Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Monday, December 10, 2012

St. Matthew, Chapter 16, verse: 18, The Rock: The Church.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Peter's confession) Part 6.   

And to Simon was given the truth from heaven.  For not by his own understanding did he come to know the truth.  By the revelation of God the Father himself, did Simon come to know, did Simon come to speak, did Simon come to believe with certainty that Jesus was the Christ, Son of the Living God.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that mankind would be saved from destruction and damnation.  For Christ came to redeem man from the sin of Adam and to do something more.  He came to establish his kingdom here on earth, on this rock.

The disciples did not know.  They followed Jesus because they felt that there was something different about him.  They followed him because they saw the miracles that he performed.  They followed him because they believed that they would be a part of something greater than themselves and their own accomplishments.  They followed him because they saw for themselves what the crowds felt as he preached and taught a new way of life, different from that which was taught by the Pharisees and the Saducees.  They followed and the crowds followed because Christ was the light of the world.  But there was more. 

This was not just a one time thing; Christ came, he overcame, and he left.  Christ came to do more than just preach and teach.  He came to train and to establish.  He came to build and to create.  He came to dominate that no one and nothing would destroy what he was creating and building, the church.  And so he spoke, that his church would be created.  He commanded that it would be done.  He willed that the evil of hell would not overcome what he was creating.  And so it was and is today.   "And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

And so it began some two thousand years ago that Christ established his church here on this rock.  Nowhere else did he come except to this rock the earth to build his church that would last down through the ages and for eternity.  He will come again to judge, to separate the goats and the sheep, the wheat from the tare, the good from the evil.  Only the father knows the date and the time.  Only the father will be the judge.  Only the father will call an end to all things as we know it.  We all have heard the predictions.  We all have been warned as to the final outcome.  Are we prepared to meet our maker?  Are we ready to meet death, right now?

The gates of hell shall not prevail against the church.  The gates of hell shall not overcome the power of what Christ began.  The gates of hell shall not destroy what Christ created for you and for me.  He gave us a place to grow.  He gave us a place to thrive.  He gave us fertile soil to be nurtured in, a place to be fruitful.  He gave us the seed that is planted within us.  He gave us new life that we may live.  He gives us joy, the knowledge that he is with us.  He gives us protection from the dangers of the world and the evil that awaits us.  He gives us love that guides us and fills us with the knowledge that he is the one sent down from heaven by our Father and our God.  We have a living God who is alive and not dead.  We have a living God that will come to our aid if we open our hearts to him.  We have a living God in the church that is with us, in the church that is in us, in the church that is a part of us.   

Come!  Open your hearts to the love of Christ and accept the church that you are a part of.  Receive the Holy Spirit that you may know the truth of who you are in Christ.  I have and I know who I am in Christ.  I see me everyday in him.  I know me everyday in him.  And the Holy Spirit abides with me.  Follow the path set before you and you too will know the truth of who you are.

Read the sign of the times!  Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ.  Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself.  Do not study it in parts reading one passage and then skipping to another, but read it for understanding.  Read it for knowledge.  Read it for faith.  Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ.  The Holy Spirit awaits you.  Christ seeks to know you.  Open the door and let him in!

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