The Church That Jesus Builds – Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
December 13, 2015

The Church That Jesus Builds
Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21


This morning we come to one of the great texts of Scripture. Some people claim it is great because of the controversy that surrounds it, but controversy is not the basis for making something great. It is great because it gives a clear description of the spiritual blindness of man and the mercy of God in intervening so that man may come to know the truth. It is a great text because it centers on God’s ability to use people that yield themselves to Him.

Turn with me to Matthew 16:13-20. The parallel passages are Mark 8:27-30 and Luke 9:18-21. Each of those are very brief and only contribute some incidental information to our understanding of what occurs, so our focus will be on the text in Matthew. Please follow along as I read through this passage. We will then examine it verse by verse so that we may see the hand of God at work, and which will at the same time resolve the controversy that has surrounded this section of Scripture. When you leave today, you should both understand this passage and understand how God can use you.

Matthew 16:13-20, 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.

The Setting – Matthew 16:13; Mark 8:27; Luke 9:18

This passage takes place in what is sometimes referred to as Jesus’ “withdrawal” period. Ever since the twelve apostles returned from their ministry assignment of teaching, preaching and healing throughout Galilee and John the Baptist was murdered by Herod Antipas, Jesus has been withdrawing from the crowds. First they went to a lonely place near Bethsaida, but a large multitude followed them there and Jesus ministered to them including feeding more than 5,000 with just five barley loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:13-23; Mark 6:30-46; Luke 9:10-17 – See: Ministering to the Multitude). Next, they went to the agricultural area of Gennesaret, but a large crowd gathered there and Jesus ministered to them before returning to Capernaum where many of the disciples in the crowd found His teaching too difficult and they left Him (See: Responding to Difficult Doctrine), and Jesus then rebuked the Pharisees and scribes for their traditions which violated the Mosaic law (Matthew 14:34-15:20; Mark 6:53-7:23; John 6:22-71 – See: Traditions vs Truth). Jesus and the twelve next went to the region of Tyre, but even there a woman came to Him begging that He would cast the demon out of her daughter, which Jesus did even though she was a Gentile (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30 – See: The Faith of An Outcast). Jesus and the disciples next traveled to the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee in the Gentile region of Decapolis, but again a large multitude formed within a few days and Jesus ministered to them including feeding more than four thousand with just seven loaves and a few fish (Matthew 15:29-38; Mark 7:31-8:9 – See: Compassion for People). They then sailed to the west side of the Sea of Galilee to the region of Magadan, but more conflict with the Pharisees and Sadducees quickly developed (See: Toxic Religion – Matthew 15:39-16:4; Mark 8:10-12). They next sailed back to Bethsaida where Jesus healed a blind man (Mark 8:22-26), and now they have traveled up to the Gentile district of Caesarea Philippi. This is a beautiful region on the slopes of majestic snow covered 9,232 foot Mt. Hermon which is one of the sources of the Jordan River. According to Luke 9:18, Jesus has stopped somewhere along the way to pray after which He questioned His disciples.

Who Is the Son of Man? – Matt. 16:13-17; Mark 8:27; Luke 9:18

Jesus’ question is straightforward. Who do people say that the Son of man is? He is not asking for gossip or for statements from foolish people. He is not asking about the opinion of the religious leaders for He already had conflict with them because they said He was empowered by the devil (Matthew 12:24-29). Jesus wants a report on how the common people are responding to Him and His message. Are they understanding it? Do they yet recognize who he really is

What the People Said – Matthew 16:14; Mark 8:28; Luke 9:19

The disciples respond that the people had various opinions. Some said Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Remember that this was the opinion of Herod Antipas in Matthew 14 and that idea had come from his advisors. Jesus’ miraculous works show that He is someone special, and John the Baptist was the most recent someone special of whom they were aware. Those people were unaware that Jesus and John were contemporaries and that John had baptized Jesus.

The others agreed that Jesus was special and so thought He might be Elijah the prophet which Malachi 4:5 alludes to as returning as the forerunner of Messiah. Those people were unaware that Jesus had already said that John the Baptist had fulfilled that role.

