Gospel of Matthew – The Authority of the Church


It’s always worth repeating that the church is the Body of Christ. Our Lord, the crucified and resurrected Christ, imparted His life into His believers, producing His universal Body. Have you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? If you have, then you have received His life and are a member of His Body, which is the church.

The Lord Jesus refered to the church in two instances in Matthew. In the first, in chapter 16, He spoke of the universal church (“I will build My Church”), and in the second, in chapter 18, He spoke of the local church (“tell it to the church”). The local churches are the many manifestations of the Body of Christ on the earth.

The Head of the Body of Christ is Jesus Christ Himself. We do not share in His Godhead. However, we do see in the gospel of Matthew how the authority of the Head is executed through the local church. Furthermore, by pointing out binding and loosing in both references to the church, we see that God’s intention for the church is that she would exercise dominion to deal with Satan and every negative thing.

In this Bible study we’ll take the following steps:

  1. Look at the verses and study them with the help of the footnotes in the Recovery Version of the Bible.
  2. Read a helpful excerpt from the ministry of Watchman Nee.
  3. Answer questions to encourage much fellowship.

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Footnote Concerning “gates”,…

Gates of Hades refers to Satan’s authority or power of darkness (Col. 1:13; Acts 26:18), which cannot prevail against the genuine church built by Christ upon this revelation concerning Him as the rock, with stones such as Peter, a transformed human being. This word of the Lord’s indicates also that Satan’s power of darkness will attack the church. Hence, there is spiritual warfare between Satan’s power, which is his kingdom, and the church, which is God’s kingdom.

Matthew 16:19 I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatever you bind on the earth shall have been bound in the heavens, and whatever you loose on the earth shall have been loosed in the heavens.

Footnote Concerning “kingdom”,…

Kingdom of the heavens is used here interchangeably for church, which is used in the previous verse. This is a strong proof that the genuine church is the kingdom of the heavens in this age. This is confirmed by Rom. 14:17, in which the kingdom of God is mentioned in obvious reference to the proper church life.

Footnote Concerning “bind”,…

This Gospel is concerned with the kingdom of the heavens, which is a matter of authority. The church revealed in this book represents the kingdom with its reign. Hence, the authority to bind and to loose was given not only to Peter, the apostle for the church here, but also to the church itself (18:17-18).

Footnote Concerning “have”,…

Whatever the church people bind or loose on earth must be something that has already been bound or loosed in the heavens. We can bind or loose only what has already been bound or loosed in the heavens.

Matthew 18:17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to hear the church also, let him be to you just like the Gentile and the tax collector.

Matthew 18:18 Truly I say to you, Whatever you bind on the earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on the earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

Footnote Concerning “bind”,…

Here to bind means to condemn, and to loose means to forgive.

Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Footnote Concerning “authority”,…

In His divinity, as the only begotten Son of God, the Lord had authority over all. However, in His humanity, as the Son of Man and the King of the heavenly kingdom, authority in heaven and on earth was given to Him after His resurrection.

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Footnote Concerning “therefore”,…

Because all authority was given to Him (v. 18), the heavenly King sent His disciples to disciple all the nations. They go with His authority.

Footnote Concerning “disciple”,…

This is to make the heathen the kingdom people for the establishing of His kingdom, which is the church, even today, on this earth.

Helpful Excerpt from the Ministry of Watchman Nee

The Local Church Being the Manifestation of the Body of Christ on Earth

Questions to Encourage Fellowship

  1. What is the authority of the Body?
  2. How do you see the local church executing the authority of the Body in Matthew chapter 18, verses 17 and 18?
  3. The excerpt states: “A person who sees the Body seeks fellowship and accepts the leading of the church.” Do you have an experience of this that you can share?

Gospel of Matthew – Matthew 18:17 – Tell it to the Church


We previously saw how the church is the Body of Christ and how the believers are all the many members of the one Body. In this Bible study we see the local church.

In addition to what is below, we highly encourage you to open your Bible and also read Matthew chapter 18 – the whole chapter. 

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go, reprove him between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not hear you, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to hear the church also, let him be to you just like the Gentile and the tax collector.

The church revealed in 16:18 is the universal church, which is the unique Body of Christ, whereas the church revealed here is the local church, the expression of the unique Body of Christ in a certain locality. Chapter 16 concerns the building of the universal church, whereas this chapter concerns the practice of the local church. In both of its aspects the church represents the kingdom of the heavens, having authority to bind and to loose. (footnote for Matthew 18:17 in the Recovery Version of the Bible).

The Local churches in the New Testament

Romans 16:1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a deaconess of the church which is in Cenchrea,

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours:

2 Corinthians 8:1 Furthermore we make known to you, brothers, the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia,

Galatians 1:2 And all the brothers who are with me, to the churches of Galatia:

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

Revelation 1:11 Saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamos and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.

Acts 13:1 Now there were in Antioch, in the local church, prophets and teachers: Barnabas and Simeon, who was called Niger, and Lucius the Cyrenian, and Manaen, the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

Acts 14:23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church and had prayed with fastings, they committed them to the Lord into whom they had believed.

Titus 1:5 For this cause I left you in Crete, that you might set in order the things which I have begun that remain and appoint elders in every city, as I directed you:

Being like Little Children

Matthew 18:1 In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of the heavens?

Mt 18:4 He therefore who will humble himself like this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens.

Questions for Fellowship

1. Using the New Testament verses above, (or other verses), and the attached readings, can you explain how the Lord is practically fulfilling 1 Corinthians 12:25, “That there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same care for one another”?
2. Who in your local church can you go to if you have a problem you need help with?

Readings from Ministry Samples

The Church in the New Testament

The Proper Church Life for the Kingdom

Declare it to the World and to Ourselves, That We Love the Lord!


At this week’s Bible Meeting, the topic for the message was: Taking the way of righteousness through baptism and it’s part of the series: The gospel according to Matthew.

This week we read verses from the book of Matthew concerning the righteousness of our Lord and how we need to repent to receive this righteousness. John the baptist, in this message, was tasked with giving baptisms to people and telling them that, you know what, they were sinful people and that they require a baptism so that they can be forgiven and so that they can receive the Lord’s righteousness. And it’s like alot of people are very confused by this. They’re like, “Oh, I’m a good person, I’ve done nothing wrong.” Well, that may be true, you may follow the law but are you receiving the Lord’s righteousness? You Probably are not.

So that is why it is so important that we receive His righteousness through baptism and we declare it to the world and to ourselves that we love the Lord and that He is all that we need. Oh Lord Jesus, Amen! – Andre

Learn more about taking the way of righteousness, through baptism – HERE.


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