The Acts by Alec Sutherland

 English Bible  © 2013 Simon Peter Sutherland

English Bible © 2013 Simon Peter Sutherland

Before we commence I think we should go back to the gospel of Matthew, because there is a passage of scripture there which is so relevant to the Acts. The passage is Matthew 16: 13-29. This was a private conversation that Christ had with His disciples and we are privileged to share it for it concerned Himself and it took place in Caesarea in Philippi on the far north border of the land of Canaan. So there would be less people flocking after Him, it would be quieter. He enquires what the opinion of others were concerning Him? Whom do men say that I, the son of man am? It is worth looking at to note why He called Himself the son of man, others called Him the son of God (Luke 1: 35). But He called Himself the son of man, for He was truly man born of a women. He is made known in Daniel’s vision concerning Christ as the son of man (Daniel 7: 13). In verse 14 of Matthew 16, the disciples answers were not their own, for they said what they heard other people say up and down the country. Jesus wanted to know their thoughts, but whom do you say that I am? It was vital that they knew the truth themselves. It is also a question we should always ask ourselves. Who do we say what kind of Christ the Lord Jesus is? Is He the fairest of 10,000 to our souls? Is it well or wrong with us how are thoughts are concerning Christ? In verse 16 Peter answers this question, but whom do you say that I am? Peters answer is short, but it is full and true and to the point. What was his answer, more than this is a confession of a true Christian answer. Faith addressed to Christ, the living son of the living God. The answer becomes an act of worship, an act of devotion. To other people He was a prophet, the disciples owned Him to be the Messiah, the anointed one. In verse 17 Christ shows He is well pleased with Peters reply or conclusion, he has the happiness of the blessed. Blessed art thou Simon Bar Jonas, Bar meant “Son of Jonas, his father, which meant “Dove”. So He reminds him of his origin. His obscurity Bar Jonas now he is elevated, you could say Bar Christ, the child of a King. Then He gives the glory for Peters reply to God, “For flesh and blood hath not revealed it to you, but my father which is in heaven”. Note the Christian faith is revealed faith. The revelation comes from heaven, through the Holy Spirit. Saving grace is the gift of our God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And blessed are we when our father, Christ’s father reveals truth to us. We have verse 19 which is a vital one concerning the Church. How do you see this verse? I say unto you authority from God, it is His Church, all judgement is given to Him. All the churches power comes from Him, the builder and maker of the Church. He will build it up with living stones. Peter himself says this in 1 Peter 2: 5-6, Christ is the foundation. Peter Did in fact lay the 1st stone of the Church but the foundation is everlasting, so it can only be Christ. When Christ first called Peter, He gave Him the name Cephas, which means stone or rock. This rock, pointed to Himself, placed His hand upon His breast, as He did in John 2: 19, destroy this temple, the temple of the body and I will rebuild it in three days. We are the body 1 Corinthians 3: 2. The apostles had the authority and the keys to bind and loose, the keys to shut and open. The keys are the gospel itself and the authority which Christ gave them as ministers of His gospel. They had authority to allow certain things and forbid and it was all revealed to them by our father in heaven.

Alec Sutherland

1938 – 1999

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