In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asks Peter an incredibly important question. A question we should all ask ourselves. Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” And by God’s grace, Peter answers correctly. And then Jesus shares with him that the Church is an unstoppable force, granted great authority such that even the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
Jesus warns his disciples to watch out for the false teachings of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Their teachings directly opposed Jesus, his ministry and his mission, leading others astray. So too, we must watch and beware the cultural influences and direct opposition our culture poses to Jesus and his Word. If we are not careful, it is easy to be swept away into believing and acting in ways counter to God’s revealed Word.
Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and Sadducees who demand a sign from him in order that they might test him. Sadly, all to many Christians relate to God in a similar way. Demanding signs as a means of determining his will or trying to establish faith in Him. The only way one comes to faith in Christ is through the work of the Spirit enlightening darkened minds. Without this, the cross is folly.
The way we treat each other in the church should be informed and modeled after how God in Christ has loved and forgiven us. We are to walk in love with one another, forgiving each other, giving no room for the devil to divide us. One of the primary ways the devil brings harm to the church is through angry or evil speech. However, our speech should be wholesome, not self willed and useful for building others up.