“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:15-18
He is the Rock
In Matthew 16, Jesus has a discussion with His disciples concerning His identity because the majority of people had misunderstood who He was. According to the disciples, people thought he was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or another prophet, but they missed that He was the Messiah…the Son of the Living God. He was their salvation. Finally, Jesus asks them, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter responds for them saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter got it right, and Jesus declared that upon this truth He would build His Church, and nothing will prevail against it.
Christ is the Rock. He is our confidence in sharing the Gospel because if we plant it, He will grow it. Whatever adversity we run into cannot stop Jesus from building His church. People will hate us, persecute us, reject us, and scoff at us, but Jesus will still build His church. Therefore, we have nothing to fear, nothing to run from, but rather, we have the One reason to be bold. Christ will build His church.
What are we doing with the promise?
Last year, the leadership at Faith Church saw the need for the Gospel to penetrate the North side of downtown Lafayette. On top of that, the church was gifted with an old run down bar in the Lower Lincoln neighborhood, called The Kooler Keg, for $1. With this gift, we as a church desired to provide a playground and small resource/community center called the Hartford Hub for the neighborhood. The leadership also decided that it would be the right time to plant a church in the Lincoln neighborhood and it would start meeting in the Hartford Hub.
Why did Faith want to plant a church? The answer is obvious: because we believe whole-heartedly in what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18: that he is going to build his church. But we also need to remember that this church will not grow for any reason other than the message of the Gospel transforming people’s lives through the power of Jesus Christ. It will not be because of our skills, our knowledge, our wisdom, our words, or our ideas. It will only grow because Jesus will make it grow. Knowing this truth frees us up to faithfully plant the Gospel and trust that Jesus will produce fruit. We have no reason to be proud, but we also have no reason to be afraid, so we go and boldly plant!
What should you do with the promise?
As a church, we are going to trust this promise that Jesus will grow His church through a church plant downtown. For some, that will mean that you should get involved with the downtown plan. So, how can you help?
- The first and most important way to help is to pray with us. Call upon God to be faithful to His promise. Pray for our hearts – that we might be faithful to our call to plant. Pray for the souls of those who need the Gospel.
- Be ready to respond to the call to serve at events at the Hartford Hub
- Prayerfully consider being a part of the core team that will plant the church in the Hartford Hub. And if you believe that He is calling you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you who are not involved with us, how can you be a part of what Jesus is doing to build the church?
- Seek out an opportunity to serve as a part of your church to plant the Gospel.
- Pray for and pursue the people in your life who do not know Christ.
And above all remember that we will face persecution, ridicule, and rejection, but Christ will build His church!