Brief Notes on Matthew 16:13-18 and Ephesians 5:25-33: The Church

Matthew 16:13‑18; Ephesians 5:25‑33  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Men may talk much about the Church, but there is no understanding of it till the Person of the Lord is known. Simon was only a poor unlearned fisherman, but he made a glorious, unwavering confession-"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." There was no pause, no hesitation; he knew it. But the knowledge came by revelation of the Father: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven." There was no happier man than Simon at that moment on the face of the earth. Then indeed there ensues a further revelation: "And I also say unto thee that... upon this rock I will build My church (see J.N.D. Trans.)"builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit."
But in Eph. 5 we have another thing; this blessed Person "loved the church, and gave Himself for it." The Spirit here employs the nearest and dearest of all earthly ties-the love of equals. It is not here an angel that a husband is called to love, but a fellow creature brought into the happiest and closest relationship with himself- "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself." But if that is so sweet, what is it to be the object of the love of the Son of God, to be loved by Him as we know Him revealed by the Father? When we learn His Person and then His love to us, we may learn about the Church. What can those who are discussing His Person understand about it, though they talk so loudly about the Church?
We are not only living stones on the Rock, but we are "builded" there. We are not loose stones to go anywhere, nor are we thrown down into the road in a heap, but we are "builded together" each having its own place to fill in the "spiritual house" ( 1 Pet. 2:55Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)); and nothing can, in His grace, move us from this allocation, nor from Himself, the Builder and the Rock; and by and-by He will present to Himself His Church in all its glorious completeness, ourselves then perfected in glory (John 17:2323I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:23)).