Others said that Jesus was Jeremiah the prophet. This was based on a tradition that had developed that Jeremiah had taken the Ark of the Covenant and the Altar of Incense out of the Temple prior to its looting and destruction by the Babylonians and hid them somewhere on Mt. Nebo. The tradition continued on to say that Jeremiah would return prior to the coming of Messiah to restore the ark and the altar to their proper places in the temple. Those people did not know that this tradition has no basis in God’s revelation and is not true.

Still others agreed that Jesus was someone special, but they did not know who, perhaps just one of the prophets of old risen back to life. These people were at least honest enough to state that they did not know and were confused.

Notice that all of these ideas among the people recognize that Jesus was not an ordinary person. Jesus had performed too many miracles for that. However, none of them accepted the fact that Jesus was whom He claimed to be, the Bread come down from heaven, the Messiah. The signs and wonders that Jesus did fulfilled the prophecies that He was the Messiah, but the miracles still did not convince the people of that fact.

People are still the same today. Philosophers revere Jesus as a great teacher. Ethicists call Him the great moral example. Liberal religionists say He provided the model of how we should live. Atheists have proclaimed Jesus as the “greatest among the sons of men.” Rock stars have sung that Jesus Christ is the “superstar,” but in every case the acclaim and pronouncements of these people is far below who Jesus really is.

We must remember that people have their eyes “blinded by the god of this age.” The people in Jesus’ time were firsthand witnesses of miracle after miracle. They were present to hear lesson after lesson from the greatest teacher ever. They experienced His love and compassion in ways that make us marvel, and yet they did not recognize His true identity and they turned away from Him. That is important for us to keep in mind as we evangelize. There are those that advocate “power evangelism,” which is the idea that signs and wonders should accompany the presentation of the gospel message, thinking people would turn to Christ if they only saw a miracle. That is simply not true. People do not believe because their minds are blinded to the truth and their hearts are dead in trespasses and sins. As the next three verses will show, people believe because God works within them.

Peter’s Confession – Matthew 16:15-17; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20

Jesus wanted to know what the people were thinking, but even more than that, Jesus wanted to know what the disciples believed. He makes the question more personal in verse 15, “But who do you say that I am?” This question is asked with great emphasis on the “you,” which is plural here. What do they believe? Remember that salvation is a personal affair. What other people believe is insignificant when you stand before God because you will be alone when you are judged unless Christ is your advocate (1 John 2:1). Judgement will be made first based on what you believe about Jesus resulting in your name being written in the Lamb’s book of life or not. Second, if your faith is not in Christ, then you will be condemned based on what you have done (Revelation 20:12-15). What do you believe about Jesus?

In verse 16 Simon Peter answers on behalf of all the disciples, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter is direct and to the point. He has understood that Jesus is the Christ. Remember that “Christ” is simply the Greek equivalent of “Messiah” with both of them meaning “The Anointed One.” Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. He is the savior promised from long ago.

Peter also uses articles to make Jesus deity clear. A full wooden translation is “You are the Christ the Son of the God the living one.” Jesus is not “A son of a god” as in the Greek pantheon of gods and goddesses represented by dead idols. Jesus is THE son of THE God who is the self existent living one. While the twelve did not yet have a full understanding of the full nature and work of Jesus the Christ, they did understand that He was one in essence with the eternal God because a son is one in nature with his father.

Peter and the other disciples are not any more intelligent than the crowds. They still do not understand why Jesus has not overthrown both the national political structure and the yoke of Roman bondage. They along with rest of the people were expecting the Messiah to be a conquering king who would change the political and social structures. The only advantage Peter and the other disciples had was their proximity to Jesus to see Him at work and hear His teaching, but most of what Jesus taught and did was public and so available for everyone to see and hear.

Jesus points out the real difference in His commendation of Peter in verse 17, “And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’”

Human wisdom cannot understand the things of God because as a 1 Corinthians 2:14 states, “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” Recall that Jesus said earlier in Matthew 11:27, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Jesus is telling Peter that Simon was the son of Jona, an earthly father, but he did not come to understand that Jesus was the Christ because of anything arising out of humanity. It was because Jesus’ Father who is in heaven revealed it to Simon, and for that reason, and for that reason only, Peter was blessed. So it is for all to whom the Father reveals the Son.

