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And I’m going to invite you this, just so you know, if you want to sell in these two locations of scripture, we’re going to do a kind of a smattering of scripture this morning. We’ve been in Genesis three. We’re going to use that as the framework for building to where we’re going to go. We’re going to end up in acts chapter seven and Matthew chapter six. But it’ll just be a little bit before I get there. So if you want to find those places, you’re welcome to hold onto it. I, uh, I learned this morning that apparently if you hand Ryan anything, he can just beat on it and make a noise. I love it. That’s good. I like that. Um, while we’re sharing this morning, the series that we’re going in together is this idea of, of believe we’re looking at the first three chapters of Genesis setting, the foundation of really all of Christianity found within the first three chapters of the book of, of Genesis, the, the pillars of what makes our faith what it is.
And so we’re seeing how that theme carries throughout scripture. And today I want to talk about something significant as it relates to the kingdom of God. And this morning I say this on the back end thinking, uh, we are, we’re heading to middle school camp after the services are finished this morning, and I have done this for the last five years, been in charge of middle school camp this year we have over 50 middle school campers. So if you just, you see me as we’re going through the series, just sorta today a special, just kind of stare off and, and nothingness. Losing my train of thought. I just realize I’m going camping with 50 middle schoolers at the end of today. Say, I’m just kidding. We enjoy it. I love it and look forward to today. But when it talks, we talk about the way Christianity has established itself. It finds its pillars in the first three chapters of Genesis.
We’ve looked at those foundations together, the identity of God, who we are in relationship to God, the idea of sin, what really makes sin sin. And in this thought of of redemption where we get the the words of Jesus even being a savior, what it means that Jesus is a savior, what he’s rescuing us from, and we looked at the fulfillment of Christ being our priests. He fulfills all of the sacrificial systems, the old Testament, even even the establishment of the temple, everything built within that, that old sacrificial system of of the old covenant or the old Testament. We see Jesus fulfilling it within himself, which is what inaugurated the new new covenant and in Jeremiah chapter 31 verses 31 to 34 we looked at that together. It is the reason we refer to the Bible as the old covenant and new covenant or old Testament and new Testament is the promise for which Christ would come, give us his redemption in, in him, and so we find our freedom or salvation in what Jesus has accomplished for us on the cross.
Even the sacrifices of animals in the old Testament were all images of what Jesus would ultimately fulfill for us. This morning, I’m going to look at the same text that we referenced in light of this, this priestly idea of Jesus fulfilling for us and the the old covenant and the sacrifices, and now I want to talk about rather than just the priestly sacrifices, the idea of redemption in, I want to talk about what God restores for us in his kingdom. In the book of Genesis, when when Genesis chapter three and verse one happens, it tells us that the serpent begins a conversation with Eve. We looked at the significance of what that term serpent actually means in scripture. Talked about why the idea of a snake. It could be metaphorical within the Bible because the Hebrew word for serpent can also be translated as an chanter or it could also be translated as shining or brass.
A Satan gave this appearance of deception as a serpent. He gave this appearance of enchantment as giving a a lie that looked like in the form of a truth and it deceived Adam and Eve and he looked appealing. He was the most beautiful of, of all of God’s creation that the scripture tells us he made. He tried to in Isaiah chapter 14 we looked at that together. He tried to put himself into the position of God beginning of verse 12 and God cast him out and then he comes to the garden of Eden and shares the same lie with Adam and Eve that caused him in his own casting out of heaven, which was you can become like God. Adam and Eve bought into the lie that you could become like God, knowing good from evil, and that phrase in the Hebrew means more than just knowing.
Right from wrong means that you will declare to God what is right, what is wrong. You will take the position of God declaring to the world that you are the authority by governing what is right and wrong rather than allowing God the position of ultimate authority as he is creator. When that took place, the Bible introduces to the idea of of two kingdoms. When we talk about Satan and the reference to scripture, there are many ways [inaudible] views him in light of what he represents in the garden of Eden. In second Corinthians chapter four in verse four it says this, and whose case the God of this world talking about Satan has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. Who is the image of God. So Satan, Satan in his dominion or being referred to as God of the world.
