[left]The meaning of “church”, ekklesia, is out calling. It is not the kind of a word that can apply to a building, nor is it ever used in the New Testament to describe an organization made up of a number of congregations that have been organized together to form a denomination.[/left]
[left]Now let’s take a look at Matt.16:13-19: [/left]
*13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. *
Rome teaches that in this passage Jesus established his church upon Peter (supposedly the first pope) as the foundation. Although Jesus probably spoke Aramaic the Greek text renders “rock” in two different ways here: "Thou art Peter (petros) and upon this rock (petra) I will build my church. The meaning of petros is a single rock, perhaps even a boulder. But petra, on the other hand, denotes a bedrock.
In Matthew 16:18, the church Christ would build was still future. The simple future tense of the verb “will build” should settle for everyone that the church did not exist before the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit baptized believers into the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13). This was a new beginning and brought into being the spiritual body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23; 2:19-22). It is called, “the church which is His body”, “a holy temple in the Lord” and “a habitation of God through the Spirit”.[left][left][/left]
[left]The “body of Christ” is made up of all believers in this church age. All who have been saved in this day of grace have been baptized by the Spirit into the body.[/left]
[left]The true Church started in Jerusalem on the day of Pentacost.[/left]