Salvation does not come by any human means or methods. Human wisdom is foolishness before God (1 Corinthians 3:19). Man’s self-efforts at being righteous only leave Him in the filthy rags of sin (Isaiah 64:6). Salvation comes to those who respond to the revelation that God gives them concerning Himself and His Son. It comes to those who seek out God’s wisdom rather than human wisdom, for God’s righteousness rather than self-righteousness, for mercy and grace and the forgiveness of sins rather than a demand for favors. Salvation from sin comes by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

Jesus made His question personal to His disciples. Let me make it personal to you. Who do you say the Son of Man is? Is He a good moral example? A great thinker? A model for life? A good teacher? A superstar? Or is He what He Himself claims and what Peter declares here that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God? And take to heart the warning that claiming to believe something does not mean that you do. What you truly believe will be demonstrated by the actions that arise out of those beliefs. The manner in which you live your life will tell the world what you really believe about Jesus.

The Rock of the Church – Matthew 16:18

Jesus’ commendation of Peter continues in verse 18. This verse has become a point of debate, but one that is not really that difficult to understand if kept in its context. Jesus said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church . . .”. In the previous sentence Jesus had called Peter by His given name which was Simon Bar (son of) -Jona. In this next sentence Jesus calls him by the name by which we most commonly call him, Peter, from PevtroV / Petros, which means “isolated rock” or “stone.” Jesus then added that “upon this rock ,” from pevtra / petra meaning large rock or bedrock, “I will build my church.” The question that is such a point of debate is to whom, or what, does the phrase “upon this rock” refer?

Some have tried to get rid of the controversy by simply saying that this phrase was incorrectly added to the text. However, there is no variation in the families of manuscripts on this verse. It is the same in all Alexandrian, Vatican, Western and Byzantine text types both early and late. It is arrogant ignorance that tries to take away what is in the text of the Scripture, and made worse because the reason is that it does not fit into its one’s own pre-conceived ideas.

The Roman Catholic Church has used verses 18 & 19 to claim that Peter is the first Pope. Their reasoning is that in these verses Peter is given the first place of honor and authority within the church and that each successive Pope has received this same honor and power. It also claims that because of that, all true followers of Christ must be in submission to the Church of Rome where Peter rules in the person of his successor, the current Pope. Such an argument is absurd at face value and even more so as you look at the details. Consider the following:

First, the authority given to Peter in verse 19 to bind and lose was also given to all the apostles in Matthew 18:18. Second, Peter never claimed nor do any of the other apostles give Peter such place of prominence or authority in the Church. In fact, Peter refers to himself as a “fellow elder” (1 Peter 5:1) and a “bond-servant” of Christ (2 Peter 1:1). Third, every opportunity in which Peter’s supposed supremacy could have been reinforced by Jesus, Peter himself, or one of the other apostles, it was not. He is prominent among the apostles but he has no supremacy over any of them. And fourth, neither in this passage or in any other passage is there any evidence for apostolic succession by which any supposed superiority Peter had is transferred to anyone else. To put it simply, the Roman Catholic interpretation of this passage is without Biblical support and in fact contrary to the Scriptures. Jesus Christ is both the foundation and the only head of His church (1 Corinthians 3:11, Colossians 1, etc.).

Others have reacted to the Roman Catholic interpretation and tried to remove the man Peter from being in any way the reference of “this rock.” Biblical interpretation founded as a reaction to someone else’s error is usually not a good basis for interpretation either. Who or what does this refer if not Peter?

Much has been made by some that the name Peter is PevtroV / Petros which usually means “isolated rock” or “stone” in common Greek, and that the word “rock” here is pevtra / petra which usually means “large stone,” “bedrock” or “rocky ledge” in common Greek. This is then used to build a case that the rock is either Peter’s confession in verse 16 that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, or that it is Jesus Himself who is the spiritual rock of 1 Corinthians 10:4.

The word pevtra / petra is used in the New Testament in both the literal sense of bedrock, rocky ledges and cliff faces as well as figuratively as in this passage. However, while pevtroV / petros may be used in common Greek to refer to a stone or a smaller rock, it is only used in the Greek New Testament for Simon’s nickname, Peter, which I should point out from John 1:42 is also the translation of Simon’s Aramaic nickname, Cephas. The word livqoV / lithos is the term used throughout the New Testament to refer to a smaller rock or a stone. That makes an interpretation based on these differences of meaning of pevtroV / petros and pevtra / petra in the common Greek tenuous at best.

