The Rock Truth
Matthew 16:18
And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Upon this rock I will build my Church. There has been grave dispute over this passage. Is the rock foundation of the Church

(1) Peter himself; or

(2) Peter's faith; or

(3) Peter's confession; or

(4) Christ himself, the Son of the living God?

Without entering into that discussion, we may simply say that this is true - the confession which Peter made expresses the foundation, the rock truth of Christianity, every doctrine of which rests secure on the Divine-human Sonship of our Lord. Peter is taken as representing this rock truth, because he was the first distinctly to give it expression. The figure of rock foundation needs explanation in the light of Eastern modes of building, and ideas of building. Still, we know the importance of sound foundations, though there is no longer more than a poetical interest in foundation stones.

I. THIS CONFESSION WAS THE ROCK FOUNDATION OF CHRIST'S REVELATION. For Jesus brought a revelation from God, which was a revelation of God. Search down to the foundation on which all Christ taught of God rests; refuse to be satisfied until you have discovered its primary truth, its absolutely first and essential principle, and you will find it to be the Fatherhood of God - the permission to think of God. through the associations of our human fatherhood. But direct revelations of the Divine Fatherhood cannot be made to men; they come as the correlative of Fatherhood, as Sonship. Christ the Son primarily does this - reveal the Father-God.

II. THIS CONFESSION WAS THE ROCK FOUNDATION OF CHRIST'S MISSION. That mission was, to bring men to God. It included and involved much. Bearing penalty, setting example, teaching truth, offering a self-sacrifice, etc.; but get to the very foundation of it, and we see it was to recover for men their sonship and their proper son relations with God. Then we see how the Divine and perfect Sonship of Christ is the "rock truth" of his mission. Only the Son could hope to undertake and carry through the work of recovering sons.

III. THIS CONFESSION IS THE ROCK FOUNDATION ON WHICH CHRIST'S MISSION IS CONTINUED. Thoughtful readers will be struck by the constancy with which Christ used the term "Father," and the apostles use the term "Son." Those apostles clearly apprehended that the gospel they had to preach was the good news of the Divine Fatherhood; and that whoever received their gospel became sons again, linked in obedience, lure, and faith with Jesus, the "Son of the living God." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

The Rock on Which the Church is Built
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