The Church's Foundation
Much misunderstanding has come from the statements that Jesus made to Peter after his confession as to who Jesus was. Jesus talked about this rock being the foundation that His church would be built on. He said that He would give Peter the keys to the kingdom of God, and that whatever he bound on earth, would be bound in heaven, and whatever he loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven.
But what we need to understand is that Jesus wasn't saying that Peter was the rock upon which He would build His church. If the church had been built on Peter, it certainly wouldn't have survived. A few verses later, Jesus was calling him "Satan". Peter would eventually deny even knowing Jesus.
Rather, Jesus would build His church on the confession of who He is. He was using a play on words, involving Peter's name. The name Peter comes from the Greek word for "rock". But the word for Peter is petros, which means little "rock", while the word Jesus used for "rock" when He said, "upon this rock I will build My church" is the word petra, which means "a great rock". Peter's confession was the great rock upon which the church would be built.
And the keys to the kingdom that Jesus referred to are not some kind of special place that Peter would have in letting people into heaven. The gospel is the key to the kingdom . The declaration of who Jesus is and what He did is what opens the door to heaven, allowing others to make that same declaration that will set them free.