Nate Newell

The Infinite Value of Planting Churches Part 3/3

When I planted a church and was confronted by other Christians who wondered “why we need another church in town,” what they were really challenging was the authority I had to invade their town with another church. “Who gave you the authority to plant this church?” they asked me. What they failed to realize is that I was not planting a church on my own authority, or by their misguided understanding of their own authority, but by the authority of the One who said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18) This is the third of the 3 Reasons Planting Churches is of Infinite Value (see Part 1 and Part 2 here).

Reason Three: The Church establishes Christ’s authority on earth.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus says that the foundation-stone of every church is the belief and confession that He is the Son of the living God.  He goes on to say that the church is given the “keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” (v. 19) 

These are not literal keys that give access to a place, rather they access the authority of God.  Jesus is using an illustration.  It’s like the car I rented at an out-of-town conference.  The rental car company owns the vehicle, but I was given authority to use it.  Jesus gives the church His authority so that “…whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (v. 19).

Churches are outposts of God’s authority on earth.  They are a mini embassy of the Kingdom of Heaven, and there are not enough of them yet!  Churches are not the authority, but like embassies, we speak on the authority of the King. [read the full article here...]