| United Pentecostal Church Mannheim
Who is the rock?
Matthew 16,18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
scripture verse is only one of many which the Catholic church misuses, in
order to lift themselves up. They claim that they are the ones who are built
upon this rock, and are mistaken when they claim that they happen to be the
church which Jesus Christ is talking about.
There is no enough space here to prove the very opposite of these statements. Martin Luther and many others were familiar with the scriptures and were aware of the great deceptions of the teachings of Rome. When they began to protest against it, the spirit which rules Rome began to persecute them with his sword. This spirit of Rome is still alive, only today, he is wearing a different garment and has a different face.
It is important to understand what Jesus means when he made that statement. We want to take a few of the points from that statement and take a close look at the conversation which took place with Peter. Peter answers Jesus and says, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This answer was correct, for Jesus confirms it as he says to him that it was not flesh and blood which had revealed it to him, but his Father which is in heaven. Then Jesus continues and says to his disciple, Peter, the following words, “…You are Peter …”
We need to stop here briefly. Why did Jesus say to Peter, You are Peter? Peter knew that of course, did he not? The intimate personal conversation which is taking place between the two of them is reaching a point which is very important to understood correctly.
Peter confesses and says, I know who you are. Jesus again says the same thing. I also know who you are, Peter, and I know you by your name. Interesting, for when you are familiar with the scriptures, you find out that God only knows the names of those who belong to HIM, but the others He does not know. An example for this is the rich man in hell. God is not interested in him, for his name was not written in the book of life, but instead was registered in the book of hell. That is how it is going to be at the last great world judgment, when everyone will stand before HIM; for judgment will be given to the Son, and the righteous will be on the one side and the wicked on the other side. He knows the names of the righteous, but the unrighteous He will turn away. Why should He be interested in them? They did not accept His offer of grace and His covenant, or they did break it.
The rock, which Jesus is talking about in this case, is not the Church, neither is it referring to Peter, but rather, it is referring to the relationship which they have to one another – a relationship which no-one is able to separate. They know one another by name and they have a living relationship with each other, just like good friends. Therefore, it is understandable why Jesus continues to say, “… upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The Church of Jesus is made up of all those people who have been born again of water and spirit. (See John 3,1-6 and Acts 2,38).
Each one of them has this “solid rock relationship”, just like can be seen in the first Church in the book of Acts. They do not make compromises with anyone, they do not collect treasures, they cannot be bought, and they remain faithful to the gospel of Jesus, His teachings and His example. In addition, the dark powers of this world and their regents with their religions cannot do anything about it.
It is not possible that Peter is the rock and Jesus never made that claim; for Peter himself testified in his letter about Jesus (1. Peter 2,8) that he is the one who is the rock, Paul did the same in 1. Cor. 10,4
Why is it that so many people do not understand this? The reason is that they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and are spiritually dead in their sins.
This spiritual separation was caused by the disobedience of Adam and penetrated to every person who would be born, there being no difference whether the person is a Jew, Muslim, Hindu or a heathen. They are all born in sin and are unable to justify themselves before God (Rom. 5,16-17).
However, God has A MEANS in order to change that - Christ Jesus! IN HIM every individual receives justification. It is necessary to be IN HIM. This takes place by faith in Jesus Christ, turning away from sin and by obedience to His gospel, see Acts 2,38. Then you also will belong to those who cannot be overcome by hell. All the letters to the Church concerns those who are IN Jesus Christ. Do not be deceived, you can still receive life and forgiveness of your sins, just like Jesus Christ promised.
This does not take place through people, but rather through a firm belief in His Word and obedience to His New Covenant. rw