WHO is JESUS?
At some point in our life, we have to make a decision about Jesus. We must either accept Him or reject Him. It seems that when that time comes, for those who believe, God uncovers the mystery and shines a light on the truth so that we will accept Jesus.
- God reveals to our receptive hearts that Jesus is the Living Savior.
The AUTHORITY of the KEYS
Once you have discovered that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, your eyes will also be opened to see the battle between good and evil. You will no longer be under the illusion of darkness, but you will see that there are heavenly powers and hellish influences. Jesus symbolically gives believers a key to teach us two important truths about authority:
- God-given authority is greater than demonic influence.
- God-given authority is granted when we align our plans with heaven.
- I will use my God-given authority to: ____________________.
Study and Discussion Questions
1. Imagine that someone in your group was a skeptic who stated that Jesus was a good, moral teacher, but that was it. Choose someone to play that role (as a nonbeliever), and work through the logic that Jesus was a lunatic, liar, legend, or the lord of the universe. Use this time to sharpen your apologetic skills so that when this actually happens, you will be ready.
2. Read about the “keys of death and hades” in Revelation 1:18. This means that the risen Christ has control and complete authority over death (cf. John 10:17-18). How are all of these passages connected? If Jesus holds the keys, and He gives those keys to Peter and the rest of His followers (Matthew 16:19), then how should we use these keys?
3. Why was Peter’s use of the word “living” so significant when he declared Jesus to be the Christ, the son of the living God? Discuss the significance between a dead god and a living God. Do you know of anyone who places their faith in a dead god?
4. According to Matthew 16:17, when someone finally grasps that Jesus is the Savior, the Father “reveals” that truth to them. Discuss how important it is to pray for nonbelievers and the power in asking questions (just like Jesus asked).
Applying the Word to Life
5. What does the principle of “binding” (forbid) and “loosing” (allow) mean in your personal life (Matthew 16:19)? Do you believe that God has given you the authority to carry out His plan? Is there some thing you need to forbid in your life this week? Are you internally fighting against something you need to allow to happen this week?