Jesus Christ proclaimed, almost 2,000 years ago, "I will build My church." No. 3. 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. ● 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. Each time Jesus commissioned him to feed his lambs and sheep, that is, the members of the Church. 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. 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? 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. Simon Magus fell into this category (Acts 8:18). Isn't this "building on another man's foundation?" Yet today hundreds of denominations exist in the name of Christianity, claiming to be Christian. 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). People have often asked whether Jesus intended to found a church. . ● In St Paul’s letters, the members of the Church are considered as “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone.” (Eph 2:19-20). ● 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?). 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. ● 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). 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. He didn’t leave building instructions or establish an organizational structure or provide liturgical templates. 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. The Spirit is the ongoing presence of Jesus on earth and is the mover, sustainer, teacher, and guide of the church. When Jesus said, “I will build My church ...” (Matt. Traditionally, Roman Catholicism has understood the church to be instituted by Christ. While they are obviously connected, the link between Jesus and the church as we know it today isn’t exactly clear. ► 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. 23 Questions & answers about Jesus Christ, prepared by a team of catholic theologians of the University of Navarre. There is no nobler purpose for the church than to introduce others to Christ. 16:18) He obviously had some purpose in mind. But if we build according to Christ’s principles, we get what God can build—a church that the gates of hades will not prevail against. 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. The term is used to refer to the physical buildings where Christians worship and also to refer to the community of Christians. 76, No. ► Between Jesus and his Church there is a profound continuity, inseparable and mysterious, and through which Christ is made present today in his people. By Daniel Nessim. Some cultures are good and some bad. He affirmed that his people and his presence were the only necessary ingredients. Solomon’s well known statement, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 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). ● Open to all of humanity, Jesus intended to reunite the people of the Covenant. He prayed for unity and rebuked division. In St Paul’s letters, the members of the Church are considered as “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone.” (Eph 2:19-20). Sometimes it is used as an analogy for the buildings of other religions. This is a good point. 3:1) surely applies to … 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). So how is our church the same one that Jesus founded? Rather a person is called by God and answers that call, like a person answers a call on the phone. ► 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. 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. Denominations as we know them did not exist till centuries later. Let me show you some Scriptural proof for these statements, which are very much in favor of the Catholic position. Jesus proclaimed the good news that man is a child of God, and the resultant truth that all men are brethren. Sign up for The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. 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 ► So they made it their concern to find successors. We do this in part by making sure we faithfully represent Him and become who He has called us to be. Jesus taught His followers that revelation from God was the rock on which He would build His Church. He then instructed His disciples. 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. That is why Jesus established only one church in 30 AD with Peter as first Pope. This article appeared in the February 2011 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. They fear that you're going to tell them they have to sell all they own, move to a farm, wear bib overalls, and raise peanuts. Every church and/or organization has a corporate culture with norms, rules and expectations that pressure participants to conform. After nineteen centuries, things haven’t changed much. Answer. Jesus wasn’t fooled by their outward show of religiosity. This is Emmanuel “God with us.” Jesus never promises that with size or organization that there would be more of His presence. Simon was on an … Traditionally, Roman Catholicism has understood the church to be instituted by Christ. To say the least, there are considerable difference between the original Jesus movement and the Catholic Church in the 21st century. ” 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 apostles were aware that their mission had to be perpetuated, because this was what they had been told by Jesus. 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. It shows the significance of this initiative to gather together the holy people of God, the ekklesia Theou. Acts 8:4- "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word." And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. He accused them of making faith harder than it had to be. This is based on Matthew’s gospel (16:18) where Jesus says, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” He not only establishes his church but gives primacy to Peter among all the apostles. Instead, Wright argues that… “Jesus did not intend to found a church because there already was one, namely the people of Israel itself. ► 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. Three basic motives: ego, money, and power. This is very different to the way the world behaves. A clear sign, in fulfilment of the promises made to his people, is the institution of the Twelve apostles, with Peter at the head. 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 only answer is they were built by men, so men could "attend the church of their choice", and not God's choice. 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. 