This word for [inaudible], it’s a generic word for God’s which the Greek culture would have been familiar with multiple gods. They refer to Satan this way, having a position of authority, the recognizing his authority, and he’s saying his whole purpose is to blind us from the salvation that is in Christ, the good news that is in in Jesus the the representation of what he desires to bring in. In fact, in Matthew chapter 12 verse 26 says this, and if Satan cast out Satan, Jesus, I should preface this and say, Jesus has being accused as working for Satan’s kingdom and Jesus acknowledging the idea of kingdom says this of Satan, cast out Satan. He’s casting out demons here. If Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself. How shall then his kingdom stand. And so Jesus is referencing the dominion of Satan saying that he can’t possibly work for saying cause he’s living his life contrary to what Satan is about. And he’s referencing this back to kingdoms. I want to see the idea of kingdoms represented here throughout scripture. It’s referred to, sorry, it’s referred to in three different ways. Satan is often in his dominion. There’s more than this, but three prominent ways. I just want to point out, he’s the Prince of the world. He’s referred to as the Prince of the power of the air and the God of this world in scripture. So you see this idea of dominion and authority
when it comes to Jesus though in Genesis chapter three, after Satan comes in to saves Eve, sin falls into the world. We, we’ve seen this together. We’ve looked at this over the last couple of weeks. God pursues man promises then redemption. And that happens in Genesis chapter three in verse 15 okay,
God’s declaration to Adam and Eve after sin in the middle of their curse and the moment of their curse, they’re hiding from God in fig. Leaves God pursues them. God takes off fig leaves, God closed them and priestly garments and God promises what will be the first sacrifice and he says in Genesis three in chapter 15 I will put enmity between you talking about the serpent and the woman between your seed and her seed and this is where the idea of kingdom mentality comes from. In the next phrase that says this, he shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel. This idea of here are ahead in scripture, reverse to authority and power.
Yeah, we looked at satanic, the idea of satanic kingdom or Satan’s kingdom and what it’s saying about Jesus that his rule and authority will crush that of the serpent had representing his authority. This is, this is important to start recognizing within scripture because God is going to begin to point to the nation of Israel as the identity through which he would bring us fulfillment for, for Christ the Messiah to come. He will use Israel as an image or a or as a, as a smaller case scenario of what he desires to accomplish. For all of us. We talk about the kingdom of God. I especially think it’s important because sometimes we get lost in the idea of his kingdom, specifically as it relates to Israel. People get obsessive about Israel related to the kingdom, but I want us to see in Genesis chapter three the idea of kingdom begins before Israel is even brought into existence.
God, no doubt. Works through Israel, got in doubt, brings a King in Israel. He, he specifically relates Jesus to that of the Davidic throne, but the idea of kingship begins before the nation of Israel even starts in Genesis chapter three when Jesus has promised us, he will come and crush the head of the serpent.
Satan’s kingdom. Christ’s kingdom. Revelation chapter seven in verse nine gives a, I think, a beautiful picture of the culmination of the idea of God’s kingdom when it talks about every tribe, tongue, language, and nation before the throne of the lamb singing praise to him saying, worthy. Are you God’s desire is to establish and reestablish his rule over those who are now alienated those who are rebellious against his kingdom, which scripture points out we’ll see in a moment is us.
Isaiah gets more specific in this prophecy which we looked at last week and I want us to highlight it now rather than just thinking of redemption to think about his kingship. Isaiah seven 14 says this, therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold a Virgin will will, will be with child embarrass son and she will knit call his name Emmanuel, which means God with us and then it gets specific about his kingship. It says in Isaiah nine six for child would be born in the us. A son will be given to us and the government will rest on his shoulders and his name will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, eternal father. The Prince of peace. You see it in Jesus is ruling. He’s re-establishing the piece that was lost in the kingdom that went corrupt and its pursuit of Satan’s lie.
