Scriptures: Matthew 16:13-18, 1 Corinthians 10:4, 3:11, 1:21, John 6:44, 1 Peter 2:5
Next to salvation truth, it is vitally important for the believer to know the Bible doctrine of the church. Founded by Christ, the church is His sending, ministering and active people carrying out His mission on earth until His return. Jesus' teaching on the church came first as a response to a question by His disciple, Peter. In this message, Dr. Merritt details the foundational purpose and mission of the church in the New Testament, as well as the reality of the church's growth and influence from the first century until today.
The foundation of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this the church has a sure, safe, solid, enduring, endless, eternal foundation. The church cannot fail because Jesus cannot fail. Neither totalitarianism, not materialism, nor secularism, nor humanism, nor socialism, nor atheism, can keep the church from being built because Jesus is the Master Carpenter. We can build denominations, and we can build organizations, but only Jesus can build the church. The word for church is ecclesia, from which we get the word ecclesiastic. It literally means “to call out.” Throughout the ages Jesus is calling out people from every tribe, tongue, and nation and placing them stone by stone, brick by brick, as He builds His church.
"We are to preach truth, and teach truth, and try to reach others with truth. But only God can reveal truth. God uses preachers, and God uses preaching. I can get teaching into your head, but only God can get truth into your heart. You are not saved through your head, you are saved through your heart. We are all a part of the church of God today because of our God-given faith. If Jesus loved the church enough to give His life for it, you ought to love the church enough to give your life to it. Now Jesus and the church are not identical. But Jesus and the church are inseparable. Sometimes the church is called a body, and Jesus is the head. Sometimes it is called the bride, and Jesus is the groom. Sometimes it is called the building, and Jesus is the foundation. You cannot love one if you do not love the other. If you tell me that you love Jesus, and that Jesus is your Lord, but you don’t care anything about His church, you either have the wrong love, or the wrong Lord." --Dr. Merritt
Keywords: Lewis Berry Shafer, Warren Wiersbe, Samuel Longfellow, foundation, glory, church, holy, God's people, Jesus, Peter, Petra, Stone Mountain, Georgia, monument, stone, rock, body, future, Hades, gates, prevail, rule, bride of Christ, head, Christians, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, congregation, C.C. McKay, Robert Ingersol, Methodist
Pastors Edge provides Bible preachers and teachers with ready-to-use resources and materials based on the preaching of Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, GA and host of the international broadcast ministry Touching Lives.