Text: Matthew 16:13-19
Thesis: To prove that the Lord has established His church and that it is only one church.
1. In many countries, there is freedom of religion.
- Some have taken this freedom to teach, “Join the church of your choice.”
- That teaching is no more ludicrous than my holding one pen in my hand and saying to you, “Pick the pen of your choice.”
(1) There would only be one pen from which to choose.
(2) In like manner, there is but one church from which to choose, the Lord’s.
(a) “My church” (Mat. 16:18) implies that there is only one, the Lord’s.
(b) The only choice is to become a member of His church or not.
2. The question that needs to be answered pertains to which church is the Lord’s church.
- There are many “religious bodies” that claim to be the church.
(1) The Methodist church was established by the Wesley brothers.
(2) The Baptist church was established by John Smyth.
(3) The Jehovah’s Witnesses were established by Charles T. Russell.
(4) The Mormon church was established by Joseph Smith.
(5) Many other examples may be offered.
- The Lord’s church was not founded by any man.
(1) The Lord Himself established it.
(2) One seeking to be a member of the Lord’s church must be a member of the scripturally founded church.
3. In order to aid our study about the Lord’s church, we will note the 5 “P’s” of the church.
I. The church was promised.
A. The church is the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose (Eph. 3:10,11).
1. Thus, the church has always been in the mind of God.
a. He created man as a free-moral agent; thus, having the ability to choose wrong; i.e., sin.
b. Therefore, the Lamb was slain, as it were, from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
c. The saved were chosen from the beginning in the sense that only the saved would be in the church (Eph. 1:4).
d. Before God made man, He made a plan.
2. Sin entered into the world (Gen. 3:6), but in that same chapter the 1st recorded prophecy of the virgin birth is found (Gen. 3:15).
B. The Abrahamic promise (Gen. 12:1-3) looked forward to the establishment of the church (Gal. 3:16,29).
C. To Judah, the promise was made that Shiloh (Christ) would come and unto Him shall be the gathering of people (the church) [Gen. 49:10].
II. The church was prophesied.
A. Isaiah prophesied of the church (Isa. 2:2,3).
1. “The last days” refers to the Christian dispensation that began on Pentecost (Acts 2:15-17; Heb. 1:1,2).
2. “The Lord’s house” refers to the church (I Tim. 3:15).
3. “All nations shall flow unto it” refers to the Jews’ and Gentiles’ being in one body (Eph. 2:16).
4. “He will teach us his ways” refers to the Old Law’s being abolished (Amos 8:5,9) and the New Law’s being established (Heb. 8:8-13).
5. “Out of Zion (Jerusalem) shall go forth the law” refers to the place that the church would begin (Luke 24:47-49).
B. Daniel prophesied of the church (Dan. 2:36-35).
1. He gives the interpretation of the 4 parts of the colossus image as being the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
2. The mountain (i.e., the kingdom/church) had a rock cut out of it that would destroy the image at its feet.
3. This would happen during the days of these kings (Dan. 2:44; cf. Dan. 7:13,14); i.e., during the Roman Empire (63 BC – AD 476).
C. Joel prophesied of the church (Joel 2:28-32).
1. The miraculous age would confirm the preaching of the church (cf. Heb. 2:1-4).
2. Men would then be able to call upon the name of the Lord; i.e., receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
III. The church was prepared.
A. John the Baptist preached that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand (Mat. 3:1,2).
1. He was to prepare the way of the Lord (Mic. 4:5).
2. Christ confirmed that this Elijah was John (Mat. 11:14).
B. Christ preached that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand (Mat. 4:17).
C. The seventy preached that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand (Luk. 10:9).
D. The twelve preached that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand (Mat. 10:17).
E. Consider also that Christ came in the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4).
IV. The church was purchased.
A. John declared that Christ was the Lamb of God (John 1:29).
1. The purpose of His being the Lamb was to bring about remission of sins (Mat. 26:28).
2. His blood was without blemish and spot (I Pet. 1:18,19).
B. Christ purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28).
1. Salvation can only be found in Christ (Acts 4:12).
2. The blood of Christ alone can bring remission of sins (Heb. 9:15; 10:1-4).
3. That same blood purchased the church; thus, remission of sins and being in the church go hand in hand.
4. Salvation can only be found in the church (Acts 2:47).
V. The church was perfected.
A. The kingdom/church would be established before some in the 1st century would die (Mark 9:1).
B. The Apostles were to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high.
1. They would receive that power by receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).
2. This occurred on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).
C. Peter and the other Apostles began preaching the 1st gospel sermon; thus, opening the door of the church with the keys that had been given unto Peter (Acts 2; Mat. 16:19).
1. Peter said that the prophecy of Joel was now being fulfilled (Acts 2:16,17).
2. This was the beginning of the church, the Christian Dispensation.
3. Now remission of sins was being preached (Acts 2:38).
D. Consider the establishment of the Lord’s church:
1. The place – Jerusalem
2. The time – Day of Pentecost (Ad 29/33)
3. The founder – Jesus Christ
1. Are you a member of the Lord’s church?
2. You must be a member of it in order to have remission of sins (Illustration – The ark).