When Jesus said, “I will build My church ...” (Matt. 16:18) He obviously had some purpose in mind. When Jesus said, “I will build my church,” and promised that His church would not be destroyed (Matthew 16:18), was He thinking of an ecclesiastical institution, such as the Roman Catholic Church? We read in Ephesians 5:23, "Christ is the head of the church, and he is the savior of the body. " Perhaps he did wish to form a church but the church that he formed would not have been that of Caesar which is after all the Roman church. The gospel of Jesus records that He built one church and that all saved people were in that church. Some cultures are good and some bad. They are the foundations of the new Jerusalem. That is why Jesus established only one church in 30 AD with Peter as first Pope. But from the beginning of his active life he invited everyone to conversion: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). As Luke’s gospel shows, Jesus begins proclaiming the Good News of God’s kingdom by reading Isaiah’s words, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” (Luke 4:18). On a number of occasions over the last few years, I have heard the complaint and critique against the Christian church of the history books, who with abusive liberty took the moral teachings of Jesus and created a separate church in his name. God did intend for there to be one united Church led by leadership that Christ set forward before and after His death and resurrection. ● Open to all of humanity, Jesus intended to reunite the people of the Covenant. Solomon’s well known statement, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. The church in the first century was an evangelistic church. When Jesus established His Church, He received instructions from Heavenly Father. ● It is not possible to meet Jesus without the reality which He created and in which he is communicated. The answer is yes. Every church and/or organization has a corporate culture with norms, rules and expectations that pressure participants to conform. This article appeared in the February 2011 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. He prayed for unity and rebuked division. Acts 5:42- "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ." B. All Rights Reserved |, In times of suffering, choose hope to find Christ’s healing, Jeannie Gaffigan: Faith, motherhood inform my vote. ● The Twelve apostles are the most evident sign of the will of Jesus as regards the existence and mission of his Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition. 76, No. 1 Peter 2:5 ESV / 129 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. What creates such men? In this continuation of a study of His church, we will now study what the Bible teaches about why His church came into existence, what function and place it is to serve in this world. This scene complements the one in Matthew. It’s also, according to the Second Vatican Council, a sacramental community announced by Jesus who “inaugurated his church by preaching the . ► However, this call to personal conversion was not conceived in an individualistic context; rather, he was continually looking to reunite a scattered humanity into the People of God whom he had come to save. From these proofs, it is easy to see that Jesus did not say He would build His church on Peter, a mere man, but on Himself, and because of that, the church would endure and prevail. ► “The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him” (Matt 10:2-4; cf Mark 3:13-16; Luke 6:12-16). If Yeshua (Jesus) intended to create a new religion, He went about it all wrong: He aroused the suspicion, and then the hostility, of the religious establishment. Matthew's Gospel records Jesus saying to Peter, in front of the other disciples, "I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). ● The preaching of Jesus was directed in the first place to Israel, as he himself said to his followers: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt 15:24). coming of the kingdom of God. In this way he transmitted to the whole Church, in the person of those Twelve who were at her head, the responsibility of being a sign and instrument of the meeting begun by Him, which is to be offered up to the end times. ” The church is not identical with the kingdom of God, but its purpose is to announce the kingdom while also making it present, albeit in fragments. The Spirit is the ongoing presence of Jesus on earth and is the mover, sustainer, teacher, and guide of the church. Questions about Jesus Christ and the Church, © Prelatura del Opus Dei, Fundación Studium, Scriptor, Stronger Families: Key to Recovering from the Pandemic, New eBook – Vocation: Something Great that is Love, Year of Saint Joseph Begins: "With a Father's Heart", Romana, Bulletin of the Opus Dei Prelature. He did indeed found it on the rock of Peter, but Peter and the apostles are to be always guided by, strengthened by, and accountable to the Holy Spirit of Jesus the Christ. 2, page 46). ► The number 12 is a reference to the twelve tribes of Israel. Each time Jesus commissioned him to feed his lambs and sheep, that is, the members of the Church. Did Jesus Intend to Found a Church? Jesus Christ said that He would build His Church and that it would never die out. A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The Jesus movement of the first century was a group of mostly Jewish followers who were of little social importance and who often met in homes—a far cry from the cathedrals we know and love today. When Jesus builds His church, He does the building by using disciples just like you. Unlike other thinkers and founders, Jesus left nothing in writing; what we do find is a stated intention to establish a church. ► They are inseparable, despite the sins of the people who make up the Church. It is a must if the whole world is to believe in Him. Denominations as we know them did not exist till centuries later. On the one hand, we have the wolves who were never converted—never “one of us.” It is implied that their motives were wrong from the start. Rather a person is called by God and answers that call, like a person answers a call on the phone. On its own, this view is no longer the dominant understanding because the church is more than an institution. Jesus was certainly not a head of state and did not have diplomats (and neither did his disciple Peter). Did He envision a continuous line of “successors of the apostles” who would govern the institution and issue infallible decrees on matters of faith and morals for all the faithful? The