The Lord’s Church

A Sermon From Pastor Raymond Johnson

Indian Baptist Church, Smithville, OK

Text: Mathew 16:18

“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.”

Introduction:

Charles H. Spurgeon said:

“We believe that the Baptist are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Long before your Protestants were known of, these horrible Anabaptists, as they were unjustly called, were protesting for the one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. I am not ashamed of the denomination to which I belong, sprung as we are, direct from the loins of Christ, having never passed through the turbid stream of Romanism, and having an origin apart from all dissent or Protestantism, because we have existed before all other sects.” (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit [London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1861]. Volume 7, page 225.)

I. The Identity of the Church “That thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build”

A. The Church is known by its founder. “I will build my church”

Reliable historians can trace the history of today’s New Testament Baptist churches back to Christ.

The phrase “my church” distinguishes the Lord’s kind of church from all others. The denominational churches can only trace back to ordinary men.

For example:

  • The early church in Rome through demise and compromise became known as The Church of the Holy Roman Empire as early as the 3rd century under the leadership of Constantine. The Roman church officially became the Catholic Church in the latter part of the 4th century.
  • The Lutheran Church was founded by Martin Luther in Germany in 1520.
  • The Episcopalian Church was founded by Henry VIII in England in 1534.
  • The Presbyterian Church was founded by John Calvin in Switzerland in 1536.
  • The Congregational Church was founded by Robert Brown in England in 1580.
  • The Methodist Church was founded by John Wesley in England in1740.
  • The Church of Christ was founded by Alexander Campbell in the USA in 1827.
  • The Mormon Church was founded by Joseph Smith in the USA in 1830
  • The Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in the USA in 1879.
  • The Pentecostal Movement on New Year’s Eve in Topeka, Ks. in 1901.
  • This list of denominations were not in existence since the days of the Apostles and cannot trace their beginnings back to Christ’s earthly ministry.

Christ is the head of his church.

Ephesians 1:22 “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,”

B. The Church is known by its foundation. “upon this rock”

The word “petra” is used for the word rock meaning a large massive rock, suitable for a foundation that is firmly fixed. This is in keeping with Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:10-12; I Corinthians 3:11, which teaches that Jesus is the foundation of his church.

The word “petros” is the word used for Peter’s name, speaking of a small detachable stone or a piece of a rock. This kind of rock would not be suitable for a foundation. The church was not built upon Peter, but built upon a massive rock Christ Jesus.

The Lord’s churches who are New Testament will believe the same doctrines as the first church found in the Word of God.

Ephesians 2:20 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”

For example:

  • It’s conditions of membership, must be saved. (I Corinthians 1:2; Acts 2:41)
  • It’s democratic organization. (Matthew 20:24-28; 23:5-12)
  • It’s ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Matthew 28:19-20; 26:26-30)
  • It’s recognition of Christ as its only Head. (Ephesians 5:23)

II. The Intimacy of the Church “my church”

A. We are known as his Body.

Ephesians 1:22-23 “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

B. We are known as his Building.

Ephesians 2:19-22 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens 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 an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

C. We are known as his Bride.

Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

Revelation 21:9 “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

III. The Invincibility of the Church “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

A. The church is protected.

The word “prevail” means “to overcome or to surpass in strength”.

B. The church is perpetual.

There will always be a New Testament church in every age until the Lord’s return.

Mathew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen”

Ephesians 3:21 “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

I Corinthian 11:26 “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”