New Kingdom Work

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I came across this article the other day and found it quite fitting for church planters even 7 years later. God is at work in Del Rio!

Keys to Kingdom Church Planting

For those of you who came to my talk yesterday, here are the notes I promised. This is from the message I gave at Catalyst church planting lab.

Keys to Kingdom Church Church Planting

In Matthew 16, Jesus’ relationship with His disciples takes a dramatic turn. Until now, the disciples were expecting a front row seat as Jesus fully ushered in His Kingdom. And on the surface, that made a lot of sense.

We have a King… check. We have a Kingdom… check. Let’s get this show on the road and restore the Kingdom, right?! Not exactly.

At this time, Jesus introduces a new element. He tells them about you and me– the church. What in the world is that?

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.” And He gave the disciples orders to tell no one that He was the Messiah.

Matthew 16:13-20 (HCSB)

Three Key Kingdom Recognitions for Church Planters:

1. Jesus is Messiah.

Matthew 16:13-16 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”

Understanding the Lordship of Christ is essential to planting Kingdom focused churches.

First, note that Jesus left and went into a Gentile area– he announced the “church” in Gentile land.

The disciples answered and indicated “who” people thought he was.

Some referred to Elijah / John the Baptist.

Malachi 4:5 Look, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome Day of the Lord comes.

Luke 1:17 And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.

Some might have though that Jesus was a resurrected Jeremiah because 2 Maccabees hints at that.

But Peter, speaking for the group, knew he was the Messiah.

This was not the first confession of faith, but here Jesus asked for his confession and this was the first clear one. There had been some exclamations but this was a little different.

In this verse, Jesus announces that the church is birthed in the wake of the Kingdom. The Lordship of Christ is essential if you are planting a Kingdom focused church.

Jesus needs to be Lord of your church plant:

  • He is the hero, not your creativity.
  • He is the answer, not your solutions.
  • He is the relationship, not your community.

2. Peter’s Confession is the Foundation of the Church.

Matthew 13:17-18 And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.

The authority does not belong to Peter, but to his confession.

Simon’s nickname, “Peter” is equivalent to English “Rocky.”

petros [a stone], and upon this rock [petra–a large rock] I will build My church.

But Peter is not the foundation of the church.

Ephesians 2:20-21 Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. The whole building is being fitted together in Him and is growing into a holy sanctuary in the Lord,

1 Corinthians 3:11 No one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid–that is, Jesus Christ.

Gates of Hades. Forces of Hades. Means the forces of death. No army attacks with gates, but it is the Kingdom that is advancing.

3. The Kingdom’s Keys

Matthew 13:19-20 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.” And He gave the disciples orders to tell no one that He was the Messiah.

The church (represented here by Peter) holds the keys to the Kingdom. It is not the Kingdom, but it is created by the Kingdom.

What are the keys:

  1. People are admitted to the “door” of the king Kingdom through proclaiming the good news (the keys)
  2. The church is to exercise binding and loosing though church discipline (next is in Matthew 18)

Matthew 18:18 I assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven.

Interestingly, Jesus only mentions the Church two times. Yet, there are eighty-five references to the kingdom of God/heaven in the Synoptic Gospels. What are the implications? Is the Kingdom more important than the Church? Did Jesus introduce the Kingdom and the Church formed in its wake? Just what is the connection between the Kingdom and the Church in redemptive history?

The entrance of the kingdom of God is through the keys of the church.

The Kingdom births the church in its wake– and church planters are on the vanguard of Kingdom work.

What do you do:

  1. Take seriously the keys.
  2. Know the Kingdom is more important that your church.
  3. Evident and kingdom mindset.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

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