In Matthew 16:18 Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the living God, said,
“I will build my church”
This building work is not in the material realm. Rather, it is to produce “a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). Matthew 16 is the context of Jesus’ word about building. There are many factors here which indicate that the building of the church is spiritual, not physical. Consider:
• We must be men of faith, taking the Lord’s word as our bread and being watchful not to take impure teaching, which is leaven (v. 5-12).
• Peter received a heavenly revelation from the Father (v. 16-17).
• There is spiritual warfare around the building work (v. 18).
• Prayer is necessary (v. 19).
• The Lord must pass through death and enter into resurrection (v. 21).
• We need to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow the Lord (v. 24).
• We need to lose our soul life (v. 25-26).
Jesus said, “I will build.” He alone did the initial work by His ministry recorded in the gospels and by His death and resurrection. Now He builds the church, which is His Body (Ephesians 1:22-23), by working through all His members. Since the building of the church is spiritual rather than physical we should realize that its successor and magnification, New Jerusalem, is also spiritual rather than physical.
Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry.