He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:15-19 KJV)
As Jesus and his disciples were going to Jerusalem, leading up to his crucifixion, he asked them who others were saying he was. Then he asked them who THEY said he was. Peter’s answer starts this quotation.
Many want to look for more significance to Peter but great as he became we learned from St. John Chrysostom that the use of the play on the word “rock” was referring to the foundation of the testimony that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the Living God”.
Beyond that, Jesus also declared that once he built His Church on that “Rock” the gates of Hades (powers of Death) would not prevail against it.
I must then propose to all who read this that IF:
We believe this to be Holy Scripture
Jesus IS God
He established the Church on the foundation of the Apostles’ Testimony
If the Church for an instant in time EVER fell into Apostasy
If the Church EVER needed to be RESTORED or REFORMED
Jesus did not tell the truth and the Holy Spirit did not preserve the Church.
All that said, Jesus could not lie, it is impossible for God to lie. The Holy Spirit could NOT be powerless to preserve the Church, another impossibility, the Holy Spirit is God also and is the creator.
I must contend, therefore, that anyone who would claim that the Church needed reformation, or those from the “Restoration Movement” of the 19th & 20th centuries in America cannot be following the same God that the Bible describes. They may have good intentions but must examine their base premise. I find it necessary to examine this. I searched for the New Testament Church for years. I thought I had found it several times only to come to the realization that I was in religious groups that were “Based on the New Testament” but NOT the New Testament Church. The Church that was formed on the day of Pentecost in 33A.D. The Church that wrote and collected the New Testament Scriptures. I see a difference.