The Keys of the Kingdom: Peter’s Call to Lead the Church
The highest honor Jesus bestowed on Peter is the keys to the kingdom of God
Christianity was built around Christ. Through His death, He unified a community of believers to attest to the greatness of God. He sacrificed Himself to deliver a message that we are at war with sin itself. The keys of the kingdom of God were left at the hands of Simon, whom He called Peter (from the Greek word Petros, meaning “rock”), and on this rock, Christ built His church. As the keys to the kingdom of heaven, scripture from the gospel of Matthew declares the following:
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, [a] and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[d] loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (Matt. 16:13–20, NIV)
What are the keys to the kingdom of heaven? The phrase “keys of the kingdom” means that all believers of God can share the truth with others and spread the gospel. Repentance and conversion, along with living a life as an obedient and faithful Christian, opens the doors to eternal life. God knew His death was just the beginning, and handing Peter the keys to the kingdom of God would be the birth of his church. Peter would take his Word and use it in the war to come. All the faithful that came after Peter will come to know of the mission that sin may be fought through prayer in this spiritual warfare.
Peter was called, but so are you, in your own little way. How do you plan to serve God today? Comment below.
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BibleStudy.org. “Keys of the Kingdom.” Accessed October 16, 2017. http://www.biblestudy.org/roman-empire/keys-of-the-kingdom-of-heaven.html.