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Humble Hero

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    Christ Is the Rock

    Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel’s salvation. See Deuteronomy 32:4. The psalmist had sung of “the rock of my strength.” Psalm 62:7. Isaiah had written, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, ... a sure foundation.’” Isaiah 28:16. Peter himself applies this prophecy to Jesus: “You have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:3-5. “No other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11. “On this rock,” said Jesus, “I will build My church.” Christ founded His church on the living Rock—Himself, His own body, broken and bruised for us. The gates of hell will not prevail against the church built on this foundation.HH 190.7

    How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers. Demons and men would direct their power against them, yet they were not to fear. They could not be overthrown.HH 191.1

    Peter had expressed the truth that is the foundation of the church’s faith, and Jesus now honored him as the representative of the body of believers. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”HH 191.2

    “The keys of the kingdom of heaven” are the words of Christ. All the words of Holy Scripture are His. These words have power to open and shut heaven. The work of those who preach God’s Word is an aroma of life unto life or of death unto death. 2 Corinthians 2:16.HH 191.3

    The Savior did not commit the work of the gospel to Peter individually. Later, repeating the words spoken to Peter, He applied them to the church and also to the Twelve as representatives of the body of believers. If Jesus had delegated any special authority to one disciple above the others, we would not find them arguing so often over who would be the greatest. They would have honored the one Jesus chose. Instead of appointing one of them to be their head, Christ said, “Do not be called ‘Rabbi.’” “And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.” Matthew 23:8, 10.HH 191.4

    “The head of every man is Christ.” God, who put all things under the Savior’s feet, “gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22, 23. The church is built on Christ as its Foundation. It is not to depend on any person or be controlled by human wisdom or power. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what others must believe and do. The Savior declares, “You are all brethren.” Matthew 23:8. We cannot depend on any finite being for guidance. The Rock of faith is the living presence of Christ in the church. Those who think that they are the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make Christ their Source of power. See Jeremiah 17:5; Psalm 2:12.HH 191.5

    Jesus instructed the disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ. The people, and even the disciples, had such a false concept of the Messiah that a public announcement would give them no true idea of His character or work.HH 191.6

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