I love prepositions! Sounds silly, I know. (Especially when you discover I wasn’t a big fan of English class while in school.) But think about the power of a preposition:
- If I say, “I was IN my house.” You immediately have a mental image of that even if you’ve never been to my house. Just imagine a stick figure with a roof over it’s head.
- But if I say, “I was ON my house.” Did your mental image change? Definitely!
Arthur S. Way was a classical scholar who lived during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He is noted for saying, “The whole Gospel is tied up in the prepositions.” He goes on to explain: “The English language was not constructed for a preposition to carry the kind of weight that the Gospel calls upon it to carry. Prepositions [such as in, through, and by], break down under the weight and almost go unnoticed.”
For example, the phrase “IN Christ” is one of the most powerful word combinations ever because it describes those who have put their faith in Christ. But because few have understood the importance of this, when the Bible is translated in other languages, translators have often left out the preposition “in” and therefore, unintentionally changed the whole meaning.
But recently, I discovered another PREPOSITION REVELATION that I hadn’t considered before. Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:18-19, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Jesus said He would give Peter (and the church) the keys “of” the kingdom. I think most people, including myself, have automatically thought He said He would give us the keys “to” the kingdom but this small use of a preposition changes the insinuated meaning.
Keys TO something indicate both ownership and a particular location. In other words, you might have keys to your car, meaning you have specific keys that open specific doors on a specific object.
But keys OF something indicate origin and possession.
What if you had the keys to the front door, only to find out once inside that every other door is locked? It would’ve been better to have the keys OF the house, not just the front door. Right? Now apply that to heaven. Do you only want the keys to get in, or the keys OF heaven which is unlimited?
And think about principle. When Jesus said He’d give us the keys of the kingdom, I believe He was also referring to the principles and secrets of heaven–or we could say, the revelation and understanding of God’s kingdom. Ha! This is so good! Jesus didn’t just give us a specific key (singular) that only opens a specific location– He gave us the KEYS OF the kingdom, meaning we have access to unlock mysteries and hidden things in the spirit.
In my curiosity, I looked up the phrase “keys to” in the King James Version (the best translation for research), and… nothing. But when I researched the phrase “keys of,” there were several hits, proving God has given us much, much more than we’ve realized.
There isn’t a door before you that you can’t unlock by faith!
So I challenge you today to meditate on the keys OF the kingdom you’ve been given IN Christ–and all the other prepositions you’ve been overlooking!