In fact, the Romans chapter five kind of places, those positions of where we are as human beings in relationship to God because of this sin. This is just a highlighting of some of the verses within Romans five it says this in verse six for while we were still helpless at the right time, Christ Christ died for the ungodly. Romans is already established for us who is the ungodly. It’s all of us, much more than having now been justified by his blood. We shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. And so in this kingdom that’s contrary to God, God will bring his wrath and justice against it. For while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son much more having been reconciled. We shall be saved by his life. And so what he’s saying in verse 10 is that we’re not in this ambiguous position knowing that there’s two kingdoms and we kind of just stand in the middle of Teeter tottering between the two.
What it’s actually saying in verse 10 is that because of sin and because God is Holy, we belong to the kingdom that’s contrary to to Christ. And so he says in verse 12, therefore justice through one man sin entered into the world talking about Adam and death through sin. So the way that we know that we belong to the kingdom of destruction is death. We all experienced death. And so death spread to all men because all sin. So then as the one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men even so through the one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. Cautions I think lays it a little more clearly for us in talking about just two distinct kingdoms, it definitely shows us in Romans five that uh, there is, uh, those that belong to destruction of the rat under God’s wrath and God desires to bring us his grace in him. Cautions, lays out this way, talking about kingdoms, giving things to the father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light for he rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son
and whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God. This idea of kingdom, especially in the new Testament is referenced nearly a hundred times. One of the things that I enjoy about considering the thought of God’s kingdom was we just look at scripture as it relates to us this morning, okay?
It’s that God’s rule and God’s authority and God’s kingdom is really what gives us perspective. Eternity has a way of teaching us what is really important, what matters. Thinking about your life belonging beyond this world rather to Christ. Knowing one day you will see your King face to face, the accountability, the relationship, what it means to live life in light of what Christ has done for us. Considering this kingdom gives us the opportunity to put life into perspective as to really what matters and what’s worth living. For.
Last week. I just introduced this to this thought of dinner on me, chapter seven where it answered this question. Um, God, why did you choose Israel? Is it because they were special? Was it because they loved you more than anyone else? What? What was it about Israel? And God gives the answer in Deuteronomy seven in verse seven he said this, the Lord did not send his love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples. For you are the fewest of all peoples because the Lord loves you and kept the oath which he swore to your forefathers. The Lord brought you out by mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, okay.
Israel, God and choosing Israel. He picks the least of all people. In fact, he chose, he chose the people that were in slavery, Israel for us as a representation of all of the human race as it relates to what Romans five just said to us in a position where we can’t redeem ourselves in a position where we can’t save ourselves. One who has now come to to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness. It said in Colossians one and bring us into the kingdom of light. In fact, in John 10 10 Jesus said, the reason I came, I came, he says this, the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy kingdom of darkness. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly Jesus. In John chapter three in verse three you’re probably familiar with the passage of scripture from John three 16 he sharing with nicotine is this idea of salvation rescuing Jesus, but this is the way he begins his answer to nicotine is, and Jesus said to him, truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
God in creating this for, for his kingdom promises, redemption in his kingdom, and that redemption is given ultimately through to us, through Christ, which is why he goes in the verse 16 and says, for God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. And he goes on from there and says, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, and so what Jesus is declaring this passage isn’t that though there is the kingdom of darkness represented in the idea of Satan. Jesus provides opportunity of rescuing him. Yeah, idea of being made new. Born again. There’s a thought. Theologians say that through Christ, the kingdom of God has been inaugurated. Matthew chapter four in verse 17 Jesus is pronouncement after, after his temptation in the wilderness, he comes out declaring the kingdom of God is a hand, and John 18 in verse 36 and referencing his kingdom, Oh Jesus, Jesus declares to us that the beginning of his kingdom, the inauguration of his kingdom, happens not physically, but it began within us spiritually.
Now, listen to this. Jesus said, my kingdom is not of this world. If my Cayman were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now is my kingdom not from here. This is why Paul said in Galatians chapter two in verse 20 I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, it’s not I who live, but Christ lives within me. Jesus is making all things new and this kingdom as is inaugurating on this earth begins within us. We looked at this last week as it related to us being priests in Christ. We become the temple of God because of what Jesus has done. Jesus dwells within us. In fact, in Colassians one 27 it says, God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you hope of glory. The kingdom inaugurated in Jesus.
