* Matthew 16:15-19 (SLV) - "Jesus asked, 'Whom do you say that I am?' And Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus said, 'You are blessed Simon, son of Jonah: for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I say unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
[Notes: Peter [a masculine Greek proper noun, Πέτρος (Petros), meaning "a small rock or stone"] this rock [a feminine Greek noun, πέτρα (petra), "a large rock, cliff or ledge"] church [a feminine Greek noun, ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia), "the members of a sacred assembly, in context, a set-apart assembly belonging to Christ, which was yet to be built].
My understanding of this conversation is as follows: When Jesus asked His disciples Who they believed Him to be, Peter said that Jesus was the Son of God, the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. Peter's statement of faith in Jesus would be the foundation upon which Christ would build His Church. This can be seen by comparing Scripture with Scripture:
* Acts 16:31 - "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
* Romans 10:9 - "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
* 1 Corinthians 3:11 - "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
* Galatians 3:26 - "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
* Ephesian 2:20 - "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone...."
* 1 Peter 2:6 - "Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded."
* 1 John 5:13 - "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life...."
When the Lord told His disciples they would be witnesses in "in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth," He was saying they would proclaim His Gospel to the Jews, the Samaritans, and the Gentiles! Peter was the Apostle who, acting very much like the "bouncer/doorman of the Church," confirmed the Jews believed (Acts 2:14-47 - the birth of the Church); the Samaritans believed (Acts 8:14-17); and the Gentiles believed (Acts 10:9-48)! Peter, in that sense, was used of the Lord as the "keeper of the keys!"
Today, the Gospel message if offered to the whole world through the Word, the media, through missionaries, and through faithful believers, who living in obedience to their Lord, share the good news that has the power of God to save whosoever will believe (Rom. 1:16; 10:9-10)!