The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

08/26/2010

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"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.....for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.....And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church" (Matt.16:16-18).

When someone says, "I'm going to church," a picture of the building often pops into mind. I sincerely doubt that Jesus had our building in mind when He made the statement in today's verse. In Old Testament times, God referenced His people as His family or nation. Just as God called out the patriarchs of old and chose Abraham and his descendents to be the nation of Israel, He calls us out today. God's people today are called His church. The word church is derived from the Greek word, ekklesia. It is literally two words..."Called" and "out." The term Israelite was given to God's nation of the Old Testament, but the church was not just given...It was purchased with a great price. Both the apostles Paul (Acts 20:28) and Peter (1 Peter 1:18-19) have told us that it was bought with the blood of Jesus. Because Jesus made this transaction with His shed blood, and we are the body with Him as the head, the significance of the church should never be minimized.

Notice from today's verse that before Jesus made the promise to build His church, that he exacted a confession from the disciples. He asked; "Who do people say the Son of Man is? (V 13). They responded with speculations of what they had heard people say...John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of the prophets....He then asked, "But who do you say I am" (V 15)? Peter answered for the group and correctly stated that He was the Christ anointed one) the Son of the living God. It might be interesting to note here that Peter (Greek) and Cephas (Aramaic) mean the same thing...A rock or stone! I find a fascinating symbolism here. The foundation stone or rock for the church lies in the truth that Peter confessed..."You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Without the divinity of Jesus, and His authority, the church would just be another institution...The church building...Jesus made the church viable, living and personal when He called it, "MY CHURCH".....Just a little to think about the next time you go to church...More tomorrow...

Have a wonderful day... Make a difference... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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