I Will Build My Church PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kris Brewer   
Monday, 13 February 2012 19:45

Imagine, if you will, that you are on the verge of building your very first house. You have meticulously gone through the various sources for blueprints and plans, and have found the perfect house. Every detail has been given attention, and you are excited to see all of your planning come to fruition. After several months, the time has come to move into your home. When you arrive, you find that it is nothing like what you planned, and described (through blueprints) for the contractor!  Upon further examination, and a discussion with the contractor, you find that he has taken it upon himself to make “improvements” to your approved design! Can you imagine how angry, and disappointed you would be if you found yourself in such a situation?

 

Unfortunately, mankind has done just as the contractor in the above example. They have decided that God’s blueprint is just not good enough, and it must be improved upon.  Can you imagine how God might react to such a change in His plan? There are not many people who would simply accept that another has interfered with the plans for their house, and mankind should not assume that God will just accept the changes that are made to His spiritual house as well.

 

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus Himself said:

 

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

 

In this, He had a plan for what He would build, and how He would build it. Throughout the pages of the New Testament, this plan is made known to mankind. The only way that one can know what God wants is to turn to the pages of His will:

 

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God (1 Corinthians 2:9–12).

 

God has revealed His mind! What an awe inspiring thought! We do not have to wonder about what is acceptable to God, because He has revealed His mind through His word. The apostle Paul wrote about this transference of God’s will to mankind in Ephesians 3:1-7. He showed how Christ sent His will through the Holy Spirit, to the inspired writers who wrote the message down so that all could understand what had been a mystery.

 

In the revelation of the mind of Christ, we can find His pattern for the church that He established. By comparing the practices of men today to the pattern that we find in the New Testament, we can know whether we are His church or not. The warning was proclaimed, even in the first century, that corruption would come. When one looks around, it does not take long to see that so many people, proclaiming so many different doctrines cannot possibly all be right! The divisions and denominationalism that is condoned by men is condemned by God. The very idea of division is condemned by the inspired writers (1 Corinthians 1:10, 3:2-3). Jude identifies those who are sensual as those who cause divisions (Jude 17-19). Those who succumb to their own desires instead of following the will of God are condemned as being divisive. When we as men seek to fulfill our own desires, how can we come to agreement? The only possible end is to have divisions.

 

Jesus, when the Jews challenged His authority (Matthew 21:23-27), asked them one simple question, “The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?” There were only two options available. The same question could be asked concerning the practices in religious bodies today. When we examine the practices within churches, do we find that they are the result of following the commands of Christ (John 14:15) or do we find that they are result of fulfilling the desires of men? Christ has told us what He wants us to do in our service to Him. If we are busy about tasks that He has not asked for, we are not really serving Him (Matthew 7:21-23).

 

It is not difficult to identify glaring departures from the New Testament pattern for the Lord’s church. For example, the New Testament describes the organization of the Lord’s church as only a local body, with elders, deacons and saints (Philippians 1:1). However, most religious bodies today have a completely different organization. There is a national or international organization. There are multiple offices within the local church which are extra biblical. When we observe such, we should ask the question:  does this come from God, or from men? If we find that the organization of the religious body originates with man, then how can it possibly be the church that was instituted by Christ?

 

Another area that could be considered is the social role of the church. In the New Testament, Paul clearly instructs the people of God to avoid the temptation to turn the worship and work of God into a social occurrence. Paul wrote that Christians were to eat at home, not in the assemblies of the saints:

 

What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. (1 Corinthians 11:22)

 

And yet, even after seeing such clear passages, too many religious bodies violate Paul’s instructions and seek to suit their own desires instead. They have conformed their church into a social club with a religious theme. Once again, the question must be asked: is this from man or God?

 

If we are going to be the church that Christ built, we must make a choice to follow only His instructions and blueprint. When we start making changes, just because we think it makes the worship and work of the church better, we end up distorting the church into something that Christ never intended for it to be. This was a problem in the first century (Galatians 1:6-9), and it continues to be a problem today. May we determine that we will do just what Christ has instructed us to do, so that we can truly be His church! That is the only spiritual entity that the gates of hell cannot overcome.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 19:50
 

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This is the personal page of Kris Brewer, who currently works with the Gallatin Valley church of Christ in Bozeman, Montana.

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