Jesus Is Building His Church!
Jesus Is Building His Church!
Posted on 11. Apr, 2009 by Chip Brogden
“…upon this Rock, I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18b).”
What is the “move” of God? What is God doing today? What is God saying to the Church? Here’s what is happening: Jesus is building His Church. There is no “new” thing to be seen, said, or done: Jesus the Rock is building His Church upon the foundation of Himself. He is faithfully gathering the living stones together and is assembling them into a beautiful structure of gold, silver, and precious stones (I Peter 2:4-9; I Corinthians 3:9-17).
There is nothing wrong with the Church! That is, there is nothing wrong with the Church that Jesus is building, though there is much to be desired among those who are following their own building programs and blueprints, and calling it “church”. Jesus is assembling the saints together into a spiritual house. The problem is that some things we have come to believe to be “church” are not necessarily the Church. Although there is nothing wrong with the Church, everything that is called “Church” is not the “Church”. So what is the Church?
Let us look at this statement: “I will build My Church.” The first thing that strikes us about this thing called “Church” is simply that it is that which Jesus is building upon the foundation of Himself. More specifically, the word “church” is “ecclesia”, the called-out assembly. It consists of those to whom God has chosen to reveal His Son. This revelation of who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us is the key. Without this firm foundation we cannot know, understand or experience being part of the Church. Quite frankly, our religious head knowledge or credal affirmation is of virtually no significance. Even the repeating of the so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” means nothing apart from the revelation of Jesus Christ. May God give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 1:17-23). Then, our prayer and confession will be based on Spirit and Truth revelation, not flesh and blood, second or third generation “knowing” (Matthew 16:17).
The Church is not built upon the individual Peter, but upon those who have been given revelation. Jesus builds His Church through revelation to individuals, the “whosoevers”. What revelation? The revelation of Himself. This revelation is sufficient to secure us as members of the Church that Jesus is building. When we understand that revelation is the only thing which matters we will cease trying to grow the Church or gain members through better preaching, musical entertainment, handsome facilities, demographic studies, and savvy marketing techniques. Instead, we will simply come to rely upon revelation and trust the Father to reveal the Son through the Spirit Who brings illumination to our heart. We are the Temple of God, a habitation for Himself, and this Church grows as a living thing (Ephesians 2:20-22).
Jesus is not building a denomination or founding a movement. The Church is not a denomination, but neither is it a non-denomination. It is not a steeple-house or institutional church, but neither is it a house church. Stated simply, the Church is a spiritual house of living stones, invisible to the naked eye, but clearly seen and known in Spirit. It is not an organization, but an organism. Who are its members? Those who have the revelation of Jesus Christ. Where are these members to be found? They are scattered in all directions, both inside and outside of Organized Religion.
Keith Green once said, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald’s makes you a hamburger.” How true this statement has proved to be through the years. But we hasten to say that going to a house church won’t make you a Christian either. We thank God for the saints which are meeting in homes and rediscovering what it means to gather together in simplicity apart from the steeple-house, paid clergy, and denominationalism. Yet, Jesus did not say, “I will build My HOUSE church.” Since the Church is comprised of individuals who have the revelation of Jesus Christ, how or where they meet together is of little consequence. In Jerusalem, or in this mountain? Neither, says the Lord (John 4:20-24). Where we gather doesn’t matter to the Lord, but WHY we gather is of extreme importance to Him. If it is due to the revelation of Jesus Christ, we will worship in Spirit and Truth because the revelation of Jesus Christ draws us together. Why? Because our testimony is other-worldly, peculiar, spiritual. We are the called-out assembly, the ecclesia of Jesus. We are His particular treasure.
What we have, both within Organized Religion and within the house church “movement”, is a mixture of people. Some of them have the revelation of Jesus Christ, and some do not. We affirm that this revelation is enough to establish the Church, regardless of the outward appearances. Where this revelation exists, THERE is the foundation of the Church that Jesus is building. Since it is an inward revelation, a spiritual seeing and entering into, we cannot classify everyone as being the Church merely because they are within a system of Organized Religion, or even if they have come out of a system. Nor can we include or disqualify them because of where or how they meet. The meeting together is only a small part of the total picture. The question is not whether we are in or out of a human system, or how we meet, or what doctrine we lay emphasis on. The question is, have we seen the Lord? Do we have the revelation of Jesus Christ? We may be correct in outward appearance but have no inward revelation. Hence, not all who say, “Lord! Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 7:21-23). Similarly, we may be politically or spiritually incorrect and offensive outwardly speaking, that is, according to what man values and esteems as good, acceptable, moral, and religious; yet the revelation of Christ is sufficient to bring us into the Kingdom with or without the support and approval of men, even the most spiritual and holy men.
“I will build My Church.” We maintain that the Church exists where individuals have the revelation of Jesus Christ: for when this revelation takes hold of a person, Jesus Christ will have the preeminence in all things (Colossians 1:12-19). It is not enough to tell people, “Jesus is the Head of the Church.” We cannot make Him the Head while gathered together and then expect Him to remain in the background while we live out our lives individually. Either He is Lord OF all, or He isn’t Lord AT all. When we see Him seated in heavenly places we will gladly and joyfully allow Him to be the Head over all things, not only in the Church, but in our marriage, family, and work. We will at once see that the Church does not belong to us. We will discern that hitherto we have viewed “church” as something that we must attend, build, or grow. With the knowledge that the Church does not belong to us we will relinquish our claims to it and begin to co-labor together with the Lord (I Corinthians 3:9). Then, it is a natural thing to give up our titles and positions and merely concentrate on building one another up in love. To give up title and position within a group that has no revelation of Christ is to invite chaos. This is why man feels the need to have some organization and established leadership among the saints, running the steeple-house much like a business with mission statements and top-heavy organizational charts, paving a one-way street of submission to some earthly head – because there is no vision of Christ. It is not more organization or leadership training that we need. We only need more revelation, and no man can give us revelation. It is the gift of God. Once obtained, we will with much rejoicing and relief fall into place below One Head and allow Christ to have the preeminence. “The Lord is my Pastor: I shall not lack (Psalms 23:1).”
Last edited by abigya; 09-30-09 at 12:04 PM.
Not the building, not the formalities, not the Institution, not the religion, not the bullet points. But Christ, Grace, Peace, Community, Forgiveness, Rest, Rescue, Action.