Okay. Promise from Genesis chapter three verse 15 yeah, but the Bible also continues to promise us that the kingdom has not been completely consummated. Jesus, in Luke 1911 he, he says, the people, they thought that the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Yeah, but he taught us to pray this way. In Luke chapter 11 in verse two when you pray, say father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come in. Luke 22 when he’s partaking of communion, he says this, the disciples, for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. He’ll drink it new with us.
In fact, as we saw together, Romans five shows this thought of darkness belonging to the kingdom of corruption, which is Satan’s representation of God of this world. God in Romans chapter five giving us his grace and mercy in Christ. It goes on and says in Romans eight recognizing that God began his work in us spiritually, that he will ultimately fulfill his work physically in this world. When he makes everything new, it tells us from the rep representation of sin that’s come all over the world. Since Genesis chapter three because of the fall of Adam and Eve, it says this in Romans eight verse 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption to the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. Not only this, but also we ourselves having the first fruits of the spirit. Now even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption, the son, the redemption of our body, the work that God has began will become, become consummated. This is the past is that continues on. It goes on and says later for us that God works all things together for good to those that love Christ, we are called according to his purpose. It’s sang in this world. When we look at suffering, when we look at the physical curse of things that rest upon us to those who love God are called according to this purpose and none of it, none of it will be in vain at the authority of Christ is so big that he will declare his authority above all of it or two things I’ve often heard those who criticized Christianity, they’ll, they’ll say this if from an atheistic worldview, they’ll often say that their God is one of two things, but he can’t be both.
He’s either good or not all powerful. He’s all powerful and he is not good. And the reasoning for saying that is this, if God is good, he cannot all powerful because a good God wouldn’t allow suffering to exist. Or they’ll say this, God is all powerful, but he cannot be good. Because if he was, if he was all powerful and good, he would not allow suffering to exist. He cannot be both but, but what the idea fails to see is that God is so great that even beyond the suffering of this world, he can in his authority, culminate all of it under his headship and know no suffering will be in vain. Of course, we say this often at church, but the ultimate example of that is the cross of Christ, their most horrendous event in all of history. God uses it for redemption, becomes the song of the church and revelation chapter seven verse nine before the throne of the lamb, everyone declaring from tribes tongues, language, nations worthy are you old lamb, nothing in vain.
God’s authority declared in all of it and those are the first fruits of the spirit. We eagerly for the redemption of the body. It’s what Jesus says in revelation chapter 21 in verse five he who sits on the throne said, behold, I am making all things. Yeah, I love is you just think revelation chapter 21 verse five in comparison to Genesis chapter three in verse 15 okay,
Jesus establishes everything intentionally, purposefully, beautifully in him. Creation becomes corrupted in sin, mankind experiences death both physically and spiritually from God, which means we are separated from him and God pursues mankind for re relationship. The point that he becomes flesh, Emmanuel, God with us dies on the cross for our sins. It becomes our redemption song. God takes the most horrific event in all of human history, makes it our Anthem of decoration and victory. What Christ has done, both spiritually and physically in this world and at the very end of scripture in revelation 29 is if everything meets its culmination, Jesus saying to us, behold, I am making all things new. It’s a beautiful picture. You know, sometimes when we think about what God desires to accomplish salvation in Jesus, our minds tend to think future, right? I can’t wait till I get to heaven one day.
