Jesus is the builder of His church and He is after your heart. He began the plan through teaching His disciples. In light of Peter’s confession, Matthew (another disciple of Christ) writes, “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Mt. 16:21).
The purpose of Jesus’ coming is to win your heart. This is accomplished on the cross. Your heart and mine are broken, enslaved to the sin nature. Sin, seen in our evil acts, leads to death. This eternally separates us from God. In the New Testament, Paul (an apostle of the early church) exhorts his reader to grasp the magnitude of the cross,
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
What does Christ’s work on the cross have to do with building the church? Everything. Those who place their trust in His work identify themselves in His death, burial, and resurrection. Throughout Paul’s letters he weaves in this understanding. The work of Christ is the most important part of our faith (1 Cor. 15:1-3). Peter understood this as well,
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed” (1Pet. 2:24).
Paul continues in Romans 6, explaining that we are no longer slaves to sin, we have died to sin (Rom. 6:5-10). Like Peter, Paul writes, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11). The work on the cross accomplishes peace between man and God (Eph 2:14). The work frees us from sin, making us alive in Christ (Col. 2:13). Secondly, Christ’s work removes the demand and condemnation of the law. Paul uses the word “abolish,” “canceling,” and “nailing” regarding the law’s condemnation in light of the cross. I encourage you to read Ephesians 2:14-15 and Colossians 2:13-15. The language of these passages describes the blood and sweat work going into building of His church. The disciples understood Jesus was building something. It is not a temple made of hands. The church is owned and built by Jesus. His shed blood is the beginning work in calling out the gathering of His church.