Jesus could have used any word in Matthew 16:18 to define his strategy to advance His Kingdom. He could have said, “I will build my fellowship, my temple, my synagogues,” but shockingly, Jesus chooses a secular word to define His divine agency of bringing His Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, the Ekklesia.
We have to take a brief trip back through history to uncover where we adopted the word “church” over the word “Ekklesia.”
The point of this section is to provide a fly-by of historical events that led us away from Christ’s original intent, causing us to misunderstand and misappropriate our assignment, which has an impact on both our functional identity and our mission.
In Matt. 16:18 Jesus says, “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” If Jesus is building something, it is imperative for every believer to know what that something is. If we misinterpret this statement we are in grave danger building what He is not authorizing or anointing.
Over the last year, the Lord has really been shining His revelatory light over Matt 16:13-19. Here, we read of Peter’s great confession that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah, Anointed One).
The scriptures tell us that Jesus makes his way furthest north to the region of Caesarea Philippi, and then, he takes a two-day walk with His disciples to the Gates of Hades.