveals the fallacy of this thought.

1)  The emphasis of the text is not on Peter.  It’s on Jesus.  Notice verses 13b & 15b.

2)  The only reason Peter’s name is in the text is because of the revelation he received in answer to this question.  Notice verses 16 & 17.

3)  The “rock” of verse 18 is the “Rock” spoken about in the entire Bible:

a)  In Ephesians 2:20, Jesus is called “...the chief corner stone” by the apostle Paul.

b)  In Peter’s own writings (I Peter 2:6) he calls Jesus the “chief corner stone.”

b)  This is a fact that was established and prophesied before Jesus was even born!  Isaiah 28:16 says, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation:...”

4)  The Rock is Jesus Christ!

B.  What’s the “church?”

1.  To most people it refers to a building with steeple, pews, etc.

2.  But, according to the Bible, a church is not a building¾it’s people!

a.   Notice what it says in Acts 14:27, “And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them...”

1)  If the church is a building, they gathered the bricks, chairs, tables, windows and roofing together!

2)  If the church is people, they gathered all the people together and rehearse what God had done with their lives!

3.  The church is people, but not just any people!

a.   According to the Bible, a person becomes a member of God’s Church when they accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as their Savior.

1)  Acts 20:28 says, “...the church of God,” is what Jesus “...purchased with his own blood.”

2)  Some people try to get into the church by baptism, joining, giving money, or some sacrament, but there’s only one way!  And that’s through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

II.  Secondly, let’s deal with why Jesus founded, or started, His church.

A.  According to the Bible there are four basic reasons:

1.  To give people an opportunity to come together to WORSHIP!

a.   Psalms 95:6-7 says, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”

b.   Worship has many different forms and expressions.

1)  Some use their body, while others use their voice.

2)  Some worship by meditating on WHO God is!

3)  Worship involves praise.  We do this when we sing, testify, and obey God’s Word.

c.   You can worship the Lord all by yourself, but there is an exhilarating joy when many people worship together.

1)  After their exile, some of the Jews returned to their homeland under the leadership of Ezra.  Later Nehemiah joined this group in repairing Jerusalem.  Enduring all kinds of affliction and treachery, the people finished the walls.  In a mass service, over 50,000 people worshipped the Lord together.  Can you imagine what this must have been like?

2.  To give people the opportunity to enjoy the FELLOWSHIP of encouraging friends!

a.   This was the example of the early believers in Acts 2:46 & 47.  The Bible says, “And they, continuing daily with one accord (that must have been hard getting 3,000 people in one small car!  Ha!)...and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people....”

b.   Fellowship, and encouragement from friends, is one of the greatest joys of church!

1)  We come together and share the excitements, trials and disappointments we’ve experienced through the week.

2)  What a support group the local church is!!

Illustration: Ted Malone, whose radio show came on early in the morning, told of the Idaho shepherd who wrote:  "Will you, on your broadcast, strike the note 'A'?  I'm a sheepherder way out here on a ranch, far away from a piano.  The only comfort I have is my old violin.  It's all out of tune.  Would you strike 'A' so that I might get in tune?"

            Malone honored the request.  Later he received a "thank you" note from the distant shepherd saying, "Now I'm in tune."

            This is what church does¾it helps us recapture the missing note!

3.  To give people the opportunity to receive INSTRUCTION from His Word¾the Bible!

a.   Here at FBC we have three services, each with a slightly different purpose.

1)  Sunday school is where we get intense teaching from God’s Word (college type teaching...digging deep)!

2)  Sunday morning services are intended to be evangelistic in nature.  We learn some basic principles from the Bible but with a strong emphasis on salvation.

3)  Wednesday night is a mid-week prayer service.  It’s a wonderful time of intimate prayer for one another.  I’ve learned so much about our church family through the prayer list.

b.   Three slightly different services, but all giving instruction from God’s Word.

c.   Everyone needs instruction!  You can learn it on your own, but God has separated men and women who have been gifted to teach.

1)  Paul told the Ephesians in 4:11-12, “And he gave some....pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

4.  To experience FORGIVENESS!

a.   What a safe retreat the church is!  What a place for healing!

b.   It is not a place where justice and accusation abound, but where grace and forgiveness is predominating!

c.   If there is one thing we all have in common¾it’s this:  the need for FORGIVENESS!!

1)  Romans 2:23 says, “For all have sinned...”  Everyone is included!  Even YOU!!

2)  Paul writes in Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”

3)  This is why Jesus established the church!!!!  A safe place for Forgiveness!

Conclusion: Jesus Christ founded the church upon Himself to provide these wonderful things.  Church is important because of them.  Perhaps you have been a little too casual with your commitment to God’s Church.  I hope today you will renew your commitment.  The resurrection completed redemption, but Jesus wanted to leave His presence on the earth, so He founded (or started) the church!