The Church of Christ Is Precious (Matthew 16:13-19)
1. This morning we covered a number of passages that show why "the blood of Christ is precious" as Peter stated in 1 Peter 1:19. 2. According to Acts 20:28, Jesus purchased the church with His blood. 3. Since Jesus purchased the church with His precious blood, we conclude that the Lord's church is precious. 4. In our lesson we are studying information Jesus presented about His church that will help us understand why "the church of Christ is precious." 5. Before dealing with His church in Matthew 16, . . .
I. JESUS FIRST TALKED ABOUT HIS IDENTITY (vs.13-17)
A. (vs.13) Jesus asked His disciples what people said about His identity. B. (vs.14) The disciples reported that people held a variety of views, including: 1. John the Baptist 2. Elijah 3. Jeremiah 4. one of the other prophets from the past. C. (vs.15) Jesus asked His disciples what they said concerning His identity. D. (vs.16) Peter identified Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God." E. (vs.17) Jesus said that the Father had revealed this information to Peter. 1. The Father provided evidence to prove that Jesus is His Son, including: a. Jesus' genealogy (Matthew 1:1-16) b. His testimony at Jesus' baptism (Matthew 3:16-17) c. Old Testament prophecy fulfillment (Matthew 12:14-21; Isaiah 42:1-4) d. Jesus' miracles (John 3:2). 2. Peter remained convinced that Jesus is God's Son (John 6:69). F. After discussing His identity with His disciples, . . .
II. JESUS GAVE SOME IDENTIFYING MARKS FOR HIS CHURCH (vs.18-19)
A. Jesus indicated that the church belongs to Him (Romans 16:16). B. Jesus said He would build His church upon "this rock" [the fact that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God] (1 Corinthians 3:11). C. Jesus said that the gates of "hell" [Hades] would not prevent Him from building His church. D. Jesus spoke of His church and the kingdom of heaven interchangeably. E. Jesus said He would give Peter the keys of the kingdom, and Peter would speak with authority from heaven. F. According to Acts 2, Jesus built His church on the day of Pentecost that followed His ascension to heaven.
1. The people in Matthew 16:14 were mistaken about the Lord's identity because they did not go to the right source for information, but Peter shows that Jesus can be identified on the basis of evidence (John 20:30-31). 2. Even though many people are confused about the church today, Jesus' true church can also be recognized and identified by those who go to the right source for information. 3. The information revealed in the Bible about the Lord's church indicates that it is precious. 4. By going to the right source we can also learn how to become members of Jesus' church (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13).