Matthew 16:13-20

Friday, October 5, 2018

On a Rock and a Hard Place

Facing the Future

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18

Every year an average of 700,000 immigrants become naturalized citizens of the United States and take the Oath of Allegiance. In the oath they renounce all loyalty to other governments, states, and sovereignties; affirm their support and defense of the Constitution and laws of the United States; and promise to perform work of national importance under civilian leadership when required by law. They then affirm that they take on this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. They conclude their oath with, “So help me God.” Ironically, the use of this closing phrase implies a greater degree of seriousness and obligation than usual.

Some 2000 years ago, Jesus asked His disciples an important question, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter affirmed with all confidence, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” These simple words are known by some as “The Great Confession.” They imply loyalty to Christ over all other powers, foreign or domestic, spiritual or physical. Though it was not an oath of allegiance to Christ or His church, it is upon this kind of confession from believers that Jesus said He would build His church. This rock solid affirmation and hard place of God's sovereignty form a foundation for the church so strong that the gates of Hell cannot overpower it.