Matthew 16:13-18

Talks for Growing Christians

Peter’s Confession of Faith and the Lord Announces that He Will Build His Church

Matthew 16:13-18

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Lesson Number 42

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Church was not built on Peter.
  2. The Church began at Pentecost.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t fear the gates of Hades.


  1. Who did people think that Jesus was?
  2. What did people’s opinions of the Lord tell about His character?
  3. What is the rock on which the Church is built?
  4. Was Peter’s name the same as the “rock” in verse 18?
  5. What is significant about Christ’s statement, “I will build My church” ?
  6. Why did God wait until this time to reveal His plan for the Church?
  7. Why is the Church called a “mystery” in the New Testament?


  1. Some thought He was John the Baptist, some Elijah, others thought Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.
  2. Saying that Jesus was any of these men spoke highly of His character. All of these men were respected among the Jews. But we know these suggestions fell sadly short of His true identity.
  3. The rock is Christ, and the truth about Him.
  4. No, Peter’s name in Greek was Petros, meaning a stone. The Greek word for rock is petra, a large stone or cliff (see Matthew 7:24-25 and 1 Corinthians 10:4). As a stone, Peter is part of the Church, which is built upon Christ, the bedrock.
  5. This is the first mention of the Church in the Bible. It is not even predicted in Old Testament prophecies.
  6. The Church was not revealed until the nation of Israel rejected the Messiah and His offer of the kingdom.
  7. In the Bible, a mystery is a truth concealed in the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament (see Ephesians 3:9-10).


  1. In Jesus’ day many people thought highly of Him, comparing Him to several respected prophets. But their estimation of Him was sadly short of His true identity, as Israel’s Messiah. The same is true today. Many people are willing to admit that Jesus was a good man and a great prophet, but they are not willing to accept His claims to be the Son of God. They are not willing to trust Him as their only hope of salvation. What is your opinion of Jesus? Are you recognizing Him as the Savior He is, or are you thinking of Him only as a good man?
  2. Discuss the logical argument that if Jesus was not more than a good man, He was not even a good man. Refer to His claims to deity in John 8:58 and 10:30.


  1. As part of the Church we are called “living stones. See 1 Peter 2:5. Thank the Lord that you are being built upon the foundation, Christ. We can stand secure because we are built on a firm foundation!

Key Verses

  • “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16
  • “I will build My church.” Matthew 16:18

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