Another aspect of the Gospel that we should study is its legal aspect, that is, its value in the face of the forces of darkness. Referring to the text of Matthew 16, where Jesus declares to Peter the value of his words before the forces of evil, the following question arises, Why before the message of the Gospel does darkness have to flee?
18 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. 19 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 16:18-19
The ” rock ” on which the Lord builds His church is the declaration of faith in Jesus confessed by those who recognize Him as Lord and Christ (Messiah). Take time to review carefully the dialogue between Jesus and His disciples, and you will see that the prophetic confirmation Peter received was due to the response he presented to Jesus:
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16
So the ” rock ” is the spoken word that confesses that Jesus is Lord, Christ (Messiah) and God Himself, in whom Alone is found the way to the recovery of the image and likeness committed by Adam in the garden; this ” spoken word ” is constituted in virtue of the faith of the one who speaks it in the message of the Gospel, as we read in the account presented by the writer of the book of Acts of the Apostles:
Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. Acts 10:32
who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. Acts 11:14
The message of the Gospel is not a formula, the Gospel is a message believed, confessed as a declaration of the recognition of the Lordship of Jesus, and spoken in response to the testimony that it is necessary to announce what we have seen and heard concerning the Word of life (1st. John 1:1-3). Do you see it now?
Now that we have understood this, let us ask the original question again, and let us answer it: Why does darkness have to flee before the message of the Gospel? The answer is simple and forceful: because the Gospel has a legal value that gives authority over the forces of darkness to the one who speaks it, that is, to the one who speaks the Gospel.
Yes, the Gospel has a legal value, and it is not a value per se, that is, by the mere fact that it comes from heaven; a message spoken by one who is not subject to the Lordship of Christ is an anathema message, as we read in Galatians 1:8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed; such a message is subject to perdition, according to the very teaching of Jesus:
21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven…. 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23
Not all the apostles spoke on this subject; the apostle Paul presented it in one of his teachings in the epistle to the Romans:
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Romans 6:16
The legality of the Gospel consists in the right and authority that is acquired through Revelation, is what we read in Matthew 16 in Jesus’ own words:
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. Matthew 16:17
The Gospel is not knowledge, it is Revelation; only those who “understand” the Revelation of the Lordship of Christ, and submit to it, are the only ones who can establish the legality of the Kingdom, that is what the apostle Paul refers to when he writes:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
And later when he also points,
for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17
The forces of darkness recognize the men and women to whom the Gospel gives authority, not all have such authority; the contrast is clearly marked in the following text:
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:28-30
Why after Paul’s departure? Why didn’t the wolves come out during his presence? Paul had acquired the authority to establish the legality of the Kingdom, the Revelation of the Gospel had given it to him.
Many can preach, but not all can establish legality, they are not assisted by the authority of Revelation.
The biblical quotations are taken from the Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
Pastor Pedro Montoya
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