Jesus Built His Church By The Book
by Douglas Hoff
Some people are surprised to earn that Jesus built a church. They are surprised because they are thinking about brick and mortar. To many people the word church is synonymous with the facility used as a place of worship. The Bible does not say he built a structure like this.
Shortly before being crucified Jesus declared “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew ). Death did not prevent him from his task. He rose from the dead and built his church.
The word church originally meant an
assembly of people who had been called for a special purpose. Christians are called by the gospel (2 Thessalonians
). They are the church. People often say, “I am going to church.” It
would be more accurate to say, “I am going to worship with the church.” Paul wrote, “The churches of Asia salute you.
The church is also called the house of God (1 Timothy ). The Bible says, “For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4). When men build a house they follow a plan. A master builder may be able to put up a house without looking at the blueprints. Because of his experience he can visualize how things fit together. Nevertheless, he follows a pattern for his construction. The same is true of God. His great wisdom and understanding allowed him to lay the foundations of the earth and establish the heavens (Proverbs ).
There are several examples in the
Bible where God specified how a thing was to be built. God told Noah, “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark,
and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the
From Mt. Sinai God gave Moses a
detailed pattern to make the ark of the covenant, the
tabernacle and the instruments used in it (Exodus
25:6-40). There was even a pattern
for the candlestick (Numbers 8:4). Like Noah before him Moses built everything
“by the book” (Exodus 40:16, 17). Hundreds of years later
Solomon built the
Not following plans can have
serious consequences. Would a home owner
be pleased if he knew the builder cut a few corners, made unauthorized
alterations or left things out? I know a
couple whose house in
When it comes to the safety of your soul, you should demand to be in the house that God built. The church was part of God’s eternal purpose (Ephesians , 11). This means there was a plan to build the church. Since Jesus built his church by the book, it will stand forever (Daniel ).
What are the distinctive marks of
the church Jesus built? First, it
started in the right place. Surveyors
mark property boundaries to ensure your house will be built on your land. According to Isaiah 2:2, 3 the Lord’s house would be
Second, the Lord’s house has the
right fine of origin. Daniel prophesied
the kingdom of heaven would be established during the
Third, the house of God has the proper foundation. When buying a house it is important to make sure it has a firm foundation (2 Timothy ). Paul wrote that the household of God is “…built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians -20). The apostle laid the only foundation acceptable to God: “…as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians , 11). When men reject this foundation the house will fall (Matthew , 27).
Fourth, the church Jesus built has the right blueprint. God’s plan calls for each stone to be “fitly framed together” (Ephesians -22). Christians are the “living stones” in the spiritual house (1 Peter 2:4-8; ). For a tight fit each stone has to be cut and shaped to specifications. A person becomes part of this building when he is born again by the word of God (1 Peter -25). By obeying the gospel the rough edges of sin are cut away and one is added to the church (Acts , 47). Without it there is no salvation and no part in the heavenly kingdom (Mark ; 1 Peter ). Are you in the church built by the word of God or the traditions of men (Mark 7:9)?
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