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. The church in the first century was an evangelistic church. This is question 22: "Did Jesus really mean to found a Church?". A true Christian is a person God has selected and “called out.” 2, page 46). Jesus in Matthew 16, “I will build my church.” Jesus in Matthew 28, “Go and make disciples.” Both are true. Unlike other thinkers and founders, Jesus left nothing in writing; what we do find is a stated intention to establish a church. Externally, the purpose of the church is to fulfill the Great Commission as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:18-20. People cannot simply build a building and call it the church, as so many try to do. B. Matthew 16:18-20 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church and all … 2. Jesus was certainly not a head of state and did not have diplomats (and neither did his disciple Peter). On the night before He died, Jesus earnestly prayed to His Father to keep all His future believers one and united. 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. 1. Acts 5:42- "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ." There, Jesus called Peter to be the rock of the Church. 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. It is a must if the whole world is to believe in Him. ► Through their apostolic ministry they left behind them a structured community, under the guidance of recognised pastors, who built and sustained it in communion with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, in which all people are called to experience the salvation offered by the Father. Jesus sent the Spirit, and the Christian community called the church was born. Related articles: What did Jesus say about obeying God? This scene complements the one in Matthew. Can non-Catholic Christians and non-Christians belong to Opus Dei? 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. What creates such men? Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Day 1, 18 January), Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Day 2, 19 January), Letter from the Prelate (28 October 2020), Saint Josemaria and the Role of Saint Joseph in Christian Life. Jesus’ vision is that we will be one with each other and one with God. 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. When Jesus builds His church, He does the building by using disciples just like you. As difficult as it is to believe, Jesus wasn't starting institutional churches, nor was he creating a new religion. ► “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). Jesus left no instructions about organizing our churches or church activities. Jesus’ tells us that members of his church community should love God and love each other. ), and after making a good start, generally … ► The number 12 is a reference to the twelve tribes of Israel. coming of the kingdom of God. The gospel of Jesus records that He built one church and that all saved people were in that church. 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. ● It is not possible to meet Jesus without the reality which He created and in which he is communicated. Christ is only the saviour of His one body, His one church. These are still the two main categories of people who afflict the church. ► They are inseparable, despite the sins of the people who make up the Church. It is God, through Jesus Christ, who adds to His Church (John 6:44). All Rights Reserved |, In times of suffering, choose hope to find Christ’s healing, Jeannie Gaffigan: Faith, motherhood inform my vote. In Ephesians 4:7-16, Paul teaches specifics about God’s plan to build his church so we can get involved and do our part—but also so that we don’t build … A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. So while the church may live on in a much different form than its early beginnings, the Spirit remains the glue between Jesus and his church. 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. The answer is yes. 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. Jesus had just arrived with the disciples at Caesarea Philippi, about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. 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. This is based on Matthew’s gospel (16:18) where Jesus says, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” He not only establishes his church but gives primacy to Peter among all the apostles. 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. There are two statements in Matthew’s Gospel that seem to suggest that he did. Here, Christ summoned Peter to be a shepherd who loves Jesus and the Church’s people. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. We read in Ephesians 5:23, "Christ is the head of the church, and he is the savior of the body. " . The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment. 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. Copyright © 2021 US Catholic. Still, Jesus did not found a mere bureaucratic institution but a life-giving community that is sustained by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Did Jesus Intend to Found a Church? 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! When Jesus established His Church, He received instructions from Heavenly Father. They are the foundations of the new Jerusalem. God did intend for there to be one united Church led by leadership that Christ set forward before and after His death and resurrection. Motivated by a lust for power, he understood so little about the church that he attempted to buy the power of God. 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? It’s also, according to the Second Vatican Council, a sacramental community announced by Jesus who “inaugurated his church by preaching the . 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. On its own, this view is no longer the dominant understanding because the church is more than an institution. Jesus Christ said that He would build His Church and that it would never die out. Is today's Christianity, with its hundreds of denominations with widely differing beliefs and practices, the Church Jesus promised that He would build? Christianity, claiming to be the rock on which did jesus intend to build a church is the savior of the University of Navarre was they. Be a shepherd who loves Jesus and the church to be instituted by Christ one united church led by that. Only one church. to live the Christian community called the church to be everywhere preaching the.! 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