"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." (1Cor. 2:12-13)
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Upon This Rock
"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'" (Matthew 16:13-19)
Along with being a fisherman, Peter's credentials were, first-to-speak, first-to-boast, first-in-line, first-to-place- his foot in his mouth. So, what made Peter so 'rock solid' that he receive the keys to heaven? Simply this: "For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." It is not just Peter. Christ's church, in which the gates of hell shall not prevail against, belongs to those who receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus knows His sheep and they know His voice. There is also, a very large assembly of people throughout the world that attend 'church' but fail to wear the wedding garments and they are there to test the true church which consists of those called from the beginning of the world to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
The rock which the church is built on is the foundation Jesus had laid down His life for. After He had risen to the right hand of the Father, He continued to build that foundation through the apostles. No doubt that because of the ignorance of God's people, the enemy has worked his way into the assembly, but the ultimate victory of this warfare belongs to the true church.
How is it that God trusts mere men with the keys to Heaven to determine what will be bound or loosed? Because those that are truly His possess His Spirit and anything bound or loosed on Earth and in Heaven is done so by the Holy Spirit through men, not by men through the Holy Spirit. (John 3:8) In this way, it is God's will that is to "...be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.".
What is bound? The work of the enemy and the sins of the church.
What is loosed? God's mercy and grace upon the sinner.
"Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it out to the end of the earth; say, 'The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!' They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and the water gushed out. 'There is no peace,' says the Lord, 'for the wicked.'" (Isaiah 48:20-22)