The Key Power of Gospel Preaching

Date: AM
Text: Matthew 16; Lord's Day 31
Psalters: 421, 329, 182, 172
  1. The idea of the key.
    1. Jesus uses a figure of speech:  a walled city or house with gates which are locked and unlocked by keys.
    2. The reality is the presence of two opposed kingdoms.
      1. The church is “of heaven” and it exists in the spiritual kingdom of Satan which hates it (enmity) (Gen. 3:15; John 17:14).
      2. The spiritual keys are the authority and power to determine what shall have a place within the walls of the church.
    3. Jesus is the Head of the church, its King and the Door (John 10:9) and He holds the keys (Isa. 22:22; Rev. 1:18; 3:7,8).
      1. Only He knows who are the citizens of the kingdom: given to Him in election and the ones for whom He died.
      2. Christ exercises the keys through the instrumentality of the Apostles and the elders (Matt. 18:18; John 20:23; Heb. 13:17).
  2. The key of the faithful preaching of the pure doctrines of the gospel.
    1. The primary task of the elders is to watch over the spiritual well-being of the souls of the congregation.
      1. They are to feed the flock with the Word (Acts 20:28), and they are to send the preacher (Rom. 10; Acts 13:1-3).
      2. The keys exercise a spiritual (not a physical) power by simply and clearly pronouncing what the Bible teaches.
    2. Preaching is the authoritative proclamation of the truth of God’s Word.
      1. The power of this key is the Spirit’s use of the preaching of the pure doctrines of the gospel to open and shut His kingdom.
      2. God begins, continues, and perfects His work of grace by means of the preaching of the gospel (Canons V - 14).
      3. Christ makes known to all who hear that the door of the kingdom is open to all who believe and shut to those who do not.
    3. In this world the church must be as a fortress.