- Psalm 44
- Psalm 124
- Ezekiel 40:1–4—41:1–12
- Romans 8:18–39
- Large Catechism, III, 85–98
Today we celebrate the festival of The Confession of St. Peter. In response to Christ’s challenge: “But who do you say that I am?”, Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This — Peter’s confession — is the rock upon which the Church is built. As Christ makes clear, it is not “flesh and blood [that] [reveals]” this truth, but “[the] Father Who is in Heaven”.
Here in Matthew, and elsewhere in the NT, Christ makes clear that He gives the Keys to the entire Church, not to Peter alone, and with the Keys the power to bind and to loose: “whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” As the Smalcald Articles state:
The Keys are an office and power given by Christ to the Church for binding and loosing sin. This applies not only to gross and well-known sins, but also the subtle, hidden sins that are known only to God. As it is written, “Who can discern his errors?” (Psalm 19:12).
It is truly this confession of Peter — that Christ is the Son of the living God — upon which the Church is founded, with Christ as cornerstone.