THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
STUDY TEXT: Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
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.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
- Jesus found out of men’s various opinion about Himself. It does not matter what the opinion of men is about Him, the truth of God about Him stands and nothing can change it.
- He requested the opinion of His disciple, and Peter gave an answer based on the revelation of the Holy Spirit. If we are truly His disciples we must know who He is and relate with Him in that capacity, because if we do not know who He is we will also not know our true identity in Him.
- From Peter’s revelation, Jesus told us the situation with the church, the position of the church and the power given to the church. A right understanding of these will enable the church of Jesus to fulfill the purpose of God and to remain un- defeatable by the power of Satan and his kingdom.
- We are going to look at this study under three sub headings:
1. The foundation of the church.
2. The fortification of the church.
3. The freedom given to the church.
1. THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH
- It is Jesus Christ who is the rock that is the firm and great foundation of the church.
- 1 Corinthians 3:11-13
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
- Christ is both the founder and the foundation of the church. He is the origin of the church and He is the one that build the church and He is the Rock upon which the church is built.
- This foundation is a firm, strong and lasting foundation. There is no level or category of treat that can withstand it.
- Time and events will not waste it and it will not sink under the weight of the building.
- The sure foundation affords strength to the building. That is why we are encouraged as believers to build something quality on the sure foundation. If anything seems to go wrong with the church then we need to check the quality of material we are using to build on Jesus, the solid foundation.
2. THE FORTIFICATION OF THE CHURCH
- Jesus said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. This implies that the church is fortified against all forms attack coming or that can come against it from the kingdom of darkness. The church is fortified by:
1. The builder of the church. Jesus is the builder of the church. His experience in the quality of materials and their usage will afford strength to the church so that it can not be defeated.
2. The foundation of the church. He is also the foundation of the building as discussed earlier, and since the strength of the foundation go a long way in determining the strength of the building, we see the church again being fortified against the powers of darkness.
3. The destiny of the church. Jesus already pronounced the destiny of the church. He said the church will prevail and will always be victorious in all the battles and warfare that will come against it.
4. The authority of the church. Jesus also gave the final authority to His church. This is the key that can open and close any type of door as needed.
- In spite of Satan doing his worst, the church that Jesus is building cannot in the end, be overcome by Satan.
- The gate of hell represent:
1. All demons and evil strategy that Satan can marshal in an attempt to with stand the church.
2. False religion of various kinds and all forms of idolatry.
3. False teachers and apostles working against sound doctrines and against the establishment of God’s kingdom.
4. All forms of self and fleshly manifestations that are always contending with the will and the move of the Holy Spirit.
5. All forms of human wisdom and opinion that are rising against the truth of the word of God and the mystery of His kingdom.
6. All forms of worldly standards, opinions and principles that are not in line with the word of God and that are contrary to the righteous demand of the Kingdom of God.
3. THE FREEDOM GIVEN TO THE CHURCH
- The keys represent authority to enter the kingdom and enjoy kingdom benefits at all times. There are various categories of keys tha have been handed over to the church for free and effective use. They include:
1. The key of doctrine.
- To tell the people what is right or wrong according to God’s standard. Matthew 28:18 - 20
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
2. The key of discipline.
- To measure discipline to erring believers and unbelievers as guided by the word of God and the Holy spirit. Acts 8:18-24
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
3. The key of discernment.
- To understand all mysteries through the revelation of the Holy spirit. Acts 16:16-18
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
4. The key of deliverance.
- To cast out devils from whosoever they hiding. Mark 16:17-18
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18.They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
i. Casting out devils from whosoever is possessed by them.
ii. Protection from all kinds of evil either in the physical or spiritual.
iii. Healing the sick of all manner of sicknesses and diseases.
5. The key of dominion.
- Needed to enjoy all the benefits of the kingdom of God which include:
1. Divine protection.
2. Divine prosperity.
3. Divine favour.
- The keys have been given freely and every member of the church is entitled to the usage and to enjoy the benefit thereof. However, we must be committed to the kingdom principles before we can partake of kingdom benefit.
- If you are reading this message and you are yet to fully surrender your life to the Lord Jesus, you can not enjoy the benefits of the kingdom here on earth and when you die, you can not find eternal rest in Christ, but right now you can become one of the children of God by confessing your sins unto Him, asking for forgiveness and cleansing by the blood of Jesus and accepting Jesus as your Lord and personal savior, I congratulate you if you did.