What’s important to recognize that though we have a glorious hope in front of us, there is no reason to fear because of the hope that awaits us in Christ Jesus. The future that is before us. It does not mean that God’s activity has not ceased from what we’re experiencing in him right now. When we get so fixated in what God says about salvation in the future, we forget that a exists in these moments, and so what does it mean that the kingdom, what? What does that mean for us today as people as it relates to Christ Jesus, when he shared his parables throughout scripture, I think Matthew 13 is one of the most famous sections of, of his parables. Jesus relates the idea of of his kingdom continually throughout the parables and he calls it a mustard seed at one point that it just spreads and the sowing of seed, it just spreads throughout this world that the salvation which Christ brings for us and the redemption in Jesus, it’s, it’s still moving in the lives of people around us. What does the kingdom mean for us today? In answering that question, I really feel like I could turn to any chapter of the Bible and just say, okay, let me explain this, but just for, for fun and for enjoyment and scripture, I really want to highlight two passages of scripture that that, um, are often misinterpreted and are. I want us to see how scripture communicates it for us today. Acts chapter seven, one of the passages that told you to look at this this morning.
Acts chapter seven is just a reminder of the a position or I shouldn’t say just a reminder, it is a reminder of the position of Christ as it relates to his team in this current world that we are existing in. And what is saying to us right now is Jesus is the problem to our problems.
Acts chapter seven, this is the first stoning of Christians. This is where persecution began and persecution has continued even to this day. The first person persecuted and martyred is Steven. He declares this message in acts chapter seven, the Jews become angry. Steve, uh, Paul is a part of this group. They get angry at and they pick up stones to stone him and, and Rob him of his life. At the end of acts chapter seven, it gives this declaration of what Steven sees as he is about to be stoned to death. And it says now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and they began gnashing their teeth at him. I don’t, I don’t know what that looks like. It’s like a zombie apocalypse here. They’re gnashing their teeth at him, but being full of the Holy spirit, he gaze intently into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, behold, I see the heavens open up. And the son of man standing at the right hand of God, but they cried out with a loud voice and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. And when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him and they witness and the witnesses laid aside the ropes at the feet of a young man named Saul, who is Paul. And they went out stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
A couple of reasons, a L want to just highlight on this passage, one is because next week we’re going to talk about the, and this passage is often used as a gross misrepresentation of what the Trinity is. Um, if for any reason I just want to talk about the Trinity to get rid of heresy, um, people often think about the Trinity when I, when people ask me about the Trinity, they start with this false assumption of what they think the Trinity is, which is modalism. If you want to look that up, you can, I’ll explain it next week. But, and they come to passages like this, they can understand it because they assume Christians believe in modalism and we don’t. Um, and this passage is often used in that way. The other reason I wanna highlight this passage is because it relates to the kingdom.
It’s recognizing for us where Jesus is right now. So you think about acts as the book of acts unfolds. Luke writes the gospel of Luke. Then Luke writes the book of acts. The book of acts carries the move of the Holy spirit and the people of God to accomplish his will in this world. It’s the expansion of of the church. It’s how God goes from Jerusalem and his people to JIA, to the uttermost parts of the world. It is. It’s Paul’s missionary journeys. Explain as it expands beyond the borders of Israel and acts chapter seven the church experiences conflict, right?
When you experience adversity in life, one of the most comforting things to those who put things into perspective as it relates to God’s kingdom is to simply ask yourself, where is Jesus right now? Does he care? It’s God concern over me, Stephen, as he is about to be stoned, gives us the picture of uh, of heaven in these moments. Remember, Jesus was crucified. Jesus was resurrected. Acts chapter one, he ascends into heaven now extra chapter seven. It’s reminding us of where he is. Here’s before the throne in heaven, standing at the right hand of the father when it talks about standing at the right hand of the father. One of the things that I just want to highlight as it relates to just heretical thought in this passage, I want us to recognize in these verses, it never says that Steven sees the physical body of the father, okay?
In fact, Christianity does not teach God. The father has a physical body that is heretical to Christianity. But in verse 55 what it does say as that Steven sees the glory of God. Remember Moses, when he saw the burning Bush, he sees this Bush radiating God’s glory from this and God speaking to him through the radiation of this Bush, this, this glory of glorious fire. Nowhere in scripture does it say God has a physical body. In fact, in first Timothy chapter six it says, no man has seen God at any time, but, but the scripture tells us that Jesus Christ, he has explained him. That’s why Jesus said he has seen me, has seen the father. He is the physical representation of the father who is spiritual.
