"You are the CHRIST, the SON of The LIVING GOD" The Confession that is Good for our S

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
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    "You are the CHRIST, the SON of The LIVING GOD"
    The Confession that is Good for our Souls
    Christologia Review (7th article)
    The starting point - and the sticking point - of Owen's "Christologia" is Matthew 16:16:


    "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."


    But don't forget the rest of the passage:

    "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

    This short confession of Peter's, Owen points out, "
    comprises eminently the whole truth concerning the person and office of Christ". He was the Son of Man, but He was also at the same time, in His unchanging nature, "the eternal Son of the living God" and, in His office, the Christ. God sent and anointed Him to save the church, being for their sake Prophet, Priest and King.

    Peter's confession should be our confession. In fact, the same foundational confessions occur elsewhere, like in Romans 10:9 and 1st John 4:2-3:

    "If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved"

    "Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit who confesses not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God."


    This foundational confession concerning Christ is more important than is generally recognized, especially today. All the divine truths in Scripture are linked together and founded on Christ's person and work. God will not "work around" those who do not confess Christ as He really is, or who will not acknowledge His work. And, Owen writes, these things "are virtually comprised in this confession".

    This passage is then very important to our faith. It stands to reason, also, that it would be the focal point of much demonic adversity and carnal resistance.

    This passage has been the cause of much misunderstanding and bad teaching. It has also been the refuge for bad theology.

    The Roman Catholic Baronius is an example of this. He (in common with most Catholics today) insists that this whole incident gives Scriptural mandate for the calling of church councils, in order to determine spiritual truth, and for the elevation of Peter (as the first of the Popes). But Baronius, and those many who follow his thinking, miss the point: How could this be the example of a council, and of a supposed "vicar of Christ" - when Christ Himself is still present with them? Owen writes,

    "[T]
    hat he should also have a substitute while he was present, is somewhat uncouth; and whilst they live, they shall never make the pope president where Christ is present."

    The whole purpose for Christ's asking Peter and the others who they thought he was was, not to ascertain the truth (as councils do) but to delve into the hearts of His disciples, to disclose their God-given faith.


    Besides the particular error of the Roman Catholics on this passage, there is a more general, but no less fatal, mistake that many make concerning Bible truth in general; and that is to so strongly hold onto certain misconceptions so as not to allow the light of the Word enter in.Owen warns:

    "The dangers of men's souls
    lies not in an inability to attain a comprehension of longer or more subtle [difficult?] confessions of faith, but in embracing things contrary to, or inconsistent with this foundation [of Christ]. Whatever it be whereby men cease to hold the Head, how small soever it seem, that alone is pernicious: Col. 2:18- 19."


    Beware of Blockers
    Many hold beliefs that act as enzyme-blockers to the Truth. They hold certain notions about Christ - and thus about salvation - that take the power right out of this confession! A confession that should come out of their - and our - own lips!

    So much for confessions negatively considered. On the positive side Owen draws our attention to two necessary aspects of Peter's confession:
    1. The faith of the one confessing,
    2. The nature of the faith being verbally confessed.

    Both are gifts of God, indications of His gracious working. The second, of course, is the necessary testimony to the world of what would otherwise be a private faith.

    Owen continues to give Peter's confession, and Christ's response, the right significance. The rock upon which the church is built is not Peter, nor his confession, but Christ Himself. Although there would arise from the misuse of this passage a pernicious and powerful tree the original intent of Christ is that the Church will always - must always - be built upon Christ, "living stones" upon the "Rock".

    And the abusers of this passage? But their rock is not as our rock, themselves being judges;
    Psalm 115:8.

    Owen here points primarily to the Roman Catholic Church as the mishandlers of this promise, but I am wondering if he is being more specific in his application than is warranted. I believe, rather, that the primary application, and the implied warning that Christ gives in the context, is none other than the Jews of that generation, the very ones He elsewhere forewarned. It was upon this generation that all the sins and apostasies of previous generation would be inexorably revisited, Matt. 23:35.

    (The rest follows below)
     
  2. asterisktom

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    The article was just a tad too long. Here is the rest.


    This is the seventh in my series on John Owen's theological mine of riches, Christologia. Over these last few years I keep coming back to Owen, though I have come to disagree with some of his beliefs. Here is a man who clearly loved God's Word. His study is always suggestive of further studies. He is like the faithful scribe of the Kingdom who "
    brings out of his treasure things new and old", Matt. 13:52. In that sense he is much more of a devotional writer than the many today who are gilded with that name.

    My first six Christologia articles are on the Preface; this one is on chapter one. All articles can be found here:
    http://asterisktom.xanga.com/tags/christologia

    At some point I want to finish these up, but no promises for now. I have too many other unfinished writing projects.

    Written 2007, substantially updated Mar. 5, 2011.
     
  3. revmwc

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    Christ said upon that Faith, Peters faith He would build His church. It is the foundation of our salvation.
     
  4. asterisktom

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    I guess the church tottered when Peter denied his Lord three times. And now that Peter is with his Lord he has no need of faith; so there goes the church's foundation!

    No, I respectfully disagree.
     
  5. revmwc

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    The same Faith Peter professed we profess and that is what the foundation of the church is.

    Hebrews 1: 1Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    The foundation repentence and Faith, the same Faith Peter had.

    Luke 22: 31And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
    32But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

    Peter's desire to follow Jesus failed him, but He faith in Christ as saviour never wavered. When he had been tested and found wanting, he repented and God forgave, his Faith in Christ was what Christ built upon and notice after his failyre he was to strenthen his brothers in Christ. That faith is what the church depends on to grow.
     
  6. asterisktom

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    "For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid down, which is Jesus Christ." 1Corinthians 3:11

    "24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock." Matt. 7:24-25

    "4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

    “ Behold, I lay in Zion
    A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
    And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

    7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient" - 1 Peter 2:4-7a


    “ The stone which the builders rejected
    Has become the chief cornerstone,”
     
    #6 asterisktom, Jun 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2011
  7. revmwc

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    Faith in Christ is the foudation we depend for our salvation, not the church and not Peter. The faith of the Prophets and Apostles and you even supplied one that makes it real clear from Peter himself "Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious" that is faith and that foundation in Jesus Christ is based on our Faith in Him.
     
  8. asterisktom

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    Which would be a better foundation: faith in Christ or the Christ of our faith?

    They aren't the same thing.
     
  9. revmwc

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    He becomes our Foundation when we put Faith in Him correct? Until Faith is placed in Him He cannot be our foundtaion.
     
  10. asterisktom

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    I agree with that.
     
  11. revmwc

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    That is how I see Peter faith in Christ building the Church upon it.
     

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