Jesus Is The Foundation Of His Church
Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone of the Christian faith or church, not Peter. Our heavenly Father built His church on His sinless, perfect Son, Jesus Christ, not on a sinful man which Peter was. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Peter was one of our Lord’s disciples and did a wonderful work in spreading the gospel. But, Jesus Christ is the foundation of His church. Peter was no different than you or me, friend, he was a sinner. When Jesus told Peter that “upon this rock I will build my church”, he meant that He (Jesus) was the rock that His church would be built on.
“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:15-19
Jesus is the rock that His church is built on. The gates of hell did not prevail against Him. But, the gates of hell did prevail against Peter. He denied his Lord 3 times. “Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” Matthew 26:33, 34
During the time that Peter walked on this earth, he brought many to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and His word, and their names are bound in heaven. But, there were those, at that time, that refused to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and had no desire to obey His word even though Peter tried to help them to understand that Jesus was the Son Of God and salvation comes through Him. They chose not to surrender their lives to Jesus and, therefore, their names will not remain in the Book of Life.
Today, those that love the Lord and are looking forward to His soon coming have their names bound in heaven. But, those that do not believe in Jesus Christ and His word and are not looking forward to His coming will have their names blotted out of the Book of Life unless they repent and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ before He comes in the clouds of glory.
How fortunate you and I are to have a God that is as solid as a rock. Today and everyday, He is the same.
We can count on Him being truthful, honest, sincere, loving and kind today; and when tomorrow comes, we know He will be the same truthful, honest, sincere, loving, kind God.
“He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” Psalm 89:26
“Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deuteronomy 32:3, 4
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea: And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea: And did all eat the same spiritual meat: And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” I Corinthians 10:1-4
“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” I Peter 2:3-8
In this world when everything is going every which way but the right way, it is so nice to have a friend that you can lean on. When you read the word of God, you can believe it is true because He is so true and honest. He will never go back on His word, and He will never change.
We can wake up each morning knowing that He will stick close to us. Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us, and as time goes on He will hold us closer and closer to Him. He will shelter us from the coming storm. We can hide in the cleft of the rock.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto a holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid; which is Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 3:11
“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. For who is God save the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” Psalm 18:2, 31, 46
“And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer: The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.” II Samuel 22:2, 3
“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1
“There is none holy as the Lord; for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” I Samuel 2:2
“He teareth himself in his anger; shall the earth be forsaken for thee? And shall the rock be removed out of his place?” Job 18:4
“Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Psalm 28:1
“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” Psalm 31:3
“To those who believe, Christ is the sure foundation. These are they who fall upon the Rock and are broken. Submission to Christ and faith in Him are here represented. To fall upon the Rock and be broken is to give up our self-righteousness and to go to Christ with the humility of a child, repenting of our transgressions, and believing in His forgiving love. And so also it is by faith and obedience that we build on Christ as our foundation.
Upon this living stone, Jews and Gentiles alike may build. This is the only foundation upon which we may securely build. It is broad enough for all, and strong enough to sustain the weight and burden of the whole world. And by connection with Christ, the living stone, all who build upon this foundation become living stones. Many persons are by their own endeavors hewn, polished, and beautified; but they cannot become “living stones,” because they are not connected with Christ. Without this connection, no man can be saved. Without the life of Christ in us, we cannot withstand the storms of temptation. Our eternal safety depends upon our building upon the sure foundation. Multitudes are today building upon foundations that have not been tested. When the rain falls, and the tempest rages, and the floods come, their house will fall, because it is not founded upon the eternal Rock, the chief cornerstone Christ Jesus.”
E. G. White, The Desire Of Ages, pp. 599, 600
“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 16:19
Jesus continued: “I say also unto thee, That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 The word Peter signifies a stone–a rolling stone. Peter was not the rock upon which the church was founded. The gates of hell did prevail against him when he denied his Lord with cursing and swearing. The church was built upon One against whom the gates of hell could not prevail…
“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.
How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown.
For six thousand years, faith has builded upon Christ. For six thousand years the floods and tempests of satanic wrath have beaten upon the Rock of our salvation; but it stands unmoved. Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the church’s faith, and Jesus now honored him as the representative of the whole body of believers. He said, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
“The keys of the kingdom of heaven” are the words of Christ. All the words of Holy Scripture are His, and are here included. These words have power to open and to shut heaven. They declare the conditions upon which people are received or rejected. Thus the work of those who preach God’s word is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Theirs is a mission weighted with eternal results.
E. G. White, The Desire Of Ages, pp. 412-414