Matthew 16:13-20

Hymns: Built on the Rock                               Hymn 347
              The Church Has One Foundation     Hymn 348
              Bringing in the Sheaves                    Hymn 369

I. Introduction

"The servants of God should become workmen that need not to be ashamed, that they may build up the church of God in the earth. This work cannot possibly be done without much meditation, prayer, and humility.... If it is properly done, it will be as much more valuable and successful than temporal work, as the heavenly is more important than the earthly. Jesus has said of his followers, "Ye are the light of the world." A living, working church will be a power in the world, but there must be well-defined plans carried out with all faithfulness. If those who are elders and deacons in the church devote their God-given powers to money making, they will not be serving the Lord or the church; but they will be serving themselves, and the high task committed to their hands will suffer for the lack of patient, intelligent, well-directed effort." ─Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 6, 1888.

II. Who Is Building the Church? (v. 18)

A. Christ is Building the Church

B. He Calls It His church

C. The Church is Built Upon Christ

D. He is the Rock of all Scripture

1. The Psalmist's Rock (Psalms 18:31, 46; 62:2; 95:1)
2. Paul's Rock (Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 3:11; 10:4; Ephesians 2:19-22)
3. Peter's Rock (1 Peter 2:7-8)

E. The Church Is on a Solid Foundation " 'Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ' (1 Corinthians 3:11).'Upon this rock,' said Jesus, 'I will build My church.' In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself, His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail" (The Desire of Ages, p. 413).

III. What Is the Church? (v. 18)

A. The Retreat with Jesus in Caesarea Philippi

1. Jesus reveals His coming death and resurrection.
2. Peter's confession (v. 16)

B. Christ Promises to Build His Church (v. 18)

1. A statement that has caused confusion
2. Questions that clear up the mysteries.

C. The Church is Made up of All the Saved (Hebrews 12:23)

D. The Church is the Body of Christ (Colossians 1:18-24)

E. The Church is to Bring Glory to Christ (Ephesians 3:21)

F. The Church is the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:23-32)

G. The Church is Built Out of Living Stones (1 Peter 2:5)

1. Peter was a stone: Christ the Rock.
2. Stones speak of the individuality of believers.
3. No two stones are exactly alike.
4. Each believer is unique (1 Corinthians 12:12-23).

IV. How Secure Is the Church? (v. 18)

A. The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against It

B. What is Meant by the Gates of Hell?

1. A familiar figure of speech in those days
2. The elders of the city sat at the gates.
3. Armies were sent to battle from the gates
4. The gates of hell symbolize sending the forces of evil.
5. These evil forces sent against the church (Ephesians 6:12).

C. Jesus Foresaw the Attacks of the Enemy Upon the Church
1. The martyrs of the first century
2. Persecutions through the centuries

D. But the Church Will Stand Until Jesus Comes

V. Conclusion

A. Are You a Part of the Church?

1. Have you received Christ as your Savior?
2. Are you building your life on Him?

B. Are You Doing Your Part in the Church?

1. Do you stand against the forces of evil?
2. Do you live for the glory of God?

─EG, 199