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From Heaven With Love

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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 saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, ... a sure foundation.” Isaiah 28:16. Peter himself applies this prophecy to Jesus: “For you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. Come to Him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:3-5, RSV. “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11. “Upon this rock,” said Jesus, “I will build My church.” Christ founded His church on the living Rock—Himself, His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built on this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail.HLv 278.4

    How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom the power of demons and men would be directed, yet they were not to fear; they could not be overthrown.HLv 279.1

    Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the church's faith, and Jesus now honored him as the representative of the body of believers. “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”HLv 279.2

    “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 to shut heaven. The work of those who preach God's Word is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death.HLv 279.3

    The Saviour 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 should not find them so often contending as to who should be the greatest. They would have honored the one chosen. Instead of appointing one to be their head, Christ said, “Be not ye called Rabbi.” “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.” Matthew 23:8, 10.HLv 279.4

    “The head of every man is Christ.” God, who put all things under the Saviour's feet, “gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth 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 man or be controlled by man. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what other men shall believe and do. The Saviour declares, “All ye are brethren.” Matthew 23:8. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance. The Rock of faith is the living presence of Christ in the church. Those who think themselves the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make Christ their efficiency. See Jeremiah 17:5; Psalm 2:12.HLv 279.5

    Jesus charged the disciples to tell no man that He was the Christ. The people, and even the disciples, had so false a conception of the Messiah that a public announcement would give them no true idea of His character or work.HLv 280.1

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