The Church Lesson 7: The Cost of Establishing the Church

The Church Matthew 16:20

20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Jesus gives his disciples an unusual directive: he warns them not to tell anyone that he is the Christ.

After his resurrection he would give them a different command: go and tell everyone that I am the Christ. But at this point in his ministry, he was working to lessen the amount of trouble and persecution they would face until his earthly mission was complete. He was also trying to prolong the freedom he had to travel about the region without being constantly swarmed by those who wanted to see him. There came a time in his ministry where he could no longer openly enter into a city but was forced to stay in lonelier places because of the crowds of people that wanted to see him, (Mark 1:45).

There was a cost associated with establishing the Gospel and a cost associated with establishing and building the church.

Missionary John Sisk says, as a church, we have an expectation made of us that we will demonstrate conviction and loyalty to the cross. One of the key components of this type of faithfulness in the face of trial is trust in God; when our faithfulness has brought us to a furnace we need to cling to our faith, even over the objections of our own common sense. Our faith must be stronger than our fear.

What the missionary is describing, is the church at work in the world we live in; a church that is asked by our Lord and Savior, to pay a price of fulfilling his purposes he has for the church in the world.

Jesus paid a high price to win the redemption of mankind; his apostles paid a high price to fulfill the commandments he left them, and followers of Christ are still paying a price to demonstrate our conviction and loyalty to the cross and to the Christ, the Son of the Living God.