Jesus’ Present Building Project

Steve Viars March 11, 2018 Matthew 16:13-23

Genesis 1:12 - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

Colossians 1:16 - For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Matthew 5:23-24 - Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Luke 7:11-15 - Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

1 Corinthians 3:11 - For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:10 - …each man must be careful how he builds on it.

Matthew 21:42-43 - Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.”

6 characteristics of the Way Jesus is Building His Church

I. Jesus Builds with Accuracy – “Upon This Rock”

A. A possible play on words

B. The centrality of the apostles’ teaching.

Acts 2:41-42 - So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

C. The critical role of the church today

1 Timothy 3:14-15 - I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

II. Jesus Builds with Intimacy – “I Will Build My Church.”

A. The meaning of the word “church”

B. The importance of the word “my”

As Architect, Builder, Owner, and Lord of His church, Jesus Christ assures His followers that they are His personal possession and eternally have His divine love and care. They are His Body, “purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28), and are one with Him in a marvelous, holy intimacy. “The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Cor. 6:17). Christ is not ashamed to call them “brethren” (Heb. 2:11) and “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Heb. 11:16). That is why when men attack God’s people they attack God Himself. When Jesus confronted Paul (then known as Saul) on the Damascus road, He asked, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4). By persecuting Christians (see 8:3; 9:1–2) Saul had been persecuting Christ. (John MacArthur, Matthew 16-23, p. 31)

III. Jesus Builds with Confidence – “The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail.”

A. Meaning

B. Great news for the people of God

1 Corinthians 15:54-55 - But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

2 Corinthians 5:8 - …we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

Acts 2:24 - But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

Hebrews 2:14 - Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil…

IV. Jesus Builds with Sacrifice – “I Must Go to Jerusalem.”

A. The logic of the passage

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 - Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

B. Not sure why Peter reacted so strongly

Matthew 16:22 - Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”

SEATTLE, WA—Responding to his owner Matt affectionately calling him a “good boy” for fetching a stick, local Calvinist canine Rupert reportedly reminded him that “according to the Scriptures, nobody is a good boy.”

“We’ve been over this, Matt. We’re all corrupted—every one of us,” Rupert reportedly said to his owner after stopping mid-stride to address the glaring theological error. “How can you call me a good boy when we have all been marred by the effects of sin?”

According to witnesses, the dog went on to lecture his owner for several minutes, stressing how easy it is to forget who we really are in light of God’s blinding holiness and our desperately fallen nature.

“Do not call me a good boy—I am a depraved wretch,” he added before picking up his stick and continuing to play.

C. There is an important point in Jesus’ response

Matthew 16:23 - But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

V. Jesus Builds with Diversity – “You Shall Be My Witnesses.”

Ephesians 2:11-14 - Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…

VI. Jesus Builds with Power – That Day There Were Added Three Thousand Souls

Acts 2:41 - So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video