Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 6, 2018

“So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 18:18-20.

“Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven;  and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.  For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”  Matthew 18:18-20.

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This Scripture reminds us of the following Matthew 16:17-19, especially verse 19.

“17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church;  and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.  19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven;  and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:17-19.

Some misuse Matthew 16:17-19 to try to reserve powers for only the Apostle Peter or his successor.

Although we do honor the Apostles and prophets and our fathers in the faith, we should not so reserve powers for them nor improperly exalt them.  Today’s Scripture helps us realize that these powers apply to common believers by Matthew 18:18’s use of almost identical language to Matthew 16:19.  And, if some would argue that Jesus is again only talking to Peter, we do notice that the very next verse starts with “Then Peter came and said to Him …” indicating that Peter was not there when Jesus said these words and to clarify that Peter was not being specifically singled out as the only one who had these powers.

Likewise, we consider the following Scriptures which show that in Christ, all believers possess all these blessings.

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”  Ephesians 2:19-22.

“What then is Apollos?  And what is Paul?  Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.”  1 Corinthians 3:5-7.

“Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.  For who regards you as superior?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  1 Corinthians 4:6-7.

“So then let no one boast in men.  For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas (Peter) or the world or life or death or things present or things to come;  all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ;  and Christ belongs to God.”  1 Corinthians 3:21-23.


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