Matthew 16:13-18 / The Offensive Church (Sermon Audio and Notes)

Posted on July 18, 2013

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This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of July 14, 2013. This message deals with the foundation of the church and being a church on the offensive. This post contains an audio recording of my sermon, plus the sermon notes. The sermon notes are not a full transcript of the sermon.

SERMON AUDIO:

AUDIO DOWNLOAD LINK:

Mat 16_13-18

SERMON NOTES:

Matthew 16:13-18

“Who do men say that I… am?” People have ascribed many different names and identities to Jesus.

Some say He’s just a wise man or a prophet, some call him a fraud. Many seek to take away his godhood.

The Jehovah’s witnesses say there is no Trinity; thus, Jesus is not God, but a created being.

The Catholics remove him from his role as mediator, and place a human priest between man and God.

That makes Jesus lower than man. The Mormons say that we will become Gods.

If Jesus is just a manifestation of our future state, then He is no more special than we are.

Your view of Jesus is of eternal importance. Who do you say Jesus is?

vv.15-17a “Who do you say that I am?”

Simon correctly Identified Jesus.

Jesus pointed out that true knowledge of Him is not of human origin or man’s interpretation, but rather a revelation from God.

John 1:1–3

John 1:14

John 10:30

1 Timothy 3:16

Jesus further affirms that those who accept this revelation are blessed.

vv. 17b-18a:
God also reveals to us who we are.

Until we see ourselves as God sees us, we will never see the need to trust Jesus as our savior.

Jesus gave Peter his identity, and He will do the same for you.

You are not who men say that you are, and you may not be who you want to be.

You are who Christ reveals that you are.

Understand that he knows best, and He has a wonderful plan and a wonderful name for you.

You simply need to come to terms with who God has declared you to be, sometimes that means setting aside your own ambitions.

v.18 The foundation of the church.

On what foundation does Jesus say the church is built?

The Catholics say Peter, they claim him as the first Pope. But, is this what Jesus said?

The words “this” and “my” are very important. He did not say Upon you I will build my church.”

He said “Upon this rock I will build my church”

Whose church, built on what rock, and built by who?

Jesus said “my church”, the church belongs to Him, and is built by Him.

The foundation is the revelation that Jesus spoke of. The revealed Word of God.

Jesus is the word (John 1:1, 14), and that Word was revealed to Peter by God.

Jesus spoke of Himself when he said “Upon this rock I will build my church”.

Can Jesus build His church on any foundation that is inferior to Him? No!

Is Peter superior to Jesus? No!

Is Peter even His equal? No!

Peter, as all humans, is the creature, created by Christ. Thus, we are all inferior to Christ.

Can a brick house be built on a foundation of straw? No, but many people try.

If the church belongs to Jesus Christ, He is the only one to have authority over the church.

Useless and Dangerous beliefs in the church today, that compete with Christ.

Some people mistakenly believe that the end justifies the means. As long as they are attracting people, that’s all that matters.

However; sinful means cannot produce a justified and holy end.

Compromise of the scripture is sinful. Remember, garbage in equals garbage out.

We must always remember that church membership is reserved for born-again believers.

Membership that is not based upon salvation is not only meaningless, it signifies a false and unbiblical church, not God’s true church.

A church of the unsaved is no church at all, it is a social club.

v.18b
A church that is not built on Jesus Christ, cannot be victorious!

Many people take this verse to mean security, that Satan and his henchmen are attacking the church, and the Christians are safe within their fortress.

The word “gates” is very important for proper understanding of this verse.

Gates don’t attack anyone, they are defensive.

The picture is not one of Christians huddled in their castle as Satan tries to destroy them, but one of Christians on the attack.

God did not establish a church based on His power, made of people created in His image, so that we could cower from the enemy.

It is Satan who fears the power of Christ, which is manifest in the “Body of Christ” (the church).

The forces of evil are the desperate ones.

One example that is evident to me, is how defensive the humanists get anytime that creation is taught in lieu of or along side of evolution.

In fact, anytime that Christian doctrines are publicly taught, the world goes into defensive mode.

They can’t effectively fight it, so they try to silence it.

2 Corinthians 10:4–5

The verses sound the battle cry, and the battleground is the minds of men.

We are commanded to cast down (literally demolish) improper reasoning and arrogant philosophy, capturing every thought for Christ; thereby destroying the evil strongholds.

We should be on the offensive, Christ is our strength and our protector.

We are to take the battle to the enemy, and through Christ we will be victorious.

We have no need to fear “Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.”

2 Timothy 1:7

Arm yourself with the “sword” and join the battle!

It’s time to become an offensive church!

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Posted in: Church, Sermons