The context of this passage points to another very simple reason for the word differences. In Greek, nouns have gender which can be either feminine, masculine, or neuter, and each gender form is spelled slightly differently. The word for “rock,” pevtra / petra , is normally a feminine gender noun, but to use that noun as a name for a man it must be changed into a masculine form which is pevtroV / petros. Even in Greek Jesus is saying, “You are rock and on this rock I will build my church.” And as Hendrickson points out in his commentary, “The word THIS makes reference to anything other than the immediately preceding ‘Petros’ (Peter) very unnatural.”

The rock referred to is Peter. Jesus is promising to build His church on Him, but not Peter as the primary foundation, nor Peter all by himself, nor Peter in his natural state. It would be Peter as a man who is the product of God’s grace, Peter as the first among equals as an apostle, and Peter as a main stone laid on the primary foundation which is Jesus Christ Himself. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). The apostles were foundational in a secondary sense. Ephesians 2:20 states that the church is “. . . built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone].”

Peter was the primary character in the early chapters of Acts since he was the primary spokesman for the rest of the apostles and the principal preacher. Much of the “apostle’s doctrine” to which the early church devoted itself in Acts 2:42 came from Peter. History has proven Jesus’ words and the church was built upon Peter, but Peter was not a pope. Peter never held authority over any of the other apostles. In fact, Acts 15 reveals that the judgment of the Council at Jerusalem was with the “apostles and elders,” and that James, not Peter, seems to be the chairman of the council. Peter is the rock, but that does not give any support to the Roman Catholic papacy.

The Builder of the Church – Matthew 16:18

Look again at verse 18 and notice that the actual emphasis is on the builder of the church and not the rock. The action of the verse is building the church, and the one that performs that action of building is Jesus Christ. Peter and the church would be nothing without Jesus. Perhaps that is why there are so many “churches” around that are nothing because they have left the Christ of the Scriptures outside their doors.

We will expand on this topic in the future, but let me emphasize here that it is Jesus that builds the church – ekklhsia / ekkl sia – called out assembly of saints. It is not Peter. It is not the Apostles. It is not any denomination. It is not the pastor. It is not you. Does Jesus use the people I just mentioned? Certainly! In fact, the church could not be built without them, but we are simply the materials out of which Jesus builds His church. Our value only becomes apparent when Jesus puts us into His building where He wants us.

Consider the materials that make up the building in which you are currently sitting. It is made up of wood, concrete, brick, block, plaster, metals of various sorts, fabric, and carpeting. How valuable are any of those things until they are assembled together by the builders? The wood in this structure could have been used for firewood. Instead, it was sized, shaped, and cut to become truss beams, wall framing, and furniture such as this pulpit. The materials that make up the concrete in this building could have been left in the ground or used in something else. Instead, they were mined, manufactured, mixed, and then poured into a particular place for a particular function including the foundation and the blocks that are cemented together that make up the walls. The same is true for the metals that make up the nails, screws, plates and electric wiring. The fabrics could have been fashioned into many other things, but instead they were made into the drapes, chair covers and carpeting.

Peter was useful to Jesus as a rock because He yielded himself to be used as Jesus saw fit. In his case it was a foundation stone on which other parts of the church would be built. But each and every brick has its part. Maybe that is why Peter uses the building analogy to describe the church in 1 Peter 2:4-5 with each individual coming to Jesus as “a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

It is Jesus that does the building. Acts records a lot about the activities of Peter and the other apostles, but Acts 2:47 states “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Are you ready and willing to be a brick, a piece of wood, a yard of fabric, or whatever else is needed to be used by Him however He sees fit? If you are, then Jesus will use you, and you will be part of the church that Jesus is building.

The Strength of the Church – Matthew 16:18

Jesus describes an additional characteristic about the church he is building at the end of verse 18, “The gates of Hades shall not overpower it.” Jesus is building a strong church that will not be limited by outside factors. Many have interpreted this as a reference to the church withstanding the attacks of the devil. However, the word here is not hell, but Hades which corresponds to the Old Testament Sheol which was the abode of the dead. The gates of Hades refers to death and is equivalent to “gates of death” in Psalm 9:13 and 107:18.

