LIFE OF CHRIST

 

Matthew 16:13-27 - PAGE 1

THIS IS YOUR LIFE

LIFE OF CHRIST #31

 

This morning as we return to our study of the Life of Christ, Jesus had been in the Gentile area of Tyre and Sidon.  A Gentile woman had begged Jesus to heal her demon possessed daughter, and after testing her faith, He did.  Shortly after that Jesus performed another feeding miracle which we call “The Feeding of the Four Thousand”. This was also done in the Gentile area.

 

Eventually Jesus came into an area known as Caesarea Philippi.  It is here where the Apostle Peter is again in the lime light, and we also see what should be a typical This is Your Life for any Christian.  If you are a born again Christian, the things we discuss this morning should be true of you. So, we can ask the question “IS THIS YOUR LIFE?”

This morning we will want you to think about your Christian life and answer these questions:

 

IS YOUR LIFE A LIFE OF PROCLAMATION?

Vss. 13-17

Vs. 13 – I believe that Jesus knew the answer to this question.  After all, He is God!

 

But He wanted the Apostles to think.  He wanted them to get it straight in their own minds. He begins by asking them what is out on the street. “What are people saying about me?”

 

Vs. 14 – The Apostles gave Jesus the answer. 

·       Some said that he was John the Baptist.  That’s what King Herod said.  “That’s John the Baptist, who I beheaded, who is risen from the dead.”

·       Some thought that he was Elijah the Prophet who was to come before the Messiah.

·       Others thought that He was the prophet Jeremiah, or another Old Testament prophet.

 

Is it important what others say about the Lord Jesus?  Of course it is!  One’s opinion of and response to Jesus will determine whether one ends up in Heaven or in hell!

 

Vs. 15 - Jesus then asked the most important question of all.  He asked “But who do you say that I am?”

 

It was important for the Apostles that their mind was made up as to the identity of the Lord Jesus!  They couldn’t truly serve Jesus or point others to Jesus, until they understood and proclaimed Jesus’ identity themselves. The most important thing of all is that that you know who Jesus is and that you say so!

 

Vs. 16 – Peter had the right answer.  “You are the Christ, or the Messiah. You are God’s anointed one!”

But Peter didn’t stop there he added, “You are the Son of the living God.”

 

Peter had it right!  And I believe that Peter was speaking for all the Apostles with the exception of Judas.  This was their core belief.

 

You need to believe and profess the same thing that Peter did.  You need to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the very Son of God. You need to believe that He died to pay for your sins, and that He did. You also need to believe that Christ raised Him from the dead, and you need to say so! Romans 9-10

 

Vs. 17 – Jesus’ reaction teaches us just how much our salvation is a work of God’s and not our own work.

Simon Peter was blessed because flesh and blood had not convinced Him of the truth about Jesus.  God, through His Spirit had revealed the truth.

 

And although you and I are required to proclaim our faith to others, it is the Spirit of God that makes the identity of Christ real in the hearts of others.  Anytime a person truly believes in Jesus Christ as Savior it is a work of the Spirit of God. John 3:5-7     

 

IS YOUR LIFE A LIFE OF PROMISES? - Vss. 18-19

 

Vs. 18 – The name “Peter” means “rock” or “stone”.

When Jesus said “and upon this rock I will build my church, He uses a work that would refer to bedrock or a massive stone.  I think of the Rock of Gibraltar.

 

Peter was a rock or a stone. He showed that by his profession of faith.  But it is on the massive rock, bedrock, Himself, that Jesus would build his church.

 

Peter gave testimony that Jesus is the rock in 1 Peter 2:6-8.

 

Jesus says, “Upon this rock (meaning Himself)”, I will build my church.   

 

The word church means “assembly”.  It means a group that is called out.

The church is a group of people who have saved by Jesus Christ, and called out as His special people.

 

Every person who has truly trusted Christ as Savior is a part of Jesus’ church.

 

Jesus said, “I will build my church”.  Are you letting Him build you?  Are you letting Him develop you as part of the universal church and the local church? 2 Peter 3:18  

 

2 Peter 3:18 - But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…  

 

Jesus also promised that …and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.   

