Archive for November, 2013

Matthew 16:19 – Part 2 – HOW TO UNLOCK THE DOORS TO UNLIMITED RESOURCES

Key to Truth (Photo and image by Ross Cochrane using Paint.net and PhotoForge) Key in bottom corner - Cross = Love

Key to Truth (Photo and image by Ross Cochrane using Paint.net and PhotoForge) Key in bottom corner – Cross = Love

The morning looks sleepily into the mirror, wipes away the mist so the boats on the other side of the Bay are vaguely visible, stretches it’s shadowy arms across the beach and offers me a cup of coffee as I prepare to face the day. Holidays. Glorious holidays! Bateman’s Bay and an apartment on the beach. Beautiful.

They looked so insignificant when we received them from the owner, but her keys supplied us with the authority of her house and to the view from the full length windows leading onto the beach, of beautiful rock features nearby stretching out into the water; the resources of heavens bounty.

Matthew 16:19 (NLT) says “And I will give you (Peter) the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” 

Jesus, owner of heaven and earth, speaks of the Keys of the Kingdom. Keys to open doors of faith? Yes. But there is a wider vista. “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 KJV). Jesus said “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old” (Matthew 13:51-52 NLT).

2. KEYS TO OPEN UP TRUTH

Jesus gives Peter the authority of a homeowner with a storeroom full of treasures. Only an entrusted servant can hold the keys to a house bearing the treasures of God’s purposes on earth. What an incredible honour to be entrusted with such keys. It is a sign of authority to bring “new gems of truth as well as old” from the room of His riches.

Peter was the first man who had the insight of heaven concerning the New Covenant, a new gem of truth. Jesus said “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because My Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being” (Matthew 16:17 NLT).

The keys committed to Peter are not the keys of earth, but the keys of heaven. Peter demonstrates that new treasures of truth from the storeroom of God’s kingdom can be shared. Peter is to transcribe heaven’s perspective on earth; the legacy of love, to reveal it’s gems to us. He is used by God to unlock the doors through inspired teachings, some of which are included in the New Testament. Peter becomes a scribe instructed by the authority of heaven.

When we declare the purposes of God and live according to God’s truth, we are also bearers of the keys. The Spirit of Truth enables our decisions on earth to correspond with the decisions of heaven. “Whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19 NLT). Our discernment of good and evil is no longer based on law but on relationship with Jesus, the Messiah, Son of the Living God. He gives us a moral compass and standard for living which cuts across all other standards. When God’s Word declares it, it is no longer in dispute.

The invitation is to find God’s truth and live it out, to help others understand God’s purposes, to interpret His will in everyday living, to allow God to be our counsellor, our teacher, to be loosed by a law of love to serve God, not bound by our culture or whatever is most popular. 

We have authority through our relationship with Christ to be loosed from any captivity of our past, or slavery of our wills in the present, or any despotic imposition that would cause our hearts and minds to miss the mark in the future. 

The invitation is to trust in Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Once and for all the key slides into the deadbolt across the corrugations of metal and is turned. Can you hear the soft click of metal as it aligns itself with perfect precision? Can you feel the bolt slide smoothly until the door is released? The storeroom of truth is opened to those who accept the keys. 

They look so insignificant when we receive them from the owner, but His keys supply us with the authority of His house and to the view from the full length windows leading into His purposes, and the magnificent expanses of His truth available to us from His Word; the resources of heavens bounty. 

Pastor Ross

Matthew 16:19 – Part 1 – HOW TO UN-IMMOBILIZE THE IGNITION OF YOUR FAITH 

Key of Life - Image Created by Ross Cochrane

Key of Life – Image Created by Ross Cochrane

Such a small and frustrating device! How can my day be determined by something so insignificant? Yet when it has no life, I am stranded! I discovered this yesterday, and also that the shop over the road does not stock the tiny battery that would give power to UN-isolate the ignition of my car and get me to work on time.

The idea is that this device I am holding, by isolating the ignition, will protect my car from being stolen. No-one has stolen my car so far, so it must work. But not even my key can start my own car when this immobilizing monster holds me to ransom!

Theoretically, in my hands I have the power I need to engage the engine, but of course, theoretical power won’t start my car any more than a flat battery will – not today – not ever! The authority of my keys are useless without a battery tinier than my little fingernail. Mustard seed batteries.

In Matthew 16:19 Jesus has a set of KEYS and He says He will hand them over to Peter. Jesus has all the power of God at His disposal to give the bearer of these keys the authority of highest heaven to unlock and lock, open or close, bind or loose, forbid or permit heaven’s power to change earth.

Matthew 16:19 (NLT) says “And I will give you (Peter) the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” 

What is Jesus talking about here when He speaks of the Keys of the Kingdom? Why would He give them to Peter? Acts 2:14-41 partly answers these questions.

1. KEYS TO OPEN THE DOORS OF FAITH

Peter opens “the door of faith” at Pentecost and the life of eternity rushes through the veins of the Church. Shocking, shameless freedom surges like a tidal flow into its soul. For a while it is left drowning in the wake only to come up from the depths with a sudden intake of breath and every fibre of its being responding with surprise and delight. The Church is born.

Keys of the kingdom of Heaven, activated by the power of the Spirit, give us the opportunity to respond in faith to Christ and what He has done for us. In this way Peter opens the gates of heaven to 3000 people on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41). 

The key slides into the deadbolt across the corrugations of metal and is turned. I can hear the soft click of metal as it aligns itself with perfect precision and feel the bolt slide smoothly until the door is released. These gates, says Warren Wiersbe, “have been opened to those who believe ever since.” 

The doors of heaven are unlocked! Correspondingly, the gates of hell have not been able to withstand the onslaught of God’s kingdom advancing and setting prisoners free. Those who are condemned already can now be pardoned. Escape from hell and entrance to heaven doesn’t occur at the pearly gates when I die, but at faith’s gates when I believe in Christ.

I had been BOUND in my sin, battery flat and no authority or power to do anything about it. Condemned! When I trusted in Christ I was LOOSED from my sin and ran through the open door toward freedom in Him. What incredible opportunities and possibilities have been unlocked in my life by the power and authority of these keys! 

There is nothing like an open door to stir your curiosity as to what adventures may lie beyond it’s threshold. Before you stands such a door. 

Pastor Ross

TRIBUTE OF REMEMBRANCE – Words and Music by Ross Cochrane and based on the Last Post.