Summary: Because of the implications of the great confession, we have a great church!
• A very short boy wanted so badly to play basketball. He even told his Dad that he wanted to become a pro when he was older. Knowing that his son would never be able to play the game, the Dad asked the local coach if there was anything that he could recommend to make the boy taller. "You might take him down to the museum and put him on that old torture stretch rack," the coach said. Several weeks later the coach asked the father if putting the boy on the stretch rack had helped. "Well, it didn’t make him any taller, but he confessed to several things that I never knew he did," was the Dad’s answer.
• I hope that none of us have to go to those extremes to get a confession out of someone.
• It is easy for people to look at the church and find all that is wrong with it. You can go into every congregation and find a few things or many things wrong with it. We can complain about the music, the preaching, the building, the bulletin or any number of other things.
• For many people church is just not a place they want to go to. People have bad impressions about the church, they badmouth the church and they do not see the church as being important.
• Many professed Christians do not see the church as an important part of their lives.
• We are going to look at another great passage in the gospels today. A passage that has a real impact on our lives.
• John MacArthur Jr. says concerning the passage at hand, “This passage represents the climax of Jesus’ teaching ministry. It was, in effect, the apostles’ final examination, consisting of but one question, the ultimate question that every human being must face: Who is Jesus Christ? A person’s answer is of the most monumental importance, because on it hinges his eternal destiny. It is a question that no one can escape or avoid. Every soul, as it were, will be pinned against the wall of eternity and forced to answer that question.”
• The way we answer the question we affect how we live our lives and how we view our part in the church as well as how we look at the church. We are going to look at the Great Confession and then the Great Church!
I. THE GREAT CONFESSION (13-17)
• The disciples had been with Jesus for a couple of years or so up to this point. Now comes another moment of truth for them.
• READ MATTHEW 16:13-14
• The disciples gave some of the views the people had concerning who Jesus was. The people had not been with Jesus close up and personal like the 12 had been throughout His ministry. I wonder how many people thought Jesus was the Son of God only to have the religious leaders to convince them otherwise.
• Jesus refusal to use His power to over throw the Roman government was a stumbling block for many of the people. Jesus was not doing what they thought a Messiah should do.
• I wonder how many people will not confess Jesus because He is not doing what they want Him to do.
• After Jesus listens to the answers given He now turns the tables and takes aim on the 12. READ MATTHEW 16:15
• Who do you say I am? Here is the test, will they pass it? After over two years of being with Jesus, would the 12 be able to answer the question?
• READ VERSES 16-17
• Peter took a stand and answered for the group. He said Jesus was THE son of THE living God.
• What is so great about this statement? This statement has in impact on every area of our lives. This statement is more than just words, it is the truth!
• Confessing who Jesus is part of what we need to do to be saved. Peter conviction was something that was deep within his soul. Jesus said that God Himself revealed this to Peter.
• READ ROMANS 10:8-11
• READ 1 John 4:14-17
• This statement was going to change the world. Because of the truth of this great confession, we have the great church!
• If Jesus were not the Son of God, we would not have the church today. The church is God’s institution. Some of the greatest times in life are tied to my home church in Vandalia, MO. Was that church perfect? NO! Was it great? Yes! Is the Auburn Christian Church perfect? No! Is it great? YES! I want us to take some time now and look at why the church built on the great confession is a great church.