 

The word hell here is “Hades” is the Greek.  It is the realm of the dead.  Jesus is saying that death can not overcome the church.

Death can not overcome the church because the rock on which the church is built has overcome death!  He rose from the dead and gives us the promise of resurrection. John 11:25-16

 

If death can not overcome the church, death can not overcome you! Are you resting in that promise?   

 

Vs. 19 – Peter, I believe, received the “keys of the Kingdom” for the Apostles and all believers to follow.

Keys open and lock.

Based on the Word of God Peter could say, “if you believe on Jesus Christ, you are saved, and if you don’t believe on Jesus Christ you won’t be saved.”

He opened the door to those who believed.

He shut the door to those who didn’t believe.

 

Most notably he did this on the Day of Pentecost before a Jewish audience, and later before a man named Cornelius and a Gentile audience.

 

You and I have the same keys.

We can say on the authority of the Word of God to any person who trusts Christ as Savior that the Kingdom of Heaven theirs.

We can say on that same authority to a person who has not trusted Christ as Savior, that the Kingdom of Heaven is not theirs. John 3:36

 

John 3:36 - He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

 

Are you using the keys that Jesus has given you?

Are you sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ?   

 

We have promises.

The promise that Jesus will build his church

The promise that death will not be victorious over us

The promise that we have the keys to the Kingdom

Are you enjoying your promises?

Are you resting in them?   

 

IS YOUR LIFE A LIFE OF PRIORITIES? - Vss. 20-26

 

Vs. 20 – It was not yet time for public proclamation that Jesus is the Christ.  That came later for them, which is now for us!

 

Vs. 21 – Jesus taught the disciples God’s plan.  The plan was that Jesus would die for sins, be buried and rise again.

 

Vs. 22 – Peter did not like God’s plan.  In fact Peter thought that the person he had just proclaimed to be God’s Son was wrong!

 

How often do we do this?

We see suffering, inconvenience, and personal sacrifice ahead for us, and say “This has got to be wrong!  Why would God allow this?”

 

Vs. 23 – Jesus rebuked Peter, evidently didn’t even let him finish.

Peter was letting Satan influence him.

Satan was tempting Jesus to give up the cross through Peter.

Therefore Jesus said to Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan.”

 

Peter was an offense, a stumbling block.

At this moment Peter wasn’t helping Jesus, He was hindering his work.

 

Peter’s problem was that he was not seeking God’s interests but man’s.

Peter had his priorities mixed up.

 

Man seeks enjoyment and pleasure and self importance.

God seeks us to be submissive to his will.

When we seek our own enjoyment and pleasure we become a stumbling block to God’s plan.

When we are submissive to God’s will we become part of God’s plan.

 

Vs. 24 – The person who has experienced forgiveness and eternal life, the person who is part of Jesus’ church, the person who has the Keys to the kingdom, is to make Jesus his priority.

 

Making the Lord Jesus your priority is summed up in three words:

·       DENIAL – …let him deny himself…

·       DEATH - …and take up his cross

·       DIRECTION - …and follow me

 

Vs. 25 – Do you want a worthless life?  Try and protect, preserve and keep your life.  Hang on to it!

 

Do you want a profitable life?  Lose it for Jesus’ sake!

 

Vs. 26 – If you are not a Christian, you have lost your soul!

              You will spend eternity in hell.

 

If you are a Christian, you should prove your Christianity by being sold out to the one who died for you.

Your discipleship proves that you are truly saved. Galatians 2:20

 

Christian, are your priorities in order?   

 

IS YOUR LIFE A LIFE OF PRIZES? - Vs. 27

 

We as Christians will be rewarded according to our works.

Salvation is free.

Prizes or rewards are earned. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

 

IS YOUR LIFE A LIFE OF PROCLAMATION? - Vss. 13-17

IS YOUR LIFE A LIFE OF PROMISES? - Vss. 18-19

IS YOUR LIFE A LIFE OF PRIORITIES? - Vss. 20-26

IS YOUR LIFE A LIFE OF PRIZES? - Vs. 27

 

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