The church is built by and upon Christ (not Peter) and I believe that the church is founded by non other than Jesus. Jesus said the church is "my church" (Matthew 16:18). The Rock upon which Jesus built His church was not Peter (Cephas, a Syriac word and signifying a small stone or rock) but Christ, speaking of Himself said I will build my church "upon this Rock" (Petra, denotes "a mass of rock," as distinct from petros, "a detached stone or boulder," or a stone that might be thrown or easily moved). He founded the church upon Himself during his earthly ministry. Not founded by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The Spirit came to indwell the believers who where already assembled as a church, which Christ had previously "called out."
When did he found the church? (Matthew 18:17) The church means "called-out assembly" and I might even add that the church is also "chosen". Thus, the church began when Jesus called His apostles and disciples. Mt 18:17 shows the church was already in existence during His earthly ministry. He speaks to the church and uses the same Greek word referring to the church. How could they "tell it unto the church" if the church did not exist at this point?
Those who received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost were already assembled as a church, just as they assembled weekly before Pentecost. They were assembled after the crucifixion, and again when Thomas was with them. They were gathered together as a "called out assembly" just like they were "called out" and assembled during Christ's earthly ministry.
The Great Commission was given to the "church." That means that the church must have already existed at the time He gave the great commission, which was before the Day of Pentecost. He was speaking to the church whom he gave the authority to go, baptize, and teach. (Matthew 28:19) The Great Commission is in good standing today. I believe Jesus wanted His disciples to tarry at Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. In other words, they were not to begin exercising the Great Commission until the Holy Spirit came. They were to gather and wait on God, once empowered, then they were to launch out into the world with the gospel.
In this message I stated that "the book of Acts records the birth of the church" meaning that, when the Holy Spirit came, the church was endued with power from on high, not that the disciples had no power or were not the "called-out", but they were to wait for the Spirit. I believe that this was the "manifestation" of the church (That which is born of the Spirit is spirit) and God began to add great numbers to His church by His saving grace. Then God began to grow the church into Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc. (but not until the disciples were empowered by the Spirit). The church definitely began in Jesus, by Jesus, to the Jew first but then also to the Gentiles. ... founded upon Jesus born by the Spirit.
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