Lesson 207-February 2, 2020
Lesson: “Our Authority-Word of God Speak”
Scripture: Matthew 16: 19-20
Lesson Goal: To learn more of Jesus as the Messiah.
Introduction: J. C. Ryle, “Nothing can altogether overthrow and destroy (the church). It’s members may be persecuted, oppressed, imprisoned, beaten, beheaded, burned. But the true Church is never altogether extin-guished; it rises again from its afflictions; it lives on through fire and water. When crushed in one hand, it springs up in another. The Pharaoh’s, the Herod’s , the Nero’s…have labored in vain to put down this Church. They slay their thousands, and then pass away and go to their own place. The true Church outlives them all, and sees them buried each in his turn. (The Church) is an anvil that has broken many a hammer in this world, and will break many a hammer still. (The Church) is a bush which is often burning and yet is not consumed.”
Before we move into the next section of our study we will give out attention to Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:19-20.
(vv19-20) “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bond in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
Very quickly in explanation of these verses we must understand that these words (v19) do not mean that Peter or the disciples were given the literal authority to admit people to heaven. In the no-nonsense words of War-ren Wiersbe, “The Kingdom of heaven is not heaven; for no man on earth carries the keys to heaven! (All of the jokes about St. Peter at the gate stem from this misunderstanding. They are both unbiblical and in bad taste.) We use keys to open doors. Peter was given the privilege of opening the door of faith to the Jews at Pentecost (Acts 2), to the Samaritans (Acts 8:14ff), and to the Gentiles (Acts 10).”
We should never minimize the role of Peter and the apostles in the church. They are the foundational pillars of our faith and ministry. While at the same time we must not intentionally or unintentionally ascribe deity to Peter or any of the Apostles. In Peter’s own words to Cornelius, “I myself am also a man.” In his writing he would testify to himself as an “apostle” (I Peter 1:1), “fellow elder” )I Peter 5:1), and “bondservant” (II Peter 1:1).
Questions: What must it have been like for a Samaritan or Gentile to hear the good news of the gospel during the early days of the church?
As the wonderful truths of salvation were made known by the apostles and others in the book of Acts, how did this relate to the “keys” of Matthew 16:19?
In the words of David Platt, “When Peter or the other apostles, or any follower of Christ for that matter, pro-claims the gospel, it is done under Jesus’ authority-His authority to save sinners and to judge sinners. Jesus’ authority to save means we can say to any person in the world ‘If you turn from your sin and trust Jesus as Savior and Lord, you will be free from sin forever.’ That’s a guarantee based on the authority of Christ and His Word. At the same time, we can also say to any person in the world, ‘If you do not turn from your sin and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord, you are bound to your sin and its payment for all eternity in hell.’ Authority has been entrusted to us as the church to proclaim this message.” The authority (our authority-Church) is based upon the authority of God’s Word. This is one of the reasons that it is so vitally important we study the Word of God, we learn the Word of God, and we live the Word of God!
This is why God has placed in this writer’s heart a burning desire to study, learn, and write these Life Focus lessons. There is no substitute for the study of God’s Word in a believer’s life. We can read articles on vari-ous topics of Scripture. We can become self proclaimed experts in fields of current events, psychology, soci-ology, and a myriad of other scholastic, academic or even theological pursuits but there is no substitute for a verse by verse, chapter by chapter, study of God’s Word! Topical studies or personal interest studies should never take priority over the systematic exegetical study of the Scriptures using sound hermeneutics in an ex-pository manner. Studying the Scripture in a verse by verse study does not allow us the comfort to pick and choose only subjects of comfort or conflict.
Question: Have you ever been amazed at how God speaks or meets a need in your life as the Word of God was taught or preached in a verse by verse manner?
It’s a beautiful thing when God meets you right where your living lift through His Word!
John MacArthur states, “The source of the churches authority is not in itself, anymore than the source of the apostle’s authority was in themselves or even in their office, exalted as it was. Christians can authoritatively declare what is acceptable to God or forbidden by Him because they have His Word. Christians do not deter-mine what is right or wrong, forgiven or unforgiven. Rather, on the basis of God’s own Word, they recognize and proclaim what God has already determined to be right or wrong, forgiven or unforgiven. The authority of the church lies in the fact that it has heavens word on everything; ‘pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called use by His own glory and excellence’ (II Peter 1:3). When believers are in agreement with God’s Word, God is in agreement with them.”
The time will come to clearly and boldly proclaim the truths taught and learned but for now the disciples are instructed by Jesus, “that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.” Jesus commands the disciples, at this time, not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah.
Question: Why do you think Jesus told (commanded) the disciples not to tell?
In next weeks lesson we will begin to clearly understand why Jesus spoke these words.
Thank you for being a part of your Life Focus class and thank you for spending time with this lesson today.