He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Matthew 16:15-18
Often times people believe that when we refer to the church, we are referring to the building or the structure but in reality, the church is the body of believers. The building merely houses the body of believers. The church is the people who put their trust in Jesus. It is a community of people set apart for Christ and by Christ.
‘Church’ in the Bible comes from the Greek word ekklesia which means community, assembly, a called out people. WE ARE THE CHURCH.
1 Peter 2:9-10 says “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Jesus Is the Head; We Are the Body
And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:22-23
Jesus is the Head of the church and you are a part of His body. God has given you the privilege to be His arms, feet and mouth to the world (1 Corinthians 12:27; Colossians 1:16, 18).
As a part of the body of Christ, you are to be an agent of positive transformation to the world. You must love God and love others. You must represent Christ. Love is the primary evidence of Christ-likeness. The church has one message – Jesus died and rose again for your sins to give you eternal life. There is no salvation in any other name but Jesus (Acts 3:15, 4:10, 12).
What then does the Church do?
The answer is stated in Matthew 28:18-20.
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
This is what we have been told to do by Jesus before he went back to heaven. This is not a suggestion. It is a command. And we, who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ are bound to obey.
There are so many ministries in the church — those that cater to the children, to the youth, to women, to men, to the needy, to the sick, and so much more. But there is a distinct danger that we will lose sight of what really matters — which is the ministry that Jesus Himself has tasked us with, and that is EVANGELISM and DISCIPLESHIP.
The early church knew this and practiced this as we see in Acts 2:42 where we are told that the continually devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to fellowship, to breaking of the bread and to prayer. We know that their methods worked because their teachings have been passed on to the next generation and the next . . . And have been passed on to us.
We must not lose sight of the mission, message and motivation of our calling. The mission is to make disciples who will make disciples. The message is Jesus – who He is, His gift of eternal life and how to make Him known. The motivation is love. You do what you do because you love God and others.
It is our privilege to partner with God’s agenda in CCF to transform lives, families, and nations. We are to take on the marching order to know Him and make Him known. We are all given the opportunity to finish well all for God’s glory and honor.