Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Keys of the Kingdom

Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 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. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 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.

Recently I preached to our congregation at River of Life on the subject The Keys of the Kingdom. There was an overwhelming response so I promised to post my notes online in addition to the audio podcast that we routinely post for Sunday sermons. At the end of the post there are links to both the notes (PowerPoint) and to the audio. The notes will make for an excellent Bible study on the topic of salvation in the Book of Acts. Any Christian could easily study these verses together with a friend who is seeking to know the beauty of the new birth experience (John 3:1-7).

Here's a summary of the message...

Jesus proclaimed to the Apostle Peter in Matthew 16:19 that He would give unto the Apostle the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" (see text above). Virtually all commentators agree that these keys are the message of salvation that the Apostle Peter delivered on the day of Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts. In response to the questions from the convicted crowd Peter proclaimed that all should repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). Many gladly received this message and there were three thousand souls born into the church on the very first day.

But this is not the end of the story. There are a grand total of four accounts in the Book of Acts that provide the historical details of many people experiencing the salvation message consisting of repentance, water baptism in Jesus' name, and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Chapter two, in which the three thousand Jews were saved was just the first account. In Acts chapter eight, salvation came to Samaritans (people of mixed Jewish and Gentile descent) in the exact same way. In Acts chapter 10, salvation came to the Gentiles also in the exact same way. Finally, in Acts chapter nineteen, the new birth message was received by "certain disciples" who were believers, yet ignorant of God's plan.

The beauty of these historical accounts is that they all reflect the exact same plan of God. Namely, when one receives the "born again" experience foretold by Jesus and experienced by the New Testament believers, it always consists of repentance, water baptism in Jesus' name, and being filled with the Holy Spirit. What a marvelous, life-changing truth!

Download and view the PowerPoint notes (right click, Save Target As)

Download the MP3 audio sermon (right click, Save Target As)

Or, listen to the audio now (use embedded player below)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the post! The question Peter answered concerned Jesus' human nature. "...the son of man..." (vs 13). The answer Peter gave was inspired by God and confirmed by the Savior (vs17). In His humanity Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. Sonship applies to humanity. So who is Jesus in His deity? Some say Jesus is the Son as to His deity, but this passage proves the opposite. If Jesus is the Son in His humanity, He can be none other than the Almighty in His deity! - NB