What does it mean that the gates of Hades will not prevail against the church? Gates usually signify the boundary of authority to either contain within or keep without. Gates are not usually considered a weapon of offensive warfare, but death is something that eventually pulls all men within its gates and hence here the idea of them trying to overpower the church.

The reality is that death does overpower all people and ends the constructions of their lives, and even what they leave behind will corrode and decay. If the builder of a building dies before it is completed, the building project dies too. If he completes the building, it will eventually breakdown and collapse. When the leaders of a movement die, the movement either dies too or it changes course to match the direction the new leaders want it to go. Death brings an end to men and their efforts. If the church was built by the efforts of men, it would have died with the apostles or with the church leaders that corrupted her institutions in the generations that followed. And though the church is built with people, death does not overpower the church because its master builder conquered death and lives eternally.

Jesus’ death paid the price for sin and made the church possible by redeeming man and enabling him to be forgiven and adopted into God’s family. Jesus’ resurrection proved His claims and promises and made death a vanquished enemy. In the present, Jesus intercedes for His followers and the Holy Spirit indwells and empowers them to follow and serve the Lord. He has also left us His word, the Scriptures, which are also living and active. These enable the church to continue to be built anew with each generation even though death swallows them up and some of her leaders prove to be false. New institutions replace those that have become corrupt and so the church continues. Death cannot overpower the church Jesus builds.

The Authority of the Church – Matthew 18:19-20

In verse 19 Jesus says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Jesus is specifically speaking to Peter here, but remember that Peter is the representative of all of the apostles. In Matthew 18:18, Jesus specifically says the same thing to all the apostles, so whatever it means for Peter to have the keys to the kingdom and the ability to bind and loose, the other apostles also have the same power.

What are the keys to the kingdom? In brief, other passages that use this idea of having keys indicate that this refers to having the power to admit or refuse a person admittance into heaven. How is such a thing done? By the proclamation of the gospel. Peter took the lead in doing just that in the first part of Acts, but all the apostles joined in doing the same thing. The gospel opens the door of heaven to those who will hear and respond, but it closes the door to those who reject its message (Acts 3:23).

The issue of binding and loosing has absolutely nothing to do with Satan and demons. The binding and loosing deal with “whatever” not “whoever.” Binding and loosing are rabbinical terms meaning forbidding and permitting. This is an issue of the church being able to discipline those within it which will become even more clear when we get to Matthew 18 and its context. Jesus told His disciples shortly after His resurrection in John 20:23 that “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” Peter, and later the other apostles and the church, are given authority to examine a person’s life in light of the Scriptures and determine whether they are in sin or not and whether they are repentant or not. This judgment is not arbitrary, but based upon the Scriptures themselves. We will cover this issue in depth when we reach Matthew 18. At this point please just keep this in mind, the church does have authority to discipline those that profess to be Christians.

Finally in verse 20, Jesus warns His disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ. Why? The people were looking for the Messiah to bring a political kingdom, but for now the kingdom is existing only in a spiritual form. Jesus will announce Himself as the Messiah at the proper time in keeping with God’s plan for salvation, but it was not yet the proper time.

Who is Jesus? He is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Who is Jesus to you? How are you responding to the revelation of God being given to you through His word?

Jesus will build His church, but He uses people as His building materials. Are you ready and willing to be used by Jesus in that manner? If you are, then you can be sure that He will use you and give eternal value to your life. You just need to step out in faith to serve Him.

Sermon Notes: The Church That Jesus Builds
Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21

The Setting – Matthew 16:13; Mark 8:27; Luke 9:18

During this period Jesus consistently “_____________” from crowds, but crowds find Him again anyway

Jesus travels from Capernaum to Bethsaida to Gennesaret to Capernaum to the region of Tyre (Gentile)

to Decapolis (Gentile) to Magadan to Bethsaida to Caesarea-Philippi (Gentile)

Who Is the Son of Man? – Matthew 16:13-17; Mark 8:27; Luke 9:18

Jesus wants a report on how the _____________people are responding to Him and His message

