Who Do You Say That I Am?
“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?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do YOU say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of the living God.’ 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. And I also say to you that you are Peter, AND ON THIS ROCK I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.'” Matthew 16:13-17 Upon which rock? Some say that Jesus built his church upon Peter. But think about it, does that even make sense? Would Jesus build his church upon a man? Of course not. Scripture tells us that JESUS IS THE FOUNDATION, the rock, the chief cornerstone, and that there is NO OTHER: “For NO OTHER foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11 “Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.” This is not a prayer to Peter. Peter never was the head of the newly-born Church. In the Book of Acts, there was a conflict presented to the apostles about whether the gentiles must submit to the Mosaic laws and be circumcised. After they debated the issue thoroughly, it was the apostle JAMES who gave the decision. James was the head of the first council in Jerusalem. “And after they had become silent, JAMES answered…” Acts 15:13 vs 18:20 “Known to God from eternity are all his works. Therefore I JUDGE that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God…” JAMES gives the verdict, notice the words “I judge.” Peter was there, but James gave the decision. Later, the apostle Paul gives a report on a conflict between himself and Peter, and it was obvious Peter was no “pope,” for Paul would never have withstood him if he were. Also, in Paul’s rebuke to Peter, it’s obvious Peter was NOT infallible. “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I WITHSTOOD HIM TO HIS FACE, because he was to be blamed;” Galatians 2:11 It’s vitally important to understand this. Jesus did not build his church upon a man, he built his church upon the REVELATION that he, Jesus, is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Flesh and blood cannot reveal this to a human being, it can only come from the Father in heaven. WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? The whole Gospel is the story of man’s fall, man’s inborn sin nature, and the provision God made for man’s salvation through Jesus Christ who became the atonement for our sin, the one who died for us, and rose from the dead three days later. It’s all about Jesus Christ; it’s all about the atonement he provided to save us. It’s ALL about him! And ONLY him! One can know all about Jesus, but not know him; many read the Bible but never "get it." To be able to read the Bible and receive God’s Word from it, one must be born again. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14 Jesus said, ” Do not marvel that I said to you, You MUST be born again.” (John 3:7) When one is born again, the Spirit of God speaks to that person through the Word of God, and continuously reveals more and more throughout the person’s life, and that’s why the person is in love with the Word of God. It’s new every morning. It is alive to that person. If you are not born again: ASK the Lord to REVEAL himself to you. ASK him to bring you into his salvation. ASK for the born-again transformation, and he will give you a whole new life. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ASK Him!” Luke 11:13 More about the born-again experience: To Be Born Again