In Matthew 16:18, Jesus reveals to Peter that He is going to build His church on the Rock.
Jesus is not saying that the church will be built upon Peter, whose name means rock; even though Peter, as one of the apostles, is found in the foundation (Eph 2:19-20). What is meant by ‘this Rock on which Christ builds his church’ is something distinct from Peter. These words Jesus spoke were not directed only to Peter, but also to the rest of the Disciples and all who would hear these words.
Christ is the Rock, the Cornerstone, on which His church was built and the gates of hell have not and will not prevail against it. Down through the ages and to this very moment in time, God has a people, His Church.
The Church does not refer to a building but to a people living for God.
I believe that we are facing so many traditions, cultures, religious forms and “acceptable ways of having church” today, that we often miss the whole reason for why Christ established His church and the way He originally purposed it to be. A question arises for us as the church at this point in time: Is Christ the Rock the drawing power of the church, the sole purpose for gathering together and the focus of every service? Is Jesus Christ not enough?
In Acts 12:3-16, we read how Peter (a picture of the Rock) was taken captive by Herod and bound in chains. The church was praying without ceasing for Peter to be released. During this time of prayer, the Angel of the Lord broke the chains and set Peter free.
He came to Mary’s house and knocked at the door. The damsel was so excited that she ran to tell the others and left Peter standing outside the door. The church did not believe her until they finally went to look for themselves.
There are many lessons in this passage, but I believe that one of the lessons is for His church today.
The Rock, Christ Jesus, on which the church was originally built, is represented here by Peter. Because of traditions, cultures and man-made preferences, forms and ideas, we have bound the Rock, the foundation on which the church was built, in chains and cast Him into prison within the Church and our own personal lives. I believe Jesus is raising up a church to pray for the release of the Foundation, the original purpose of who and what He intended His church to be.
We need to be careful that we don’t keep Jesus knocking at the door (Rev 3:20) while we are inside rejoicing over Him, not allowing Him to come in. Let us not be unbelieving, but rather ready for Him, letting Him into our hearts and into His church, allowing Him to bring refreshing and revival through His Presence and Spirit. We can very easily rejoice over salvation, the cross and everything He does for us without giving Him full control of our lives.
Our Mission and Vision is to be a church built upon the Rock, allowing God to lead His church back to what He intended it to be.
Opening up to Him, His Presence and His Spirit, allowing Him to move in the hearts of His people, tearing down the walls we have built and breaking the chains we have placed on His Hands. We want to be part of the church praying for God to have free reign in the hearts of His people.
We want to be part of God’s plan in introducing people to their Saviour as they have never known Him before, giving the Spirit free reign to lead people into an intimate, personal relationship with Him. Being saved, baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost; overflowing with the presence, power and anointing of Christ Jesus and growing to maturity.
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit will raise up a standard against it (Isaiah 59:19). We want to be part of this standard, a body of believers equipped for a time such as this.
Let us be a church like the one in the book of Acts, a people walking so closely to the One Who is All in All.