Summary: These are times that try men’s souls and God needs His children to be witnesses

I Peter 4-11

The climate of our culture is becoming increasingly more secular

All you need to do is turn on CNN

It’s not just in the United States it is all over the world

Dafar , Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Russia, Venezuela, and on and on the list goes.

There is hate everywhere; there are those who would inflict pain upon us simply because they don’t like us

Now come back to the United States

To be a Christian is increasingly unpopular and for some it is simply a social network

But the time is coming and its probably now that people are going to look for something or someone who will give them hope

And as historic as this moment is His name is not Barack Obama

Yes we should celebrate this moment, but our worship should not be misplaced

It belongs to a King, not a president

It is still true that there is salvation in no other name but the name of Jesus who is the Christ

Ours is a culture where Christianity is one of many options

The book of I Peter is written in Babylon (modern day Iraq) to the diaspora, the scattered believers who were being persecuted by Nero vv.11

It is actually a letter of encouragement to those who are suffering for righteousness

The tone of 1 Peter is a warm pastoral one full of encouragement.

The exhortations are addressed to Christians who are scattered over a wide area.

They share a common faith with Christians everywhere and face common problems.

Their basic problem is to live for God in the midst of a society ignorant of the true God.

Because they are Christians they are misunderstood and subjected to cruel treatment.

Peter’s pastoral purpose is to help these early believers see their temporary sufferings in the full light of the coming eternal glory.

In the midst of all their discouragements the sovereign God will keep them and enable them by faith to have joy.

Jesus Christ by his patient suffering and glorious future destiny has given them the pattern to follow and also a living hope.

Life in a pagan society is difficult and requires humility and submission.

The Reality of our Relationship with God

Verse 4 presupposes a relationship with God

So he says in vv.4 as you come to Him, but it also implies they come to Him

Two groups come but leave with very different results

a. One group comes to the Living Stone

They analyze Him & reject Him and discard Him

The idea is putting something to the test

The word “disallowed” is the translation of a word that refers to the act of putting someone or something to the test for the purpose of putting one’s approval upon that person and thus receiving him, this act of testing being carried to the point where no further testing is needed, with the result that one comes to the settled conclusion that the one tested does not meet the requirements of the test and is therefore disapproved, repudiated.

1. Men test and reject Jesus

This Living Stone in the Person of God the Son became incarnate, lived for thirty-three years in the midst of Israel, offered Himself as its Messiah, was examined by official Israel for the purpose of approving Him as its Messiah, and then repudiated because He was not what official Israel wanted in a Messiah.

What a commentary on the totally depraved condition of man’s heart.

But their rejection of Him does not change Gods opinion or the facts

He is chosen of God and considered precious vv.4

The rejected stone is the capstone/cornerstone

He had in mind eastern architecture (explain)

This stone rejected becomes a stumbling block to those who reject it

They stumble and fall because of their disobedience

b. The other group comes to Him and discovers the benefit of embracing Him

So he says as you! come to Him

This is not a onetime event it is a perpetual coming

It speaks to a deliberate habitual coming

It speaks to an intimate relationship

As you keep coming to Him-the living stone

2. You become living stones

In the Old Testament they had a temple

In the new testament we are the temple

In the Old Testament they built with dead stones(inanimate objects)

In the New Testament –built with living stones

The priests were limited to the linage of Aaron

But now we are all priest

**Qumran community considered themselves living temples

The problem was the claim was just that, it was at best just a claim

The key ingredient the corner stone was missing

But you are a living stone because Christ is now you life

***The text says that we are chosen to be a Holy priesthood

This could not have happened in the Old Testament

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