And, and uh, John chapter four in verse 24 tells us God is spirit. Luke chapter 23 in verse 39 tells us, spirit has no flesh and blood, but Jesus became flesh, right? So it says in verse 55, that, uh, the, the Holy spirit, uh, being full of the Holy spirit, Stephen Gazan to have, he sees the glory of the father and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. So what does this phrase right-hand mean? And people take this literal and think that God, the father is standing here and Jesus is literally physically standing next to the physical presence of the right hand of the father. And that’s not what this passage is saying. The right hand is a position of favor. Have you ever heard the phrase, he’s my right hand man in our culture, right?
Well, what does it mean? Or if this person moves away or something happens and it’s like losing my ride arm, right? So it’s saying to us the significance of that person in your life. And so when Stephen looks in the heaven, he’s wondering, Jesus, where are you Jesus? Do you care? Jesus? Do you even have the ability to help me in this circumstance when he gave them having what he sees by his side is the approval of Jesus. Now having ascended into heaven, he’s sitting at the right hand of the father. It’s saying that Jesus, his sacrifice was sufficient. Jesus, his sacrifice is accepted. Jesus has ruling and reigning over his kingdom. Jesus is at the right hand of the father, which is the place of position of approval. It’s not acknowledging any physical presence of the father. What it’s doing for us in this passage is giving you comfort here in the now of what Jesus is doing as we are living out our lives in this world. Yes, we think about heaven in the future and seeing God face to face, but what this passage is saying is that God, his presence is with his people wherever you go.
This is why people like Steven at the face of death have nothing to fear because God is in control. Jesus is the problem to your problem. Nothing will ever be in vain. All of creation groans, but God in his authority has the ability to work all things together for good to those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Matthew 16, then is an important declaration for all of us.
I’m going to start in verse 19, but we’re going to look at the context around it and just chapter 16 verse not 19 Jesus tells his disciples this, I’ll give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth, shout B have been loosed in heaven.
Jesus given us the keys to his kingdom. It’s like the Porsche to dad’s garage. And what does that mean? Jesus is giving us the keys to his kingdom. Uh, again, this is a passage of scripture where people just make things up right here. Um, this is where we really can get lost in the clouds of what it means to be a part of God’s kingdom.
What specifically does Jesus mean in this passage of scripture? I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth to be loose in heaven. This is especially important for us this morning because in the context of this, this is in relationship to the church. I mean, if you think about what, what just happened in this passage of scripture in verse 15, Jesus said to them, talking about his apostles or his disciples, who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter answered, you are the Christ and the son of the living God.
Jesus said to him, blessed are you Simon Barjona because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you. But my father who is in heaven, I also say to you that you are Peter. And upon this rock I will build my church and look, the Gates of Hades will not overpower. Keep in mind, um, typically when you put a gate up, the reason you put a gate up is because you want to keep people out. And what you often do with that gate, she lock it, right?
And so he says, I say to you, you are Peter upon this rock. I will build my church and the Gates of Hades will not overpower. The idea of keys represents power. Authority, right? If you have, you see some maybe celebration in the city and someone gives someone the keys to the city. It’s not a real key. It doesn’t even unlock anything, but it’s the keys to the city and it’s a symbol of what they represents to the people there and it’s a symbol of power authority. When Jesus is handing over the keys, it’s this. It’s the symbol of power and authority being recognized.
Yeah, and so then in light of that saying, upon this rock, I will build my church, recognize what the, what this rock is in this passage of scripture. When, when?
When Jesus is saying I will build my church and the Gates of hell will not prevail against it. That the rock and which she’s building on as a professional, which Peter just made in light of who Jesus is, verse 15 who do you say that I am? You are a Christ, the son of the living God. Blessed are you Simon. And I say to you, you are Peter, which is a small rock, but upon the greater rock, which is Christ the cornerstone, I will build my church and the Gates of hell will not overpower it.
