1. To grow in the knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18) we must carefully search the Scriptures (John 5:39). 2. In this lesson we are studying some important information concerning "Jesus' church" (Matthew 16:13-19). 3. Before He dealt with His church, . . .
I. JESUS FIRST TALKED ABOUT HIS IDENTITY (vs.13-17)
A. (vs.13) After arriving in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples what people said about His identity. B. (vs.14) The disciples reported that people held a variety of views. 1. Some people thought Jesus was: a. John the Baptist 1) Herod, the man who had John beheaded, held this view (Matthew 14:1-2). 2) Those who heard John should have known otherwise (John 1:19-20, 29, 34-36). b. Elijah 1) This view may have resulted from a misunderstanding of Malachi 4:5-6. 2) Jesus taught that John fulfilled Malachi's prophecy (Matthew 11:14). c. Jeremiah d. 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) After blessing Peter, Jesus said that the Father had revealed this information to him. 1. Peter went to the right source to learn about the Lord's identity (Matthew 17:5). 2. Peter remained convinced that Jesus is God's Son (John 6:69). F. After dealing with His personal identity, . . .
II. JESUS GAVE SOME IDENTIFYING MARKS FOR HIS CHURCH (vs.18-19)
A. Jesus indicated that the church belongs to Him (Acts 20:28; 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]. 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. A careful examination of Acts 2 indicates that Jesus built His church on the day of Pentecost that followed His ascension to heaven.
1. During the Lord's ministry some people were mistaken about His identity because they did not go to the right source for information; however, Peter's example 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.