Page images

What did Jesus say, in approval of it? “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona.” What is the meaning of “ Bar-Jona? The Son of Jona. Wherein did the blessedness of Simon consist ? In his spiritual views of the person and offices of the Redeemer. How is it, that right views of the person and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ make a person blessed ? By producing love to the Saviour, and likeness to him. Did our Lord say by what means Peter had attained this blessed knowledge of his person and offices ? Yes; “ for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven." What is the meaning of, “ Alesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee" ? That Peter had not acquired his spiritual views of Christ from human teaching. How, then, were they obtained ? They were revealed to him. What is it to reveal ? See xi. 25. What are the truths here spoken of, as being revealed, or shown to the mind? The character of Christ, and the way of salvation by him. Who is the Revealer of these truths, or who shows them to the mind? The Spirit of truth.* And from whom does the Spirit of truth proceed? From the Father.t Is it possible for us to arrive at the true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, without an inward revelation of him by the Spirit of God? No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. I But do not many persons acknow

1 Cor. ii. 10.

+ John xv. 26.

II Cor. xii. 3.

ledge Jesus to be “the Christ,” and “the Son of the living God,” who, yet, have not the Holy Spirit's teaching ? They may acknowledge him with their lips; but not with faith and love. Ought we not to have great searchings of heart, lest, when our profession of religion is laid in the balances, it should be found wanting? Yes; and if we would judge

ourselves, we should not be condemned.* 18 What reply did our Lord make to that part of Peter's profession,“ Thou art the Christ” ? “ I

say also unto thee, That thou art Peter.What is the meaning of Peter ? See iv. 18. Does the word signify a foundation stone ? No; a stone in the building. Did our Lord refer at all to the foundation? Yes; pointing to himself, he said, “ But upon this rock I will build

church.” Is there any difference between a stone and a rock? Yes. What is a rock ? A vast mass of stone. Would a stone be a sufficient foundation for a building ? No; it would neither be large enough, nor secure enough. What is the best foundation for a large substantial edifice? A rock. What is referred to in the text, under the figure of a large building, or temple? The Church of God. What is the Church of God? The whole body of believers. On what foundation is this Church built ? On the rock, Christ Jesus. Is not the Church built on Peter? No. How can you prove that from the Scriptures? It is written, Other foundation can no


* 1 Cor. xi. 31.

man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.* But, does not Paul, in his epistle to the Ephesians, say, that believers are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets ?Yes; but he means - upon the foundation which the apostles laid.I And what foundation did they lay? Jesus Christ, and him crucified. How did the apostles and prophets lay this foundation ? By their preaching. In what way did their preaching lay this foundation ? By showing, that there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be must be saved. § What must we build, upon that foundation ? All our hopes of pardon and acceptance with God.

Are the person, work, and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, a safe foundation for the church? Yes ; "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” What is meant by “the gates of hell” ? || Satan, and all his hellish legions. Has it always been the desire and aim of Satan to overthrow the Church of God? Yes; he has made many attempts to overthrow the Church of God. Can any such attempts prevail ? No; the Lord has said to his Church, No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.

* 1 Cor. iii. II. + Eph. ii. 20. II Cor. iii. 10.

Acts iv. 12. || In Eastern countries, the Gate is the seat of power, or authority, where justice was dispensed (Zech. viii. 16): hence the term Ottoman Porte, or Power.

Such as 1. Stirring up the Jews to kill Christ.

2. Raising persecutions.
3. Introducing heresies. And,
4. Diffusing infidel principles.

Why does our Saviour call the Church His Church? Because it is his, both by

purchase, t and by conquest. I 19. Did our Lord promise to put a signal honor upon

Peter? Yes. What was that honor? "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” What is a key? The instrument for opening a door.11 What was Peter to open with the keys that our Lord gave him? “The kingdom of heaven.” To whom was Peter to open that kingdom ? Both do Jews and Gentiles. How was be to open the kingdom of heaven to Jews and Gentiles? By unlocking, or explaining those doctrines, by the belief of which they were to be admitted into it. When did he open the kingdom of heaven to the Jews ? On the day of Pentecost. How did Peter open the kingdom of heaven, to the Jews, on the day of Pentecost? By preaching to them repentance, and the remission of sins. When Peter thus opened the kingdom of heaven to the Jews, how many went into it? About three thousand souls.** How did Peter open the kingdom of heaven to the Gentiles ? By preaching to, and bringing in the first Gentile Does not the giving of keys to any person imply the communication of power or authority to that person ? Yes.If Did our Lord, then, give to Peter the power or authority to open heaven to us, when we die, as the Roman Catholics believe? No: the keys of death and of the unseen world, are in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.* What then was the power promised to Peter under the symbol of keys ? That divine power, which made his ministry the instrument of conversion. Were the keys given to Peter only? No; the same power accompanied the preaching of the other apostles. Why, then, did our Lord say to Peter, personally, “ I will give thee the keys,” &c. ? Because Peter was to be the first who should preach the Gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. What further honor did our Lord promise to this Apostle ? “ Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Do the binding and loosing refer to persons, or to things ? To things. Were the expressions to bind and to loose very common among the Jews ? Yes. What did they understand by binding any thing? Forbidding it, or declaring it to be unlawful. And what did they mean by loosing any thing? Permitting it, or declaring it to be lawful. Did our Lord give to all his apostles this power to bind and to loose ? Yesot

* Isa. liv. 17.
+ Acts xx. 28.

1 Eph. iv. 8. “ I will give," i. e. after my resurrection. | Acts xiv. 27.;

Acts ji. 38.

*. 41. # Acts x. 34-48,

** Isaj. xxii, 22.

In what sense did they bind and loose ? By declaring what was truth and error, lawful and unlawful. What did our Lord say that he would do, in regard to what his apostles should bind or loose on earth? That he would bind or loose the

* Rev. i. 18.

+ Matt. xviii. 18.

« PreviousContinue »