Christ and His Church
Scripture Reading — Matthew 16:13-20
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” — Matthew 16:16
Whoever we are, the main question for each of us is the one Jesus asks in this passage: “Who do you say I am?”
If we have faith in Christ as our Savior, our answer will be something like Peter’s.
And, as Jesus told Peter, it is God who reveals this to us. The Spirit of God gives us the faith to believe. This is the gift to Abraham and to all who believe God’s promises (Romans 4). As the Canons of Dort put it, God produces in us “both the will to believe and the belief itself.”
What’s more, when we believe, we receive, like Peter, the promise of a future with Christ. Jesus says he will build his church—that is, the body of all believers—and the powers of death and hell will not overcome it.
The main thing to remember here is that Jesus says, “I will build my church. . . .” It’s not ours or anyone else’s. Jesus calls us to work with him by spreading the good news to all nations, discipling believers, baptizing them, and teaching them all he has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20). But we may never forget that it’s his church that he is building.
The Canons of Dort say, “There is always a church of believers founded on Christ’s blood,” and this church “steadfastly loves . . . worships, and . . . praises him” forever as the Savior “who laid down his life for her on the cross.” So let’s love, praise, and worship our Lord in all we do!
Dear Jesus, thank you for making us your church. Keep building us to praise and honor you always. In your name, Amen.