The Power of Christ


The Authority of the Church

Matthew 28:18 – “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” 


I preached a message from this text at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church near Columbus, Ohio.  In the beginning of the message, I asked the question, “If Christ has all power, how much power do we have?  If Christ has all power, how much power does a sinner have to be saved?  If Christ has all power, how much power does the local church have?  I still believe in the local church, I still believe in scriptural baptism, closed communion, so forth; but I believe in a church that is powerless without Jesus Christ.

Jesus has all power, which means authority, right, power, or the liberty of doing what one pleases.

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ has no authority, or power.  Those who say they believe in church authority should understand what that means.  It does not mean that the church is able to whatever they desire to do.  It means they must do only what God desires and directs them to do.

Matthew 16:19 declares that Jesus is giving the keys of the kingdom to the church, that whatsoever they bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever they loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  This is not talking about the church directing what goes on in heaven, because we do not have the power to do that.  We only have power to determine in heaven what God wants, and to direct things that way on this earth.

Matthew 28:19 – Jesus says, “Go ye therefore…”  We go because of the (authority) power of Jesus Christ, not because of our power or authority.  Do you, as members of Independence Baptist Church feel totally inadequate to be a witness in this present evil world?  If you feel inadequate and in need of direction and leadership, you are exactly where you should be.  We should feel inadequate because we are.  We are in great need of leadership and direction.  We are in direct need of Jesus Christ to give us leadership and direction.  That emptiness you feel inside you is what you ought to be feeling.  When you keep feeling inadequate and cannot get over it, that is good because you continually and constantly need the adequateness only Christ can provide.

Listen to Matthew 16:18 – “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Jesus said he would build his church.  He does not need our plans, programs, or promotions.

The word “build” in the above verse means to “dome up”, or to build up on a continual and continuing basis.

1)      to build a house, erect a building

a.       to build (up from the foundation)

b.       to restore by building, to rebuild, repair

2)      metaph

a.       to found, establish

b.       to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness

c.       to grow in wisdom and piety

Jesus will spend the entire church age building up, or doming up, from every generation his church.  There will be people from every generation saved and scripturally baptized and become members of his church.  There will be people saved, that will not become members of that special body.

Jesus will use us to build his church, but will only use us when we are completely dependent on him.

As in building a building, building a church takes time.  All the elements necessary to building a physical structure must be present to build the complete church of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

1)      There must be a plan – this is provided by God.

2)      There must be a designer – this is Jesus Christ.

3)      There must be someone in charge – a building superintendent – This is Jesus Christ.

4)      There must be workers – this is us.

5)      Workers that come and go as the ages pass – This is us.

6)      Sometimes the workers do not understand what they are doing is important to the complete structure.

7)      It is very important to follow the plans of the architect, or the finished structure will be wrong.

This is why Jesus told the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2 that they were in danger of losing their candlestick because they had left their first love.  The church was in danger of doing things because they were right to do, and not because they loved following the instructions of their Lord and Saviour.

While Christ is busy building his kind of church, Satan is also busy imitating the true church.  He has done this in the Catholic church, which was officially recognized as beginning in 606 AD when Gregory the Great was recognized as the first pope.  The “fingers” of popery go back to the first century, but the papacy was not recognized until 606 AD.  There have been many false churches come from the Catholic church, all for the purpose of deceiving many different people in many different ways.