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Pastor's Corner - September 2017

posted Aug 31, 2017, 11:12 AM by Linda Dickinson   [ updated Aug 31, 2017, 11:12 AM ]

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last Sunday I spoke about the important question that Jesus asked His disciples at Caesarea Philippi, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  (see Matthew 16:13-20)

Our answer to this question is incredibly important.  How we answer it not only has bearing for our lives today, but also for all of eternity. There were those that saw Jesus as a great teacher, others saw Him as an amazing healer and miracle worker, still others said Jesus was a prophet, or was He certainly a wise philosopher, or even a radical revolutionary?

So when Simon Peter is inspired by the Holy Spirit and declares, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” the glorious truth is revealed and it becomes apparent that the disciples are actually beginning to see and to understand who Jesus really is. As I shared on Sunday, Jesus was just six months away from going to the cross. Time was short. These men were the ones who would carry on with the proclamation of the Gospel when Jesus’ earthly ministry was completed.

I find tremendous encouragement when Jesus says to these dear men, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (Hell) will not overcome it.” The original Greek word for “overcome” can actually be translated “to be strong against.” Our Lord is saying here that the gates of Hell will NOT be strong enough to hold back the Christian church. No matter how hard the evil one tries to attack and destroy the Body of Christ, he will not succeed. Sure the attacks will be fierce and the battle long, but we know the end of the story: our God wins! We serve the Risen Savior, the Victorious Christ!

Jesus never promised that life would be easy.  But He did promise to always be with us and that the gates of Hell will not overcome us. The devil will try to keep us from doing the work of the Kingdom in this generation. However, God’s Word also declares, “Greater is He (Jesus) who is in us, than he (Satan) who is in this world.”  (1 John 4:4) It is our honor and privilege to be Christ followers in this land and at this time.

We all have challenges to face each day. It may be an outright attack from Satan or it may be health or family issues.  Nevertheless, we must not despair or give up. While we still have breath we must wholeheartedly seek to be diligent in our service to our friend and master, Jesus.

What would you say if Jesus personally asked you, “Who do you say that I am?” How will your answer impact today?

Eternally grateful,

Pastor Fred