READ : Matthew 16:13-20
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. (v. 18)
The church of Jesus Christ is built on the rock of Peter’s confession, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” What makes the church the church is not our sociological or psychological needs, but our mysterious congealing in the person and work of Jesus, “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” The church is nothing if it isn’t rooted in the truth about Jesus.
The mission of the church is caught in the words of Jesus, “The gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” Gates are defensive structures designed to keep intruders out and residents in. If the gates of Hades cannot prevail against the church, who is on the offense and who is playing defense? It is the church that has taken the offensive against the power of evil and is, in the good confession of Peter, storming the gates of the kingdom of darkness.
Who was it that said that the church is the only organization in the world that exists for those who are not its members? All those who believe this are already assaulting the “gates of Hades.”
Give us the courage, Living God, to follow you fearlessly into the world! Amen.