Gospel of the Week – August 21st

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Most Important Confession a Christian Can Make

In the Gospel lesson for this week, we read about Jesus and the disciples in the northern part of Galilee.  This is the furthest north that Christ goes and from now on will travel southward to Jerusalem, the cross, and the salvation of all mankind.  It’s fitting that as Jesus makes the turn for home we get a powerful and wonderful confession by Peter about Jesus.  It is the confession that all Christians must make, by the working on the Holy Spirit in our hearts, as we receive forgiveness of sins and life eternal in Him:

“YOU ARE THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD!”

In those words are all of the meaning and affirmation from the three Creeds, from the Confession and Absolution, from the preaching of the pastor in the pulpit, from the waters of Baptism, and from the Lord’s Supper.  Because in all of those things we see and receive the Christ, our Lord Jesus, who in the Son of the Living God.  Not the god of stone in a temple, or the god of gold in the idol, or the god of images in a book.  He is the Living God, who created all things, who walked among us and lived with us 2,000 years ago, who lives today in our hearts working through the Word and Sacraments.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Living Trinity.

Jesus confirms this confession.  He calls it, this confession of the Christ, the Rock of the Church.  And He builds the Christian Church upon that confession.  For without Christ, there is no Christian Church.  The gates of hell, the evil one, and even death will not overcome this confession.  For anyone who hears this Word and confesses it in faith by the power of the Holy Spirit will not have hell prevail against them.  May it be our confession!

Solus Christus +

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