(CP also Mk 8:27-29; Lu 9:18-20). The church is founded upon the great spiritual truth Peter confessed to Jesus in these passages that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. But Jesus Himself is the rock upon which He is building His church (CP Mt 7:24-25; Lu 6:47-48; Ac 4:10-12; Ro 9:33; 1Cor 3:11; Eph 5:23; 1Pe 2:68). Peter and the rest of the apostles played a foundational role in the building of the church, but Christ remains the rock upon which it is built (CP Eph 2:13-22). There is much teaching in Christendom that Peter is the rock upon which Christ is building the church because His name means rock, but that is not correct. Peter is from the Greek word Petros, which simply means a stone or fragment of rock that is easily moved, whereas the rock that Jesus said He will build His church upon is Petra, an immovable mass of rock which is used figuratively of Jesus Himself in both the Old and New Testaments (CP Ex 17:6; Psa 118:22; Isa 8;13-15; 28:16 with 1Cor 10:1-4 and Mt 7:24-25; Lu 6:48; Ro 9:33; 1Pe 2:7-8). Petra is the word Jesus used in Mt 16:18, not Petros. Jesus was referring to Himself as the rock upon which He will build His church, not Peter or Cephas, a stone or a fragment of rock that is easily moved, but Himself and the testimony concerning Him, which is an unchangeable, immovable testimony (CP Mt 16:18). Jesus' closing statement in V18 that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church means that all the powers of Satan and his hosts cannot overcome the church. The church is the company of the redeemed of God and as such has power over all the power of the devil (CP Lu 10:19; Jas 4:7).
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