only answer is they were built by men, so men could "attend the church of their choice", and not God's choice. Jesus left no instructions about organizing our churches or church activities. Three basic motives: ego, money, and power. At the end of His life, Jesus Christ suffered and died for the sins of everyone who has lived or who will live on earth. Jesus’ vision is that we will be one with each other and one with God. These are still the two main categories of people who afflict the church. ► So they made it their concern to find successors. At the mere mention of the word community, people often eye you as if you had dropped in from another world, smile tolerantly, and hope you change the subject.Good, sensible, Christian people. He had just left Magdala, which was on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, where he had just debated with the Pharisees and Sadducees who wanted him to produce a sign from heaven to verify Is today's Christianity, with its hundreds of denominations with widely differing beliefs and practices, the Church Jesus promised that He would build? This is very different to the way the world behaves. This is a good point. People have often asked whether Jesus intended to found a church. In The Urantia Book, we learn that Jesus' mission on Earth was one of revelation—revelation to mankind of the loving character of God, the goodness of God, and the love and mercy of God as spiritual Father. 1. . ► The Church is born, then, with the complete self-giving of Christ for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and consummated on the Cross. He picked an oddball assortment of disciples, deliberately allowed Himself to fall into harm’s way, left no writings of his own (an essential if you ever want to start your own religion! Isn't this "building on another man's foundation?" So how is our church the same one that Jesus founded? To say the least, there are considerable difference between the original Jesus movement and the Catholic Church in the 21st century. Roman Catholics have tended to understand the church as institution under the primacy of Peter’s successor as synonymous with the “kingdom of God” proclaimed by Jesus. Revelation 2:1-3:22 ESV / 2 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 3. Christ is only the saviour of His one body, His one church. Jesus sent the Spirit, and the Christian community called the church was born. ► His self-giving on the cross, anticipated sacramentally in this supper, and made present every time the Church celebrates the Eucharist, creates a community united in communion with Him, a Church called to be sign and instrument of the task begun by Him. While they are obviously connected, the link between Jesus and the church as we know it today isn’t exactly clear. Traditionally, Roman Catholicism has understood the church to be instituted by Christ. People cannot simply build a building and call it the church, as so many try to do. 3:1) surely applies to … Some scholars see his statement in 15:20 as a fixed policy and also have trouble with his plans to preach at the church in Rome. Jesus taught His followers that revelation from God was the rock on which He would build His Church. No. Let me show you some Scriptural proof for these statements, which are very much in favor of the Catholic position. This is the basis for the old maxim, “no salvation outside the church.” In this view, Jesus directly founded the institution, the offices, and procedures within the church. There is no nobler purpose for the church than to introduce others to Christ. This is Emmanuel “God with us.” Jesus never promises that with size or organization that there would be more of His presence. He affirmed that his people and his presence were the only necessary ingredients. ), and after making a good start, generally … ● A new sign of this intention of Jesus is that during the Last Supper he entrusted to them the power to celebrate the Eucharist, which he instituted on that occasion (see the question, What went on at the last supper?). He didn’t leave building instructions or establish an organizational structure or provide liturgical templates. Yet today hundreds of denominations exist in the name of Christianity, claiming to be Christian. There, Jesus called Peter to be the rock of the Church. Sign up for The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. Paul did not found the church in Rome, so why did he intend to go there to preach, and why did he write them such a lengthy letter? God never intended for any of us to live the Christian life alone. Simon was on an … It shows the significance of this initiative to gather together the holy people of God, the ekklesia Theou. On the night before He died, Jesus earnestly prayed to His Father to keep all His future believers one and united. By Daniel Nessim. Jesus Christ proclaimed, almost 2,000 years ago, "I will build My church." Related articles: What did Jesus say about obeying God? Sometimes it is used as an analogy for the buildings of other religions. The term is used to refer to the physical buildings where Christians worship and also to refer to the community of Christians. The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment. That being said, there are particular attributes that characterize false religions or become the norm during religious decline in a true faith such as Christianity. Jesus wasn’t fooled by their outward show of religiosity. Can non-Catholic Christians and non-Christians belong to Opus Dei? Here, Christ summoned Peter to be a shepherd who loves Jesus and the Church’s people. Their aim was that the mission entrusted to them should continue after their death, as witnessed in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. It is God, through Jesus Christ, who adds to His Church (John 6:44). In John’s gospel, where Jesus speaks of the coming of the Paraclete in many places, the Holy Spirit takes a leading role in founding and sustaining the church. As difficult as it is to believe, Jesus wasn't starting institutional churches, nor was he creating a new religion. The pope today claims universal ecclesial authority, and because the Vatican is a nation-state, he is a head of state and even has diplomats. The problem with the question, “Did Jesus intend to found a ‘church’?” is that it cannot be answered with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. ● The apostles were aware that their mission had to be perpetuated, because this was what they had been told by Jesus. 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