We looked at this last week, but we talked about in first Peter chapter two Peter refers to all of us as living stones being built up in the temple of God and Jesus himself who was the cornerstone. I think Peter is referencing that in his epistle to what Jesus declared to him in Matthew 16 that we are being built up in Christ who is the chief cornerstone. Our foundation laid upon him. We ourselves are the temple of God in community because of what Jesus has done, our foundation rest in Jesus, his authority, he is our King and because of the authority of Christ, because of our position in him, it gives us this promise that the Gates of hell will not prevail against us. Meaning that gate that’s built as a fortress to lock and to keep us from breaking it down, we now possess the key to overpower the spiritual forces. What are the keys? The key to the kingdom is very simple.
It’s the gospel and the gospel is what sets people free. Romans five is the kingdom of darkness. Clawson’s one verse 12 to 15 told us we’ve been rescued from the kingdom of darkness into the glorious kingdom of his life.
All right, where it’s the domain of darkness, the rule of darkness and to the kingdom of life. We talk about the Gates of hell. It is a fortress and the church being given the authority of the keys gets to bust down those Gates and busting down those Gates. The thing that we see set free captives, those rescued from the kingdom of darkness or the domain of darkness into the kingdom lie. We talk about the keys of the kingdom. It’s not, it’s not religious things we make up. It’s very simply found the profession that Peter gave on who Jesus is. I am a little rock because of the great rock. We are being built up into living stones in Christ and I think about heaven as this future place in which I will see God, but his kingdom is even ruling and reigning right now as Jesus is honest throne. By the way, when you see Jesus on his throne within eternity, when you read the new Testament, you see Jesus really portrayed in two ways. Either he’s sitting on the throne or he’s standing on the throne or standing before the throne. And what it’s saying to us if he’s sitting on a throne is that as accomplished work that Jesus has made in our behalf is standing before the throne. It’s a work that Jesus is continuing to do on our behalf. When you look at Stephen staring into eternity and staring into the, uh, the, the glory of God, seeing Jesus stand at the right hand of the father and Jesus standing up to receive him, it’s the act of work of Christ still pulling his believers, his followers with him into his kingdom of life.
And as we think about Jesus still ruling and reigning in his authority, it’s saying to us that the work of his kingdom still continues today as we proclaim the gospel with sets captives free.
Listen to these two verses and we’ll think of put them on the screen, but in these verses in John chapter three in verse three I’ve already read this to you. This is what Jesus said to Nicodemus. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Jesus later, contrast this to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 in verse 13 listen to what he says to the Pharisees, who are, who are the religious leaders that everyone would have idolized at the time? But he said this, woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces for you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Well, Jesus is acknowledging to the Pharisees is that their denial of the gospel.
That is the key, the kingdom. You think of it this way. John chapter 14 verse six Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father, but by what me. Jesus is the key. Jesus in his position, Emmanuel ruling above us has become in the likeness of man dying on the cross by his authority, triumphing over sin, death, and the gray to give us the keys to the King. What does this mean for us today? Puts things into perspective. It gives us a hope that transcends all pain and suffering in this world, knowing that none of it has to be in vain before a God who loves us dearly. Romans 1417 says this, for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, not physical listen, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy spirit.
Okay. For he who is in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down on the work of God for the sake of food. It’s saying, the kingdom of God is at work within us spiritually, setting captives free, ultimately be combinated for us physically in the consummation of what Christ would bring. But listen, here’s, here’s the biggest problem other than to find in scriptures relates to us and, and, and, and action of the kingdom today in first John chapter four in verse four it says this, as it relates to our relationship in Jesus, you are from God, little children and have overcome them because greater is he who is in you and he who was in the world.
Yes, Satan may be referred to as God of this world, the Prince of the power of the hair, but his days are numbered. Jesus is declared as authority and that kingdom is at work within you and God has given you something more precious than the keys to your father’s Ferrari in the garage. He’s given you the keys to set captives free, but the power of his gospel and the beauty of it all. In the midst of this world, as we live for this kingdom, we see a King who in these moments is ruling and reigning over his church, cheering us on to stand for him with a hope that transcends beyond this world so that no matter what happens, we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, and you were from God, little children, and I’ve overcome greater is he who is in you than he who is in this world.