We can’t fault people for misunderstanding that the Church, capital “C”, belongs to this or that denomination or particular brand of Christianity, especially in America where labels and brands are everything.
Who owns the Church is an easy question to answer. It’s not a denomination, not a label, not a brand, not a government, not a world council, nor even a people group with a particular cultural background or history, it’s Jesus; Jesus owns the Church!
Jesus started the Church. Jesus is Head of the Church. Jesus is the One building the Church. Jesus is the One who gave His life for the Church. Jesus is the One whose blood paid the very hefty price for our sin, sickness, and shame, so that we could be brought into the family of God–the Church.
With His own words Jesus declared that He owns the Church… “I will build MY church” Matthew 16:18.
And He said, “on this ROCK, I will build my church” Matthew 16:18. What is the rock? It’s the solid belief that Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus asked one of His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15. The disciple replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Matthew 16:16. The disciple had received a revelation of who Jesus is, which is why he could reply to Jesus’ question with such conviction, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. It’s upon this revelation that the Church is built. Not upon any other person, or succession of leadership, no machinery of man, nor denominational label. The Church is built on the Person of Jesus.
A person is birthed into the Church, into God’s spiritual family, when they receive this revelation, Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
Jesus the Eternal Son of God, lay aside His divinity, and came to earth as the Son of Man through the Virgin Birth. He came to demonstrate the Father’s love to us. And He lived fully-filled with the Holy Spirit as a man so we could see how we are to live full of the Holy Spirit and obedient to God -just like Jesus.
Jesus died on the cross for us, and then God raised Him to life. This is the foundational belief for every Christian Church. Without this foundation, it’s a false church, a false religion. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is the basis of our faith.
Jesus is the Head of the Church. This place does not belong to any other man. No pope, nor any king. Not a denomination, nor any man-made organization. Definitely no government. This headship belongs to Jesus.
No one stands in the place of Jesus. He stands there Himself as the One who began the Church. The One who sustains the Church. The One who makes the Church perfect. The One who is going to return for His beautiful Church.
I am the Church. And you are the Church. Anyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and savior belongs to the Church. We belong to Jesus. There is eternal security in knowing that.