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“Upon This Rock, I Will Build My Church”

Preaching by Pastor Ricky Rontales

Scripture: Matthew 16:13-18

13 Jesus went to the territory near the town of Caesarea Philippi, where he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 “Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.”

15 “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 “Good for you, Simon son of John!” answered Jesus. “For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven.

18 And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.

19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

18 And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it.

19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

We can relate this passage to the context of God having a plan for us – for our church. Having this assurance gives us feelings of great comfort and safety that in any circumstance, He will build up and empower us to be the persons He designed us to be. In Matthew 6:18, Jesus describes Peter as being a small rock (Petros in Greek), and Himself, as the bedrock (Petra in Greek) upon which His Church shall be built.

The Greek word for church is “Ecclesia” which means “to call out”. The church described is not a physical structure, but a group of Christians empowering each other through fellowship, prayer and worship, all for one purpose- declaring the Lordship of Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:25 “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…”

It is crucial for us to be built on a solid foundation. As to building a structure, it needs to be built on something that could hold it in its place. Without a solid foundation, whenever a test of our faith is encountered, we would be shaky and unstable which would then lead to a collapse.

1 Corinthians 3: 10-11 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Isaiah 59:19 “… When the enemy shall come in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

“Church, if you want to remain strong, stand on solid ground – the Cornerstone of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Lordship of Jesus Christ

When we declare that Jesus is Lord over our lives, it means that He is our Master. And being our Master, we give him the authority over our mind, spirit, possessions, life, and even death.  It is because of His love that we are empowered to love and obey Him. We were given the capacity to follow His commands and have the passion to worship and bring pleasure to our King.

“The more we love God, the more we will obey Him.”

Deuteronomy 6:5
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Understanding the Christology of Jesus Christ

The scripture reveals that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who always existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit. It is this sinless union of the divine and human natures which qualifies Him to be the only sacrificial mediator between God and man, His death would pay for our sins.

Philippians 2:5-11 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Christology studies the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:5-11 displays how Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not lift Himself up, but surrendered himself to the will of His Father, embracing humanity and servanthood that He may be the perfect illustration of God’s love for us, and how we should love and find delight in Him as His people.

Pre-existence and Eternality of Christ

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God.All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”

Jesus Christ (the Word) was already there in the beginning – before everything was brought to existence. This unfathomable truth is something our mortal minds can never grasp. He is sovereign and absolute.

Christ’s Eternal Purpose

  • To Save us

Romans 5:8

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

  • To Restore us

1 Peter 5:10

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

  • To Present us to the Father

John 19:30

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

Jesus laid down His life to save us, to restore us, and to present us to the Father. God brought His Son into the world so that we may be saved from His wrath and that we would be brought back to our “original state” – free from the consequences of the disobedience of man, and into everlasting life. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we are presented to the Father, clean, blameless and free from sin.

The Church’s Divine Mandate

The Function. It is our responsibility as God’s stewards to function according to our calling. Without a functioning body, the Church will not survive.

The Destiny. Our life’s testimony matters. The future of the Church lies on who God uses, and how we use the gifts imparted to us so that we, in the future, be an inspiration to the generation to come. God deserves excellence and nothing less.

We have been given the spiritual authority through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that even the gates of hell will have no power over us – God’s Church.

“The Church deserves excellent ministry, and ministry deserves quality leadership.”