What to Avoid and What to Confront in the Fight For Unity


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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?”

16 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. Matthew 16:13-18 (NKJV)

      These passages of Scripture give us the initial words used to describe the story of the Church. The true church can be found on the proper, sincere and heartfelt answer to Jesus’ one question,  “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” John 16:13 (NKJV)

      The foundation of the church is not based on us answering this question in any kind of selfish and unaccountable way.  This was not a question impossible to be answered; it was not a trick question. In Matthew 16:14 they answered the wrong way by saying,

“Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (NKJV)

      What does John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah and the rest of the prophets had in common? They were all men. They were Godly men, powerful Biblical personalities; nevertheless, they were just like you and me, mere men.

      Neither John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah and the rest of the prophets claimed to be the Jesus or intended to start a movement; they were indeed, Godly men. However, we have seen through the history of the church, that charismatic men have come up with their own ideas of who Jesus is. They have also taken Jesus and the Word out of the center and positioned themselves and their own constitutions and bylaws in place of it. Peter, on the other hand, answer Jesus’ question correctly,

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16 (NKJV)

      Peter clearly established who the Christ or Anointed One is and His relationship as Son of the Living God. That seemingly simple revelation is the foundation of what we call the church. To this revelation Jesus answered,

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. Matthew 16:17-18 (NKJV)

      On these two verses we can see that the church is blessed by God, that revelation comes from God and that the church can’t be overcome by the devil, by the world or by whatever hell throw at it. An appropriate question to ask at this point is… Where is that church today?

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

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