HIS CHURCH – PART 1
MATHEW 16:18 - And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it(NIV)
When we speak about His Church, we refer to the body of Christ. As such His “Church is not a physical building or meeting place, but believers united together in and with Christ, the Head of the Body”. This implies that if you are a believer and you are united together with other believers and with Christ, then you are part of the Church. What this tells us is that while, a physical building may be dedicated for use as a Church, a building in itself alone cannot be described as a Church in the absence of a people who are called by His name and are united through His name.
For instance, any building where a people are united in and with Christ in words, thoughts, actions, love, peace, joy and hope are gathered can serve as a Church. However, not every gathering, even in designated Church buildings, even if they give themselves the name Church is truly a Church. I am aware that we have people gathering under different kind of names under the guise of a Church. We hear of some gathering calling themselves the Church of Satan and all sorts. For instance, in this country, we have many buildings designated as Churches in this country that are used for different purposes and gathering other than for the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, His Church is not a building but a people.
Conversely, I am also aware that there are some member of the universal Church that do not have their own permanent place of worship but are renting and using buildings such as hotels, cinemas and schools for their gathering. As long as such gathering are bible-believing and worshiping in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ they belong to His Church. This tells us that the building in itself is not as important as the people in the building. No wonder the Lord promised in His word in Matt. 18: 20 that “for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (NIV)." Thus, what makes all the difference is His Name.
Thus, one of the conditions that a group must meet to be called a Church is that there must be a gathering (or an assemblage). That is why the word of the Lord admonished us in Heb. 10: 25 of “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (NIV). Also, the gathering must be in His name and to fulfill His purpose and not necessarily where the meeting takes place. Additionally, there must be a gathering, that is, there must be two or more united people involved.
That is the Church that our Lord Jesus Christ has promised to build. It is a people who are called by His name and are gathered in His name, that He promised to build and not a building. That is why the move of God and the signs and wonders of God do not necessarily take place in Cathedrals.
Beloved, are you indeed a part of His body? If you are truly recognised as a part of His body, then you can expect that he would build you as part of His Church.
May you be truly recognised by the Lord as been part of His body in Jesus name.
Dr. Yinka Okude
RCCG Jesus Sanctuary, Northampton
HYMN: NEARER MY GOD TO THEE HYMN