Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven
Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Keys (introduction)
Locate in Scripture: Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-27
As Jesus was walking with His disciples He asked them a question, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13). They replied with what they had been hearing others say, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (vs. 14). Then Jesus stopped and asked them a question that every one of us must face sooner or later...
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” (vs. 15).
Jesus wasn’t interested in crowd speculation; He came as much for the individual as for the world so His first concern was that of the heart. He wanted the disciples to know and recognize Him for who He was. Peter, true to form, stepped up to confess that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Holy One of Israel and the One the world was waiting for and in need of (vs. 16). And Jesus called him blessed for it!
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:17-19).
In Jesus’ Response We Learn Important Truths.
First, the Father always reveals who Jesus is to us so that we will recognize Him.
Secondly, this realization and its confession ushers us into the Church of God, whose strong and sure foundation is Jesus Christ.
Next, we win! Jesus conquered death and hell and in the same way we are called to overcome!
Lastly, Jesus has given us the keys of the kingdom, so we will know how to operate in this realm.
As soon as Peter recognized and confessed that Jesus was the Christ, Jesus vowed to tell him plainly how the Kingdom of God works. The keys He gives are conventions; kingdom principles in which believers can and should operate. Jesus Himself confirmed this when He said, “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). The Amplified Bible gives clarity to this statement, “whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven” (vs. 19 AMP).
As believers we exist in the midst of two kingdoms, the earthly kingdom and God’s kingdom. This is why Jesus prayed earlier in Matthew, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). While we see and experience the physical world, we are not limited to it because we were translated to the kingdom of the Son the moment we believed (Colossians 1:13). As believers we operate out of the heavenly kingdom which is why Jesus told the disciples that from then on, He would explain how the kingdom works. He promised to give them keys or principles so they could do greater works than He did (John 14:12). This applies to us as well.
As believers, we have the authority to bring into the physical realm the Kingdom of God. If injustice is bound in heaven, then we can bind it on earth. If peace is loosed in heaven then we can experience it here in the physical. However, to experience and operate in these principles as they exist in heaven we must first know what they are and practice them. I believe Jesus spent a lot of time teaching on these and it is our job to know, recognize and work them.
Peter said, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (II Peter 1:3-4). We have very great and precious promises that are unlocked by simply knowing and operating in them. This is a powerful and amazing truth, which is why Jesus needed to know where the disciples stood concerning who He was first. Once we come into that revelation, we are ushered into His Kingdom, playing by His rules and given the keys to it!
Kingdom keys Will Be the Focus of this New Blog Topic
I will be writing on these principles, applying them to my own life and sharing some applications. Please join me as we walk through the scriptures in a new and exciting way!