Nineteen hundred years ago our blessed Lord promised to build his glorious church. When Jesus uttered these noble words of Matthew 16:18, the demons in hell trembled: "Upon this Rock, I will build my church and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it."
The church is built upon the deity of Christ which Peter confessed that day and not upon the primacy of the apostle which is never confessed in Scripture! Peter himself made it clear in Acts 4:11, 12 and I Peter 2:5-7 that Christ is the chief-cornerstone upon which Christianity is solidly built. Paul stated in two passages in the Corinthians correspondence that Jesus is the Rock and that the solid foundation is none other than our Savior (I Corinthians 3:11, 10:4).
E. E. Hewitt powerfully wrote: "For Christ, our dear Redeemer, For Christ, the crucified; For the church His blood hath purchased; The church, His holy bride."
In an exquisite passage of pathos and beauty, Paul wrote, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, concerning Christ and the church: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:23-32). By way of prophetic application, the Psalmist pungently stated "For, except the Lord build the house they labor in vain who build it."
In Acts 20:28 and Ephesians 3:21 we learn valuable lessons concerning the church Jesus promised to build. First of all, since Christ purchased the church with his shed blood, it truly belongs to him. Secondly, God is glorified in that church forever by Christ Jesus. As a summation point, drawn from these verses, we clearly see that no human religion could ever compare with the church Jesus built!
"For Christ and the church Let our voices ring. Let us honor the name Of our own blessed King. Let us work with a will In the strength of youth, And loyally stand For the kingdom of Truth."
In the famous passage of Matthew 16, we learn that even the bars of death could not hold the son of God. Up from the grave by the power of Jehovah, our Savior arose (Romans 1:4) and conquered death (John 11:24-26). He had defeated Satan (John 12:31-33) and set the captives free (Ephesians 4:8) to grant us victory over the grave (I Corinthians 15:54-57). Peter made it very clear on Pentecost that our Redeemer had "burst asunder the bands of death" (Acts 2:24). Destroying the power the Devil had once held over mankind because of sin (Romans 5:12, Hebrews 2:14), the One born of woman (Galatians 4:4; Genesis 3:15) had once for all time crushed Satan's power!
"He arose a victor from the dark domain And He lives forever with the saints to reign." 627 Rodeo Drive, Mt. Vernon, TX 75457.
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