1 - BECAUSE JESUS IS ITS BUILDER AND FOUNDATION
With so many different churches existing in the world today, with conflicting doctrines, you may be wondering why it's important that Jesus Christ should be the builder and foundation of the church.
In Matt 16:18 Jesus said, "I will build my church." The church belongs to Christ. If the church belongs to Christ, then why do we have so many different religious bodies in the world? The answer is simple: "Somebody has been building churches when they had no right to do so!" Many religious organizations owe their existence to common men and women, not to the Son of God. Many religious organizations teach doctrines that are often foreign and contradictory to the gospel of Christ. If Christ is not the builder of the church, then the church is not the one you find in the Bible.
Some people have mistakenly taught that John the Baptist built the church. But this cannot be true for several reasons. First of all, John the Baptist referred to Jesus Christ as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." - John 1:29. In Matt 14:10 John the Baptist was beheaded. Later in Matt 16:18 Jesus declared to build His church. If John the Baptist was dead when Jesus made this statement, then John the Baptist could not have built the church. Also, John the Baptist said this of Jesus Christ in John 3:29-30, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." Jesus, the bridegroom, is married to the church, and He must increase. John, the friend of the bridegroom, was to decrease. John the Baptist did not build the church, and so it should not wear his name. Please note that the name "the Baptist" given to John is a surname, because he baptized or immersed people in water. The angel said to Zacharias, his father, "thou shalt call his name John." - Luke 1 :13.
No less important than the building is the foundation of the church. No building is stronger than its foundation. What then is the foundation of the church? In I Cor. 3:11, we are given the answer, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." However, let us read Matt. 16:18 where Jesus says, "upon this rock I will build my church." What is this "rock" to which Jesus refers? Whatever it is, upon it the church was built by Christ. In order to get the complete picture of the text, notice verse 16, "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Then in verse 17 the Lord blesses Peter for the confession which he had made, and in verse 18 the Lord promises to build His church. It is clear from the text that Christ planned to build His church upon the truth of Peter's confession: "Thou art the Christ; the Son of the living God."
Some have mistakenly interpreted this passage to mean that Christ built His church on Peter. However, a closer look at the wording will show that this is not, and cannot be true. When ,Jesus said, "I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter", Jesus used the Greek word for Peter which is petros meaning stone, a rock, a small pebble, etc. a huge mass of ledge of rock. But when Jesus said, "upon this rock, Jesus used the Greek word, petra, meaning a huge mass or ledge of rock. The two words are as different as their meanings. The church is therefore founded upon the fact that Jesus is the Christ, God's infallible Son, and not upon Peter, a fallible, erring creature.
In Isaiah's prophecy, chapter 28 and verse 16 it reads, "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundatiou a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." In Matt. 21:42 Jesus applies this prophecy to Himself: "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes." Later in Acts 4:11 the apostle Peter, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, applies this same prophecy to Jesus: "This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner." Jesus, and not Peter, is the head of the church, as well as its foundation. The apostle Paul also writes in Eph. 2:20, "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:" The "chief corner stone" is the basic, essential, and most important part of a building...it's the foundation.
It's important to note that the Church is built upon a divine rather than a human foundation. Christ is deity, eternal and immortal. In John chapter 1 and verse I, the apostle tells us of Christ: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." The apostle Paul says this of Christ in Philippians 2:6, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God."
Therefore, as the foundation of the Church, Christ will endure forever. Death, decay and depreciation cannot harm the church. For Christ who is its builder, head and foundation shall live forever.