Tuesday, April 04, 2017

THE CHURCH WAS BORN ON PENTECOST

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:16-18).
One thing is certain about the words of Jesus to Peter in the above referenced Scripture. The one who would build the Christian Church was Jesus. My personal belief is that it would was built upon the sure foundation of Peter’s confession that Jesus was the anointed one of God, the promised Messiah who would come to save people from their sins. This building process was still in the future when Jesus spoke to Peter in Matthew 16:18. Jesus must first die, be raised from the dead, and ascend to heaven before the church could be established and begin to grow. This is seen in Christ’s statement that the gates of hell would not prevail over the church. The gates of hell speak of death, man’s last and greatest enemy. Since Jesus conquered death by way of resurrection, all those who believe in him (the church), will also prevail over death. Furthermore, when Jesus ascended to heaven the Scripture says that he gave gifts to the church which were of vital necessity: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11.12):  After the death of the apostles and prophets, the gift of pastors-teachers continues throughout the church age. The starling event which ushered in this age, and the birth of the church was Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon one-hundred twenty believers in an upper room in Jerusalem (Acts 2). This was the fulfillment of Christ’s promise, And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). When the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentile household of Cornelius in Acts 10:44-47), Peter recounted to the church of Jeruslaem, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15). The question we could ask is, “the beginning of what?” The best answer that I know to that question is, “the beginning of the church Jesus promised to build” which was conditioned upon the dynamic ministry of the Holy Spirit. The church was not instituted in the Old Testament. It was the body of Christ (Colossians 1:18), Jew and Gentile described as “one new man” (Ephesians 2:14). This truth was a something hidden by God until the time of its disclosure (Ephesians 3:1-6). Praise Jesus, the head of the church, who brought into being, sustains it, and will present it to the Father as a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish’ (Ephesians 5:27)

Pastor Tom

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