Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?''
14. So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.''
15. He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?''
Our Lord has a way of cutting right through the fluff and getting straight to what is important. Peter was really set up to answer this question. Actually, this was the most important question Peter was ever asked. In fact, it is the most important question any of us could ever be asked as well. Lets read the rest of this passage…
16. And Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.''
17. Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18. "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
19. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.''
When we are judged, it will be how we have answered this question that matters. Where we spend eternity hangs on how we answer this question. However, at that point in time it will be too late to receive eternal life. The time to answer the question is now. Now determines how we are to spend later.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
All will stand before God and we will confess Jesus as Lord, you will know then that it is too late, we are given the opportunity now to make the decision that matters.
Philippians 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11. and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
One way or another all will confess Jesus as Lord.
Jesus asked who do men say that I am? They answered, some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?''
Then Jesus came right to the point, and asked Simon Peter who do you say that I am? Peter did not hesitate, he immediately responded, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Peter responded with the truth from his heart. This simple acknowledgement of faith is the key to eternal life, and as far as that is concerned, all of God’s promises. Jesus went on to tell Peter that he was blessed because of this acknowledgement. He said the Father has revealed this to you, and because of your acknowledgement of this fact, you are blessed.
Because of the acknowledgement of this revealed truth, Peter passed from death to life.
This is the same way we all have to come to the Father; there is no other way. The Father will reveal Jesus to us, not flesh and blood, but the Father Himself through the working of the Holy Spirit, will make Jesus known to you. Then the decision is up to us what we do with this truth. Jesus helped Peter by prompting him with this question, Who do you say that I am?
You see, Peter had to answer the question. One way or another the question must be answered in order for us to receive the promise of eternal life. Each of us must come to this point after we have received this revealed knowledge to act on it or ignore it. You might think why is it such a big deal, I go to church, I’m a good person, I’m involved in my community. I would say these things are good, but not what God is requiring to receive His promise of eternal life. Millions of people hear the Gospel message, receive revelation knowledge by the Holy Spirit, and do nothing with what they have received. They receive the ability to receive the very life of God, and do nothing with it. The truth is, it happens every single day. People ignore the greatest gift ever given, not placing much importance on the most important thing.
Jesus certainly knew the importance of this question when He asked Peter, and went on to explain the truth to Peter and to all of us as well. He said, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Without revelation, we can not come, and without hearing, we can not receive revelation. This is the primary way the faith comes, and that is revelation by the Holy Spirit.
If you’ve never accepted Christ, you have either never heard or you have refused what you have heard. This is a very dangerous place to be. Our eternal future hangs on how we respond when the Spirit reveals the Christ to us. Flesh and blood can not reveal this to us, it is not by man, although God uses man to proclaim the message, God the Father is the revealer.
Jesus was telling Peter how to receive the gift, He was not saying that He was going to build His church upon Peter. God’s church is built upon no man. Lets look at the context of what was being said in this passage of Scripture. Jesus had just told Peter that he had received revelation knowledge from the Father. Then He said, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
In the Greek, it is becomes much clearer as to what Jesus was saying, so lets take the time to define some things.
Jesus said you are Peter, The Greek word for Peter is pet'-ros a primary word; a (piece of) rock. In other words, Jesus was saying you are Peter a piece of rock, or we could say a small rock or pebble. Then Jesus went on to say, and upon this rock I will build My church. The Greek word for rock here is petra, literally or figuratively a mass of rock, or bedrock. Jesus was saying you are a little rock Peter, but upon this bedrock I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. The bedrock is revealed knowledge of God acted upon. The gates of hell can not prevail against this, aren’t you glad? If Satan could prevent the new birth from taking place, don’t you think he would, but he can’t. He can not stop the Word of God from bearing fruit, and he can not stop the Holy Spirit from revealing the Christ, and he can not stop you from acknowledging Him as your Savior and Lord, only you can do that. This is a decision we have to make, this is the decision that the gates of hell can not prevail against. It is also the decision that we will be judged upon.
Regardless of what kind of lie the devil throws at you and know this, it is a lie, and not the truth. No lie can prevent the truth from coming to pass. It can not happen.
1.The Word goes forth, and revelation comes.
2. The Word is received as truth, and acted upon.
3. The new birth takes place.
This will always happen. Nothing can stop it. All the demons of hell can not stop the miracle of the new birth from coming to pass.
Paul talks about this in the book of Romans, lets see.
Romans 10:6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?' '' (that is, to bring Christ down from above)
7. or, " `Who will descend into the abyss?' '' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8. But what does it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart'' (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9. that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
11. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.''
12. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
13. For "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.''
14. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
If you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, but have never acted upon this revealed knowledge, and you want to know for sure that you are a child of God, take the next step now. Confess Him with your mouth, and then you will be saved.
The Olive Branch