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Lesson # Matt. 16:18
Study Material - Matt. 16:18
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
18 And [de] I say [lego] also [kago] unto thee [soi] , That [hoti] thou [su] art [ei] Peter [Petros] , and [kai] upon [epi] this [taute] rock [petra] I will build [oikodomeo] my [mou] church [ekklesia] ; and [kai] the gates [pule] of hell [hades] shall [katischuo] not [ou] prevail against [katischuo] it [autos] . KJV-Interlinear
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 overpower it NAS
Too often people read this verse and think of Peter as the rock upon which Christ will build His church, but there are two rocks presented in this verse. First Peter or 'petros' refers to a very small stone. A pebble if you will. And rock or 'petra' refers to a very different rock. This is a mountain. A very large mountain. Peter is then a pattern out of which a mountain will be built. This mountain is built based on the recognition which Peter made, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'
Jesus Christ is said to be the corner stone, the link that connects all of history together, and here we have the answer to history. Actually in these next few verses we have the foundation upon which history is leading itself into eternity. The certainty of it all. The intimacy of the relationship that will be available to us all. Its true identity. The continuity or eternal and unchangeable nature. Its invincibility. Its authority. And its spiritual completeness. That is what history is all about.
People have wondered what history was for. Why mankind is here. How we all came to be. And as we briefly saw from a few quotes of historical figures from our study the other day, we know that mankind is unable to figure it all out. Unable to do it from his own ability that is.
Here it all is. History if the story of Jesus Christ. It is not only the story of Him, but it is His story. Jesus Christ controls history. He guides and directs it in all of its detail, from the littlest things to the greatest events concerning this universe.
The great figures of history - the good, the bad, the ugly (couldn't resist that one), all are merely players in this human history horror, drama, and adventure. For unbelievers it is a horror film with a very bad ending. For believers in Christ, who are more or less indifferent or spiritually negative in their attitude toward Christ and God, this is a drama, complete with all of its uncertainty, but a happy ending. And for positive believers, those who advance to spiritual maturity, this is, or should be, an adventure, a ride where the ride is thrilling with its roller coaster ups and downs, but the certainty of its ending is not only known, but anticipated. And the ending brings a wonderful completion, both spiritually and in many other ways - the final component of a resurrection body added to ones being, the final union with all three members of the Godhead, the final review and award of eternal blessings and privileges, and so forth. That will be an awards celebration which none of us will want to miss of course.
But before this all happens, we are all faced with some tough tests. Jesus is in Caesarea Philippi, a gentile region to the north and east of Galilee. He is on the outskirts of Jewish territory and in sort of a self imposed exile for the moment. Here he is having a conversation with the disciples. They are out of the influence of Judaism, and have an opportunity to listen to Jesus without interference from the legalizes of their own countrymen.
He is giving them a little run down of the near future in these next few verses, complete with the necessity of His going to Jerusalem and there He will be rejected and killed by their own people. No wonder that some disappointment, uncertainty and disillusionment and even perhaps some skepticism begin to set in.
So not even the gates of the dead - eternal dead, can destroy the kingdom which Christ is building. And this is perhaps one of the biggest tests we face in life - skepticism and disillusionment. Often we are faced with problems and we are trapped seemingly in them with no way out. We have our doctrine and faith of sorts, but suffering continues with no end. Skepticism, disillusionment begin to drift into our thoughts, and that is where the adults and the children become separated. Spiritual growth gives your faith muscle and stability. Lack of spiritual growth brings instability and emotional breakdowns.
So Christ lets us know in no uncertain terms that the Christian life is a unique organization. It is His organization and it is a mountain, a mountain greater than any man has ever seen. A solid mountain with no instabilities inside of it. A mountain that cannot be moved, and with every component in it interlocked in such a way that none of its parts can be removed from it.
He has demonstrated His power and authority and His caring attitude toward all, but even more so for those who actually belong to Him through faith. Nothing in life can take you down. Nothing in life can remove Christ from your life.
The crowds that have been following Christ saw His power and His miracles, yet He never took the throne that they expected Him to take. The crowds expected Christ to fulfill their concept of history. Many people expect the same in their life. People have a certain view of their life and when they turn to God, they expect their ideas to become their reality. Not so. Jesus Chris has a plan. He has a plan for your life. His plan might not be exactly what you have in mind, but it will be a far better plan than anything you can come up with on your own.
The disciples probably anticipated His taking over when they got to Jerusalem, as did many people, but not to be. His death was to be a shock. They just did not know their prophecy as well as they should have known it.
Jesus Christ has a plan, and He controls history. Nothing in history occurs without His permission. So as we see current events unfolding before our eyes, we should not worry or be concerned that it might all end up in world war three and the end of the world. Won't happen. The Rapture is to come. The Tribulation is to come. The Second Advent is to come. The Millennium is to come, etc. Your life is going to be fine. Just stay with your Bible study, and your life will be really fine.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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