This site is not a site for any church with the name of Petra. Neither is it a site for fans of the Christian rock band Petra (although because we do have an affinity for them, we gave them a page). Instead, the focus of this site is on building a church upon biblical principles.
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus responds to Peter – “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” As He does numerous times, Jesus uses a play on words as in the Greek Peter and rock (petra) sound very similar. And they both mean rock.
There’s a ton of theology in this passage involving Peter and the foundation of the church. This site chooses to focus on the idea that the Lord will build His church. Programs will come and go. This isn’t meant to disparage them because some are obviously better than others and they can be useful tools within the church. However, there are principles that have stood the test of time and will be universally found within the triumphant church. We hope to bring these principles into light on this site.
The rock that Jesus will build His church upon is not Peter – although he will be instrumental in making it happen. Instead, it is the statement that Peter made in Matthew 16:16 – “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” It was this message that was delivered on Pentecost and then spread throughout the world. Jesus was the Messiah, and salvation could be found in no one other than Him.
This is the same message that needs to be the focus of the church today. There are a lot of other important things that happen within the church – social programs, addiction counseling, Bible studies, and worship – but without the rock that it is all built upon, these things mean nothing.
So, welcome to the church of Petra. We hope that we can help you focus your church to keep its foundation on the Rock.
If you speak to most Christians, you’ll find agreement that the church is not living up to everything that it can and should be. Many are becoming more and more frustrated with the church. While these people are not giving up on Christianity, they are leaving the church. What is going on? Why does the church appear to be failing when the world so desperately needs the message of the cross?
There are the usual reasons for trouble in the church such as sin or a watered down gospel message. In many cases the church has tried hard not to offend people and in doing so has rendered themselves ineffective. They are bringing people in but they have no message to preach because the gospel is offensive.
Most of all though, the church is not prevailing and overcoming like it should because it has forgotten the essentials that caused the early church to be blessed by God and to expand so rapidly.
The church exploded onto the scene in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost. 3,000 people were saved on that day and the church grew from that amazing start. By the end of Acts 2 some time has passed and the church is established into a structure much like today. Acts 2:42-47 tells us the story of a church that was doing everything right and was being blessed by God.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
There are six things that are taking place in this passage. People are following the apostles’ teaching. They are fellowshipping with one another. They are giving and sharing with one another. They are praying. They are worshipping. And finally people are being saved.
If the church of today wants to recapture the power of the early church, it must devote itself to the six essentials that made the Acts 2 church so tremendous. This site is dedicated to the six essentials that are necessary for the church today just as they were 2,000 years ago. If the church will follow these biblical principals it can expect God to bless it like He did in the days of the apostles.