Most everyone is familiar with blueprints which are used in the building of houses and such. They give the exact dimensions, specifications, materials and all the details concerning the structure to be built. If properly adhered to, one could take a blueprint for a house and use it to build one on the east coast and another on the west coast and they would both look just alike. We wish to consider the blueprint for Christ’s church.
Let us first consider the architect. God is the architect for Christ’s church. God’s plan was formulated from the foundation of the world. Paul said, “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:9). The apostle Peter wrote of the “precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world…” (I Pet. 1:19-20). Much of the details of this plan was kept secrete by God until they were revealed by Christ and His apostles. They were “hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:9), but they were “manifest in these last times” (I Pet. 1:20). However, it is extremely important that we understand that the establishing of the church was not some afterthought, some plan B that was quickly thrown in because the Jews crucified Christ. God’s plans cannot be overthrown! And, God’s plans cannot be improved upon. When mere man attempts to “add on” or “remodel” what the Master architect has drawn up, the resulting building will not stand.
The builder of Christ’s church is Christ Himself! Jesus made the statement, “…upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). Now there are only a few options to be taken. One can take the option that says that Jesus lied about building His church. Once could say that He was mistaken about building His church. One could say that the Son of God was unable to build His church or one could believe that Jesus did build His church just as He promised to do. It will not take a genius to figure out which option is the only one that can stand the test of scriptural investigation. Jesus said that He would build it and that it would be His. In the New Testament, the church is also called the body. Paul said, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). Note that Jesus is the head of the church, which is His body and that it is His body, or in other words, His church. Any church build by anyone other than Christ cannot be Christ’s church nor can it stand in the judgment. The psalmist said, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it…” (Psalm 127:1), and Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13).
No building is any stronger than the foundation upon which it is built. God’s blueprint for Christ’s church provides a solid foundation. The foundation upon which Christ’s church is built is Jesus Christ, the Son of God! The apostle Paul said, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:11). At the time that Jesus pronounced His intentions to build His church (Matt. 16:18), He stated, “upon this rock I will build my church”. Now some have tried to make Peter the rock upon which the church was built, but nothing could be further from the truth. The rock upon which Jesus said that He would build his church is the confession that Peter had just made. When asked who the apostles thought Jesus was, Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matt. 16:16). That truth is what the church was built upon.
God’s blueprint for Christ’s church specified what material would be used in the building of it. It is not made of bricks, stones, wood or any other physical material. Christ’s church is built out of living stones. Peter wrote, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 2:5). These “lively” stones are “living” stones as most translations state. They are people and the church is a spiritual house. It is Christ’s spiritual body. Jesus said, “behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21) and “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). God’s blueprint provides for how to become a Christian, a living stone in the walls of the church (Rom. 10:13; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) and then continued instruction on how to live as God’s children.
We will close with yet one more point about God’s blueprint for Christ’s church. Every structure built has a purpose or function. The purpose of Christ’s church is to be an active agent in carrying out the will of God on earth. There are three main objectives. They are to convert sinners to Christ, edify the members of the body and to serve those who are in need. Every aspect of Christ’s church, from the architect to the purpose has been revealed to us in the gospel of Christ, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith” (Rom. 1:17).
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