17 Then Jesus answered him, “Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, favored by God] are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood (mortal man) did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18 And I say to you that you are [a]Peter, and on this [b]rock I will build My church; and the [c]gates of Hades (death) will not overpower it [by preventing the resurrection of the Christ].
Matthew 16:18Gr petra, bedrock or a huge rock. Jesus uses a simple play on the Greek words petros and petra in this verse. Throughout the N.T. Christ is clearly depicted as both the foundation petra and chief cornerstone of the church. Here He praises Peter for his accurate confession of faith in Him as Messiah. Peter explains the role of believers as “living stones” in the church which is built on Christ as the foundation and cornerstone (1 Pet 2:5, 6).
Matthew 16:18The physical death of Christ will not hinder the establishment of the church nor will death overtake the church.
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