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John 6:68-69

Posted 01/10/22, by Dan Vis

This week I want to spend a little time exploring what Jesus said about the church. The word "church" is actually found in only two verses in the Gospels--but both give profoundly important information. One gives the church its organizing charter, the other its operating manual.

The principles in these passages, however, are found scattered all through the Gospels. And this week, I'll be focusing particularly on some of these secondary verses, and how they relate to His core teachings about the church.

Take for example this verse from the Gospel of John:

John 6:68-69
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

To set the context, Jesus had just been explaining the true cost of discipleship--that it required authentic, intimate communion with Christ. And that nothing less would suffice. When they heard this requirement "many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him" (John 6:66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.). Peter gave the response above to Jesus' question: "will ye also go away?" (John 6:67Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?).

This is one of the most powerful affirmations of Christ's identity in the Bible. He is the "Christ, the Son of the living God". He alone has the "words of eternal life". We have no where else to go. And this principle lies at the heart of what constitutes the church. The acknowledgment that Christ is our only hope. This draws us toward Him, inexorably, as to a magnet. And in drawing closer to Him, we inevitably draw closer to each other.

The first use of the word "church" by Jesus (Matthew 16:18And 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.) follows an almost identical affirmation. After discussing what other people said about His identity, Jesus asked the disciples: "whom say YE that I am?" (Matthew 16:15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?). Peter answered the same way: "thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.). Jesus promptly acknowledged that statement, saying the ability to discern it was a gift, a blessing from God (Matthew 16:17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.). And that His whole church was going to be built on that truth (Matthew 16:18And 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.).

So clearly, this is where it all starts. The identify of Jesus. That He was indeed the promised Messiah, the Anointed One. That He was God incarnate. The salvation of the world. Our only hope of eternal life.

This should be the unifying truth of the church. And everything we do should be rooted in this fact. Everything else follows from it...

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Posted by Dan Vis on 01/12/22
Great verses Qing, and I love the NLT translation of the verse in Isaiah. So cool. I've really enjoyed studying the words of Jesus as they unlock themes talked about much more fully elsewhere in the New Testament. Almost like they are seeds still to germinate.

Comments like this always and enrich and develop these short posts in beautiful ways. Thanks so much!
Posted by Qing Ling on 01/12/22
When we get our foundations right, the house will not fall.
Funny. There's wisdom about that already in the Bible! ;)

I Corinthians 3:11
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:20
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.
Isaiah 28:16Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. NLT
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/11/22
That's another good reason to keep Christ at the center of everything the church exists for, two reasons actually. That He is our Creator and Redeemer. Good point Kathryn!
Posted by Kathryn D. Search on 01/10/22
Christ is our Creator and our Redeemer. He made us to start with, and He is saving us from our selfish selves. I have a poem about human kind being in reverse to God's plan for us, I just wrote today, but I won't put it in here. Unless we let Him take us back to our original purpose we are lost. may the Lord help each one of us.

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