Author: Ron Graham
I Will Build My Church
—Christ the Founder of the church
Jesus told Peter, "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). Soon after he died and arose from the dead, he did exactly that —He built his church, and he has been building it ever since.
We introduce the series Search for the True Church by briefly looking at the statement of Jesus, "I will build my church".
1 “I” marks Christ’s Lordship
The first word of the statement is "I". This marks the unique position of Christ as Lord. Nobody else is in a position to say what follows this "I".
Jesus is the only rightful founder and head of the church, not you or me or someone else no matter how eminent. It's the same "I" as in "I am the way the truth and the life" (John 14:6). Who else can say that?
2 “Will” marks Christ’s Authority
When Jesus says "will", he expresses his authority (Matthew 28:18). His will is supreme except for the will of his Father.
Again I shall speak somewhat harshly, yet I hope appropriately. It is surprising how many believers in Christ proceed according to what pleases them, without bothering to ask if it pleases Christ and seeking their Master's authority. We have his authority to build nothing in his name, save that which he would build. When was it ever his will to build a denomination? Whatever is not according to his will is contrary to it.
3 “Build” marks Christ’s Work
When Jesus says "build", he expresses his work. "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me to finish his work... My Father is at work until now, so I am at work" (John 4:34, John 5:17).
Promoting a denomination is not the work of Christ. Only in building the church Christ died for are we doing Christ's work. In building a denomination, we are working for somebody else and doing somebody else's work, not the Lord's.
4 “My” marks Christ’s Possession
When Jesus says "my" he indicates to whom the church belongs.
- Only his blood purchased the church of God, nobody else’s. The only church worth belonging to is "the church of God which he purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).
- The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord. "No man can lay a foundation other than the one that has been laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 3:11).
- Only he is the chief corner stone, no one else. The church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20).
- The church is his bride whom he loves. She belongs to no other. "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25-27).
- Christ does not possess any denomination.
5 “Church” marks Christ’s Call
When Jesus says "church", he expresses his call to the world. Jesus calls everyone into his one true church the "called out" people (ekklesia). Jesus calls nobody into any denomination.
"[God] has saved us, and called us with a holy calling..." (2Timothy 1:9). That's the only way we are made into a true church. Christ never called anyone into a denomination.
In every word of the statement "I will build my church" we are brought to the realization that Christ's church is what we should be restoring and establishing in the world.
We should not replace it with anything else nor join ourselves to a "church" that someone else has founded. Let's work together in going back to the one true church of Christ. No other "church" will do.