From Matthew’s gospel we read,
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist; and others Elijah; but still others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ 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. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not overpower it.’” (Matthew 16:13-18 – NASB)
Yes, “upon . . . Peter’s” confession, “upon” that which the “Father . . . revealed,” this is what the “church” is “built . . . upon.” That Jesus, “the Son of Man,” the One who walked this earth, that He is “the Christ, the Son of the living God!” He is the Messiah, the “Anointed One.” The small stone (Peter is the Greek word petros, meaning “a little rock”) had, by the “Father’s” revelation to him, stated what was to be the very foundation of the “church,” a “rock” of confession (rock is the Greek word Petra, meaning “a very large rock”), that this “Son of Man” was “the Christ,” the “Son” of God.
Jesus is the fulfillment of what the prophet Isaiah wrote,
Therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.’” (Isaiah 28:16 – NASB)
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone” (Ephesians 2:19-20 – NASB)
You and I go to make up the “church,” the body of Christ, that living, moving, witnessing body of believers who are “no longer strangers and aliens” to God “but” are now “fellow citizens with the saints.” And we are built upon that most immovable truth, that confession regarding the truth, and that is that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Samuel Stone, a strong Christian fundamentalist of the 1800’s, opposed the liberal theological teachings of his day, and one of the hymns that he penned in support of the Apostle’s Creed was, The Church’s One Foundation. Its content was meant to be doctrine that, as it was sung, would bear witness to the great truth of Peter’s confession and of Jesus’ response to that confession,
“The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation by water and the word.
From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.”
Assuredly “the Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.” And upon Peter and the other disciple’s confession of this Jesus Himself has said, “I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not overpower it.” The “church” will be made up of true believers, a body of believers that “hell” cannot “overpower, confessing continually that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Have a good day and take a minute and ask yourself, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” And if you are of the belief that He is who the Bible says He is, then use this very question to witness to others with, asking them the most important question they could ever be asked: “Who do you say that Jesus is?” How a person answers is critical indeed.
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