Matthew 16:13ff "And coming into the parts of Caesarea of Philip, Jesus questioned
His disciples, saying, Whom do men say Me the Son of man to be? And they said,
Some say John the Baptist, and others Elijah, and others Jeremiah, or one of the
prophets. He says to them, But you, who do you say Me to be? And answering, Simon
Peter said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And answering, Jesus said to
him, Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you,
but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you, that you an Peter, and on this rock I
will build my church: and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give
to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall
have been bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall have been
hosed in heaven."
Who do people say Jesus is today? In his day, they thought he might be the reincarnation of
one of the prophets, from John the Immerser to Jeremiah. But, the question Jesus wanted to
know, was who his disciples thought he was. The question is not who do others say Jesus is.
The question is who do I say he is. Who do say he is? Is he the Christ (the essiah), the Son of
the living God? Some say that Jesus was a liar and dangerous false prophet and teacher.
Some say Jesus was a good man, but deluded into thinking he was something that he was
not. Some say Jesus was a good moral teacher, but nothing more. Some say that he was a
prophet, but no more than any other prophet. Some say he was a manifestation of God,
among many manifestations of God throughout history. Some say he is the Messiah, the
only-begotten Son of God.
Peter, who seemed to always speak up, answered the question when Jesus asked his
disciples who they thought he was. His answer that Jesus was the Christ (Greek for "the
anointed one" -the equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah), the son of the living God.
Jesus commended Peter for his answer, stating that this was the rock, the foundation, that the
church would be built upon. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is
Jesus Christ" (i Corinthians 3:11).
This fact was not the matter of human investigation, but of the revelation of God. (see also I
Corinthians 1:17-2:16). Faith is not based upon the investigation of man, but upon the
revelation of God through his word, the gospel. "So then faith comes by bearing, and hearing
by the word of God? (Romans 10:17). For what we know concerning Jesus we are indebted to
the Bible, and to God. "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God... " (2 Timothy }:i6). "God,
who at different times and in diverse modes spoke to the fathers by the prophets in past time,
has in these last days spoken to us by bis Son,... which at the first began to be spoken by the
Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who beard him; God also bearing witness, both with
signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to bis
own will" (Hebrews 1:1,2 & 2:3,4)
If we do not believe, it is because we do not believe the witness of God.
The word delivered by the disciples and apostles is that which was received from heaven. It is
a word that will endure. It is the eternal word of God. They did not originate the word, and then
heaven okayed it. They delivered it because heaven revealed it.
John20:24ff "But Thomas, one of the twelve, the one called Twin, was not with them when
Jesus came. Then the other disciples said to him, We have seen the Lord. But he said to
them, If not I see the mark of the nails in His bands, and thrust my finger into the mark of the
nails, and thrust my band into His side, not at all will I believe. And after eight days, His
disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. The doors having been locked,
Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said, Peace to you! Then He said to Thomas, Bring
your finger here and see My bands, and bring your band and thrust into My side, and become
not unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered, and said to Him, My Lord and my God!
Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, you believed. Blessed are the ones
not seeing and believing. Then truly Jesus did many other miracles in the face of His
disciples, which are not written in this book. But these have been written that you may believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."
The evidence of Jesus' resurrection was overwhelming to Thomas. The witness of those who
saw the resurrected Christ is overwhelming. Thomas declared in seeing the resurrected
Christ, "My Lord and my God!" In hearing the witness of those who saw him, do you say "My
Lord and my God!"? Jesus was the divine Word that was in the beginning with God (see John
1:1-16). The things which are written in the Gospels are written that we may believe. Do you
John ll:25-26 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though be may die, be
shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Jesus proclaimed that he was the resurrection and the life. Jesus proclaimed that those who
believe in m would have everlasting life. Do you believe this?
2 Thessalonians 3:2 "and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men. For all do not
have me faith."
Do not deceive yourself, not all men believed in the first century. Not all men believe in the 2ist
century. Do no l allow the fact that men of intellect according to the world may not believe. Men
of intellect in this world believed the world was flat. Majority opinion does not determine what
is right, truth does.
1 Timothy l:5ff "But the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart and a good
conscience, and faith not pretended, from which having mused the mark, some turned aside
to empty talking, wishing to be teachers of law, neither understanding what they say, nor about
that which they confidently affirm."
The commandment of God is for a faith which is not faked. It is not a put-on. The problem is,
some who are teaching do not understand faith. Some are faking it. They really don't know
what they are talking about.
2 Timothy 1:5 "taking recollection of the unintended faith in you, which first dwelt in your
grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am assured that it is also in you."
Faith can be taught by grandmothers and mothers. Faith can be passed from one
generation to another.
1 John 5:4ff "Because everything having been generated of God overcomes the world, and
this is the victory overcoming the world, our faith. Who is the one overcoming the world except
the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?...If we receive the witness of men, the
witness of God is greater; because this is the witness of God which he has witnessed about
bis Son: the one believing into the Son of God has the witness in himself. The one not
believing God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God
has witnessed concerning His Son. The one having the Son has life. The one not having the
Son of God does not have life. I wrote these things to you, the ones believing in the name of
we Son of God, that you may know that you have everlasting lift, and that you may believe in the
name of the Son of God....Andwe know that the Son of God has come, and He has given to us
an understanding that we may know the true One, and we are in the true One, in His Son
Jesus Christ. This is the true God and the life everlasting."
Faith gives the Christian victory over the world. It is belief that Jesus is the Son of God. This
faith and belief is based upon the witness of God, through inspiration of the holy word. If we do
not accept the witness, the testimony of the scriptures, we are calling God a liar. If we believe
the word of God, believe God is telling the truth - believe in the name of the Son of God - we
know that we have everlasting life. We know that Jesus came to this earth, was the Son of
God, revealed to us the Father. We know that we are in Christ and in God.
2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith, test yourselves. Or do
you not yourselves perceive that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are reprobates?"
There is a need to make sure that we are in the faith, and in Jesus Christ. If we are not, we are
discarded by God. Do you have faith? Are you in Jesus Christ?
Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you an saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift
of God; not of works, that not anyone should boast;''
The grace of God saves us. Faith is the means the grace of God saves us. God gives us faith
throw his testimony, through his word. It is only through the revelation of God that we have
faith; it is not by our own examination and efforts.
Hebrews 10:38ff "But the just shall live by faith; and if he draws back, my soul is not pleased
in him. But we are not of those withdrawing to destruction, but of faith to the preservation of the
soul. Now faith is the substance of things having been hoped, the evidence of things not
having been seen. For by this tire elders obtained witness. By faith we understand the ages to
have them framed by the word of God, so that the things seen should not come into being out
of things that appear....But -without faith it is impossible to please God. For it is right that the
one drawing near to God should believe that He is, and that He becomes a nwarder to ones
seeking Him out."
Faith guides us in our lives. Faith causes us to continue in our service and obedience to God
through Jesus Christ. Faith preserves and saves our soul. Faith believes the promises of God
so that although it is hope, it is as though it is reality. Faith believes the promises of God so
that although we do not yet see it fulfillment, it is as though it is before our eyes. Faith is how
the characters of the Old Testament pleased God. It is by faith we know that "in the beginning
God treated the heavens and the earth." So, if a man does not have faith, it is impossible for
him to please God. It is impossible to please God if a man does not believe that He exists,
and that He will reward those who seek Him. Do you believe God exists? Do you believe He
will reward those who seek Him?