A. Brother
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

“…I will build My Church,
and the gates of Hades
will not overcome it.”
Matt. 16:18

There is an understanding that can only come to us, as it came to Peter, whom Jesus was speaking to here, much later, after the Resurrection, from the Holy Spirit.  There is the natural man’s way of looking at the Church, and there is the resurrected-with-Christ, spiritual man’s way of looking at the Church. 

Look at what Jesus says here. 

First, He says “The Church is Mine—what is done in it I will do, what is worked in it I will work—because it belongs to Me, not you.”  The Church, which we’ll declare as the Scriptures teach is the Living Temple, built upon the foundation stone, who is Christ Jesus, being built up as living stones into this holy residence for God and His Spirit, is Christ’s, and belongs to no man.  What no man possesses cannot be controlled or defined or managed by any man or group of men.  Christ is all, and His Church is all Christ.  Those living stones (1 Peter 2:4-10), do not control Christ’s Church.  The world does not control Christ’s Church.  At all times, and in all ways, Christ owns His Church, and thus retains control.

Second, He says “I’m the builder of My Church, and if any man tries to build apart from Me, apart from My power, he is working against Me.”  In other words, it is the plain truth that Christ is the Builder here.  We are not the builders of the Church.  How is it then that so many of us act as if it is incumbent upon us to build something for God?  We get it backward, and so we are left with our silly structures, and our empty liturgies, and our bills to pay for them.  Jesus Christ, Lord of all, will build His Church, as He did at the beginning, and has He has always done.  Christ has never gone away from the Church, though He has pulled out of many man-made institutions who put a cross over their doors or on their letterheads.  Christ is the Builder, make no mistake.  This concept is closely linked to ownership also.  We, as the true Church, are “being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.”  (Eph. 2:22)  It is impossible for us to construct anything like this dwelling God builds through Christ.

Third, we must see the strong purpose of God after the resurrection in our lives.  He purposes that we, His people, will be built together into this dwelling for the Spirit of God, and He will fulfill His purpose.  God never lies.  He has been, is, and will continue this building of this Temple called His Church.  This understanding comes only from the Holy Spirit, who enlightened Peter after the resurrection.  None of us is enlightened until the power of God does it in us, raises us like Lazarus, raises us like Christ, by the power of God.  Then we begin to see, then we see the Church, laid on the One Foundation, Christ, and being built by His hand, and being impossibly strong in the power of God.

Fourth, and this is of vital importance in our day, is that we must take warning from this declaration by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Many of us have taken up any handy tool we can find laying around, and plunged into the work of “building” we think God has called us to.  However, our hearts and minds are tainted and painted with the ideas of man.  Until we spend our time in the desert with Christ, and know the fellowship of His suffering, the power of His resurrection from that suffering, we will not be worthy workmen.  Until we know our own depravity, our own daily capacity for sin, our own unworthiness, then we cannot, like Paul, declare ourselves the least of all the brethren.  So what building we do will be sloppy, self-touched, inherently manly.  We must take great heed to what Paul said:

“But each one should be careful how he builds…if any man
builds on this foundation (Christ), using gold, silver,
costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be
shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.”
1 Cor. 4:10-15

Building the Church is Christ’s job.  We are only laborers on His mighty project, which is so amazing, so high in its purposes, that we don’t see the whole thing.  We must take care, and back off, and pray, and seek the Lord’s face for every nail we pound and every chisel we set to the stone.  It is His Church, and His purpose, and His life, and His cross and resurrection, and His Day coming.

This is our glory.  That God considers us worthy as His Children, born not of human descent but of the Spirit, to lay hands on His Building, His great work He’s designed to manifest His power to the universe.

“His intent was the now, through the Church,
the manifold wisdom of God should be made known
to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Eph. 3:10,11

Brothers, these truths should make us take pause, and throw down our puny, weak, human tools.  It is utterly impossible for us to do this work without the consuming power of Christ in us.  When it comes to the Church we must remember especially Jesus’ Word to us:

“I am the Vine, you are the branches…
apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
John 15:5

I pray that the eyes of our understanding will be opened, so that we will see only Christ, only His work, His Ways, and that we will humbly participate with Him in the building process by His Spirit.  We must resist the current Christian culture’s demands for new, exciting, man-induced ideas of what the Church should be.  We must listen, branch in Vine, one with the One and Only, and hear what He wants us to hear, so that He can do the building, not us.


  1. Great message brother! I was just looking at that scripture the other day and meditating on the same thing! Jesus clearly said, "on this rock I WILL BUILD MY!! CHURCH!! Amazing how the Holy Spirit teaches us all things, and guides us into ALL truth. Thank God for His wonderful gift!

    Also the way Jesus built His church was by sending out into the world those He Himself taught, cleansed, and empowered, they in turn preached His gospel of the kingdom and then HE HIMSELF added to their number, whether it was a few souls or thousands at a time, it was Jesus who did it all through His chosen vessels.

  2. Amen, brother Tyrone. So true. It is us, however flawed (tragically at times), who will be Christ in the world. It is all Christ in us. He is our boast, and He is our power to build. Whether "a few souls or thousands at a time", as you say. Sometimes I am brokenhearted at my sinfulness, which impedes the Kingdom. I pray we'll experience the forgiveness of God and re-empowerment of the Spirit whenever we fail...

    A. Brother


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