What the People Said – Matthew 16:14; Mark 8:28; Luke 9:19

__________the Baptist – Herod’s advisors advocated this – in ignorance Jesus & John were contemporaries

___________- based on Malachi 4:5 – but unaware Jesus already had said John the Baptist fulfilled this role

_______________the Prophet – based on a tradition – without basis in Scripture and not true

An unnamed ____________- at least honest enough to say they did not know and were confused

They believed Jesus was a special person, but even His miracles did not convince them He was __________

People today claims Jesus to be a _____*philosopher, *moral example, *model of life, *teacher, *Superstar

People are “____________by the god of this age” and do not believe even when there are signs and miracles

Peter’s Confession – Matthew 16:15-17; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20

Jesus asks the disciples what ______________believed about Him

Peter answers on behalf of all, A) Jesus is the Christ = _____________= The Anointed One

B) Jesus is _______ son of _______ God _______ living one

The disciples had greater proximity to Jesus, but the ________also saw His miracles and heard His teaching

Matthew 16:17 – _________, not humans, revealed the truth to Simon

______________wisdom cannot comprehend the things of God – 1 Corinthians 2:14

Human wisdom is ______________(1 Cor. 3:19) and his righteous deeds are filthy (Isa 64:6)

Salvation from sin comes by God’s __________alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone

What you truly believe is demonstrated by how you _____________

The Rock of the Church – Matthew 16:18

To whom or what does “upon this ____________” refer?

This text is ______________in all manuscript types, so it cannot be ignored or claimed to be an added gloss

The Roman Catholic Church claims vs. 18 & 19 are the basis of Peter being the first _____& RCC authority

1) The authority given to Peter in vs. 19 is also given to __________the apostles in Matthew 18:18

2) Peter never claimed any ______authority – he was a “fellow elder” (1 Pt 5:1), a “bond-servant” (2 Pt 1:1)

3) Peter never exercised any supremacy over ___________of the other apostles

4) There are _________Biblical passages that support even the idea of apostolic succession

Denial of Peter as a reference to “this rock” are often a _________to the RCC – a poor basis of interpretation

_________in pevtroV / petros and pevtra / petra are used to suggest Peter’s confession or Jesus is the “rock”

petra means bedrock & petros can mean stone, but the NT only uses petros to refer to ___________(Cephas)

petra is feminine & petros is masculine, and “________petra” makes reference to other than petros unnatural

______is the rock upon which Jesus will build, but Jesus Himself is the foundation (1 Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:20)

____is the primary spokesman in the early church (Acts 1-12), but James, not Peter, is the leader by Acts 15

The Builder of the Church – Matthew 16:18

The action and emphasis of verse 18 is on the builder of the church – ____________

___________builds His church – not Peter, a denomination, a pastor, or a missionary

A building is made of many different materials crafted and put into place by the _______________

____________has used Peter and every other Christian as He desire to build His church – 1 Peter 2:4-5

The Strength of the Church – Matthew 16:18

The church Jesus builds will not be _________________by outside factors

This is the gates of “_____________,” not Hell – it is a reference to death, not to attacks by the devil

Gates signify the boundary of authority – _______draws all men within its gates and so prevails / overcomes

Death does not overcome the church because its master builder ________________death and lives eternally

Jesus continues to ___________His church through His present ministry, the Holy Spirit, and His Word

The Authority of the Church – Matthew 16:19-20

The same authority given to Peter here is given to ____________the apostles in Matthew 18:18.

“keys to the kingdom” is the power to admit or refuse admittance – the __________unlocks & locks the door

“Binding & loosing” has nothing to do with ____________or demons – it is “whatever” not “whomever”

It is a matter of forbidding and permitting – the authority to _____________(John 20:23) based on Scripture

There would be a proper time and place to announce Jesus is the Christ – and it was ____________that time

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do the following: 1) Count how many times Jesus is mentioned. 2) Discuss with your parents how Jesus builds His church and how He can use you in it.


Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the significance of who the people that Jesus was – John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of the prophets. What does it mean that Jesus is the “Christ?” What is the importance that Jesus is “The son of the living God?” How did Peter know that? Who is the “rock” upon which Jesus builds his church? Why is the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching that Peter is the first pope contrary to the Scriptures? Why is it important to stress that Jesus builds His church? What does the “gates of Hades” refer to & why can’t not overpower the church? What authority is given to Peter and the other apostles?

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