Jesus is speaking to Peter here. "God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! My father in heaven, God himself, let you in on the secret of who you really are. And now, I am going to tell you about who you are, who you really are!
You Peter, are a rock. And, this rock is the rock on which I will build my church. A church so far reaching that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out!!
So, we are the church that is still being built. Those that will come to Jesus and those that have already invited Him into their heart and lives, are the Church of Jesus Christ.
The church is presented as the people of God, the company of redeemed believers made possible by Christ's death. We are a pilgrim people no longer belonging to this earth. Our function is to stand as a community in a living and personal relationship with God.
In the old system, the animals were killed and the bodies disposed of outside the camp. The blood was then brought inside to the altar as a sacrifice for sin.
It is the same with Jesus, He was crucified outside the city gates--that is
where he poured out the sacrificial blood that was brought to God's altar to cleanse his people. (Hebrews 13:12-14)
So, let's go outside, where Jesus is, where He was crucified. This "world" is not our home. We have our eyes peeled for the city that is about to come . Let's take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals, but pouring out sacrificial thanksgivings and praises from our lips to God in Jesus' name.
The Church is a people called out of the world and into God's Kingdom. We are to be separate from this world. (Ephesians 2:11-22)
The Church is the temple of God and of the Holy Spirit. This truth about the church demands separation from unrighteousness and from worldly immorality. (1 Corinthians 3:16)
The Church is the body of Christ. This image indicates that no true church exists apart from vital union of the members with Christ Jesus. The head of the body is Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 6:15,16)
The Church is the Bride of Christ. This marriage image emphasizes the devotion and faithfulness of the church to Christ, as well as Christ's love for and intimacy with His Church. (Ephesians 5:22-27)
We are the church people -- we have been bought with a price. A price so high -- it was the blood that was poured out of Lord Jesus Christ.
Think of it--God brought us alive -- right along with Christ Jesus! All our sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean and our old arrest warrant has been canceled and nailed to the cross.
Join me tomorrow and learn more about "Who is the Church? - Part 2"