Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church
“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47 NIV)
The Christian church was born in a prayer meeting when the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised would come to help them, descended upon them on the Day of Pentecost. Now the ekklesia, or the “called ones,” which was the church of Christ, began to meet together, and they start sharing this message that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life; that their sins would be forgiven; that they could sleep at night, because their conscience would be made clean; that they didn’t have to be afraid of death any longer, because Jesus had said, “He that believes in me, yet shall he live”; that even when they died a physical death, they would keep living. And the Bible says that “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” The message went out and churches began to form all over. This is all chronicled in the book of Acts, written by Luke, the only Gentile writer of the New Testament. We also learn about the early Church in the New Testament letters, written by the apostles and by Jude and James, the half-brothers of our Lord.
We all grow up in different church atmospheres, but the New Testament church is the model God gives us of Christianity. This is the way a church is supposed to look and act; and it's not necessarily what we saw growing up. God put these accounts in his Word so we would read them with a humble and teachable spirit and say, “Lord, help us to do church the way you want your church to be done.” We have to remember that it’s Jesus’ church. No church belongs to a man; no church belongs to a denomination. Every Christian church belongs to Jesus. He’s the one who died for us, and he’s the one who told us how he wants his church to be. Jesus never told us, “I will build your church.” That’s never found in the Bible. Nor did he say, “You will build my church.” That’s not found in Scripture either. What he did say was, “I will build my church.” And he is saying, even today, ”I will use people who are available to me, but it has to look like my church. I don’t want an American-style church; I don’t want a black church or a white church or a Latino church or an Asian church. I am going to build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (See Matthew 16:18) We’re all going to have our cultural distinctions in a way, but spiritually the church has to look like what we see in the Bible. That’s why we need to read God’s Word so carefully today, asking the Holy Spirit to make it real to us, and asking him to help us to live according to the exhortation given to the body of Christ: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Read Acts 2:42-47.