The Keys of the Kingdom
Topic: Creeds and Confessions Passage: Matthew 16:13–16:20
Keys are more than just tools to lock and unlock doors, or to start car engines. They are often symbols of authority and responsibity, as well. For example, not every member of a church's congregation has the key to the front door of the church building, or to the pastor's office; only a select few members are given these keys, and the responsibilty to keep them safe and to use them properly.
There are keys to the Kingdom of God, as well; they are the preaching of the Gospel, and Christian discipline. Jesus gave these keys to his apostles, and to the church, along with the authority and responsibility to use them. The preaching of the Gospel opens the gates to the Kingdom of God, so that all those who hear and believe may go in. Christian discipline, on the other hand, bars unbelievers and hypocrites--those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, but who prove by their actions that they are anything but--from the Kingdom of God unless and until they repent and believe.
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