On The Rock I build My Church
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Petros], and upon this rock [Petra] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Today's scripture is the root scripture of the Gospel of Matthew. It also is the most fundamental scripture for the Church of Christ. If this scripture is not understood clearly the Church does not have a firm foundation. Satan knows this and thus has always attacked this scripture most and that is the reason why we see a very shaky Church.
Different groups of Christians have different understandings of this scripture.
Catholics: They believe Peter is the Rock on which the Church is built. Their contention is based on the name Peter.
Believers: Many among the Believers assume Jesus as the Rock on which the Church is founded. Their contention is based on the fact that without Christ the Church does not exist and also Paul's first letter to the Corinthians calling Christ as the Rock.
Expounding the Catholic misunderstanding:-
The name Peter in Greek is Petros which really means stone or pebble. No doubt it means rock but means a little rock. The Greek word for rock is Petra and not Petros. Simon Barjona was nick named Peter for the same reason as Thomas was called Didymus. These were nick names because of the nature of these people. Thomas had a split personality with a part of him having tremendous faith and understanding, and the other part being of total unbelief. Due to these opposites living in the same body he was nick named Didymus which means twins. Simon Barjona on the other hand was a person who was shaky in his understanding. No doubt he loved Jesus greatly and showed great leadership qualities but he also was the person who did the most blunders among all the disciples. Little rock or pebble means little truths or a person with half knowledge.
If we look at Paul, he was not one amongst the 12 and had great understanding of scriptures. He was/is a role model for Christians and we see he too did not consider Peter as The Rock. You will find he worked independently although he did have fellowship with the 12. So if Paul did not consider Peter as The Rock then we too should not.
Expounding the Believer misunderstanding:-
Many Believers think Jesus is the Rock. If we read scriptures Jesus has always been called the corner stone. He been the only perfect role model and way for us to live and have victory. No doubt He is also referred to as a Rock but He is called the Rock from which they drank. If we understand in the books of Moses there were 2 Rocks. The first Rock Moses was told to strike for the water to be drawn. But in case of the second Rock Moses was told to just speak to the Rock and it will give water. When Moses mistakenly struck this Rock he was punished severely such that he did not enter the promise land.
Jesus symbolized the first Rock which mankind was made to bruise for receiving the Living Water. The second Rock was not Jesus - The Son. So Who is the Second Rock on which the Church is built?
When the Father revealed to Peter Who Jesus was, Jesus told Peter on this Truth the Church is built. Jesus did not say 'this is Peter and on this rock I will build my Church', Jesus said 'you are Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church', identifying Peter and the Rock as two different entities.
So is Truth the Rock on which the Church is built? The answer is Yes and No.
Yes - because, it was Truth that Adam lost along with Righteousness when he ate from the Tree of Good and Bad. God created all things and said it was good so there was no bad in what God created, but by eating of the Tree of Good and Bad Adam ate the fruit of doubt and thus lost the Truth. It is Truth which will bring us to receive the Righteousness of Jesus Christ and thus allow us corrupt bodies to become uncorrupted Sons and enter Heaven. Thus Truth will really bring us to be part (be wedded) of the glorious Body of the Lord Jesus Christ - The Son.
No - because, even though we know Jesus Christ yet the Truth is far from us. Jesus became a sacrifice mainly for the reason that we may have the Truth in us. Our sins were washed so that we may be found worthy to receive The One Who can bring the Truth in us. It is the Holy Spirit - The Spirit of Truth Who brings us to understand the Truth. Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible for man to know the Truth. That is the reason teaching of scriptures (Word of God) is only done after baptism of the Holy Spirit. Before that it is only Gospel (Good News) and testimonies.
It is the Holy Spirit - The Spirit of Truth Who is the Rock on which the Church is built. If one sees everything of the Church revolves around the Holy Spirit. Right from the callings to the numbering of the main disciples of Jesus (12) were done all according to the Holy Spirit. Even in the book of Moses it was the Holy Spirit Who played a very important role in the saving of Israel. He was the Pillar of Cloud and Fire that led and protected them. He also was the second Rock which gave them water to live by.
When Moses struck the second Rock, he symbolically grieved the Holy Spirit therefore was not allowed to enter the promise land. It is not that Moses will not enter Heaven the true Promise Land, he surely will and Jesus confirms this by the event of Transfiguration when He spoke to the spirits of Moses and Elijah.
The Church is on shaky grounds all because it is not rooted in the true Rock - The Spirit of Truth. We all need to have a one to one relationship with the Holy Spirit, both individually and collectively. Unless we do not let the Holy Spirit work in us we will never have the Truth in us and will never be the bride of the Lord.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You said ‘not by My power but by My Spirit'. Lord Jesus, You humbled yourself and became a sacrifice so that You could tear the curtain between man and God and thus make it possible for us to receive the Holy Spirit. Lord we pray your people understand the importance of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, fall abundantly on your people and burn a great fire into the hearts of your people. Let the worldly fire of lust of the flesh and earthly desires be extinguished by the water of understanding of the Truth and let a Spiritual fire burn in their heart...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Corinthians 10:4 - And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ [means man on whom the Spirit of God is therefore refers to both Jesus and Holy Spirit].
Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
Ephesians 4:30 - And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Matthew 12:31 - Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men.
Zechariah 4:6b ...saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
Psalms 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Matthew 21:42 - Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
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