16:19 keys of the kingdom. This metaphor specifies how the apostles are foundational to the church; they have been given binding and loosing powers, or “keys,” which lock and unlock doors. The apostles open the kingdom to those who share Peter’s confession and exclude those who will not receive their testimony to Christ (10:14, 15). Through them Jesus reveals His own word of kingdom authority. The apostolic foundation of the church is laid in the written Word of God, the Scriptures, which are now the keys of Christ’s authority in the church (Eph. 2:20; 3:5) through the power of the Spirit (18:18). See “Church Discipline and Excommunication” at Matt. 18:15.