Summary: “He said to them, ‘but who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (Matt. 16:15-16)
Theme: Who do you say that I am
Text: Ex. 2:1-10; Rom. 12:1-8; Matt. 16:13-20
The life of a believer is often compared in Scripture to the construction of a building. Every person knows you cannot start a building without laying a foundation but see nothing wrong with building their lives without one. The Christian life can only be built on one foundation, Jesus Christ, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ”. (1 Cor. 3:11) Today many people are being deceived about the foundation of the Christian life. Some people are deceived to believe it is becoming a member of a Church, good works, or “holy” lives. Other people are deceived to believe it is trusting miracle workers or people who place themselves in the place of God. There are still others who believe it is trusting in one of the many gods recognised by different people groups or cults under various names. In much of our society today even Christians avoid the name of Jesus in an attempt not to offend other people or their religion. The truth still remains that the only foundation on which our Christian lives are built is Jesus Christ and this is why He is still asking the question “Who do you say I am?”
The name Jesus Christ tells us who He is. Christ means the “anointed One” and refers to the Messiah. We cannot view Jesus as a good man, a prophet sent from God, or a man of great power. We have to know Him for who He really is, the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Every person needs to know the identity of Jesus Christ as it determines our eternal destiny. He is the One who has eternal life for “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son”. (1 John 5:11) He reveals spiritual truths to the discerning. Jesus only revealed His mission to His disciples after Peter had proclaimed His true identity as the Messiah. This profession of trust and belief was necessary for Jesus to disclose His coming rejection, suffering and death.
Most people take great care when building their homes. Architects are paid to design and draw up plans and make sure the buildings are properly constructed. We, however, do not take so much care when it comes to building our lives and we end up building lives that are easily destroyed. The proper foundation for our lives is to respond to Christ as His disciples did. A direct personal confrontation of the disciples by Christ led Peter to acknowledge Him as the Messiah. Every person today is still being confronted in the same direct personal way that Peter was confronted. This confrontation leads to a revelation about the person of Christ from the Father for “no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” 1 Cor. 2:11. Even today no one can come know Christ without the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy can reveal the divine, eternal, unchanging Son of God. This same Spirit who gave this revelation to Peter is the same Spirit who reveals Christ to us today. The foundation of our Christian faith is our individual and personal experience of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Have you acknowledged and confessed what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you about Christ by answering His question “who do you say I am?”
Jesus Christ wants us to take a stand for Him by obeying His Word. Our confession of Christ as the Messiah begins our Christian journey. The map for the journey is His Word and the Holy Spirit makes sure we read it correctly. Christ’s eternal life gives us a new status as children of God and gives us access to His presence and blessings. The presence of the Holy Spirit testifies that we are sons of God and have come under His grace and divine favour. As children of God we have access to the grace and promises of God. The grace of God is not only God’s undeserved favour but also His empowerment to live the abundant life.
Our Christian lives are built on the divine, authoritative and perfect revelation of God. Our attitude towards God’s Word reflects our attitude towards God Himself. We cannot love God more than we love His Word; neither can we obey God more than we obey His Word. Our love for God can be measured by our love for His Word. God means as much to us as His Word means to us. The rock upon which Christ builds His Church is not referring to Peter but to his confession that Christ is the Son of the living God. This is the truth on which the church is founded. Let us lay the proper foundation for our lives to the admiration of all and to the praise and glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.