Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 2:6-8
Text: 1 Peter 2:6-8
Title: Christ the Rock
Date/Place: LSCC, 7/17/05, AM
A. Opening illustration: Joseph Smith—a prophet to some, and great deceiver to others. Martin Luther—a great theologian and reformer to some, and a heretic to others. Mohammed—a prophet to 1.2 billion people, and a murdering pedophile to others.
B. Background to passage: Peter in his letter to suffering Christians about how they should live in such a time as this, instructed them about the foundations of life. He gave us a lesson in practical Christology. He goes back to quote the OT three times. He didn’t talk about the hypostatic union, nor the inter-Trinitarian relationships, but about the effects of Christ on men. There was two purposes of his line of thought: 1) to remind the believers of the greatest of all treasures and 2) to remind them that unbelievers would act like unbelievers.
C. Main thought: Christ is at the same time the object of greatest worth and the greatest offense.
A. A precious treasure to believers (v. 6-7)
1. Peter asserts that believers will not be ashamed or disappointed in Christ, because He is the chief cornerstone. Quoting Isa 28:16, Peter discusses the sure foundation that God has laid in Christ. God, Himself, speaks of His estimation of Christ’s value here. “A stone, the chief cornerstone, precious in My sight.” The word used means “unequalled in value, irreplaceable or extremely costly.” God views Christ as the most valuable thing in existence. Cornerstones in that day were of the utmost value. It was the stone that held together the building, that gave alignment to every other stone, that set the standard for other stones, and that determined whether or not a building would stand. It was invaluable to have a cornerstone that was properly cut and placed.
3. Illustration: A painter of landscape scenes always kept in front of him on his easel a number of precious stones-emerald, sapphire, and ruby. Asked why, he replied, "To help me keep my colors true. In course of time, without some constant reference, my eye might lose its perception of color tones, and the colors I choose may not be right, may not be what they once were." The Pantheon at Rome stands just as it did well over two thousand years ago. This would be impossible had not its foundations been right. The Rialto Bridge that spans the Grand Canal in Venice was erected in A.D. 1588. It has stood as it now stands for over four centuries, but that bridge rests on twelve thousand piles driven deeply into the soil, the segment on the today show about the woman who was so bold to state that you should love your husband more than your kids, the words to I would rather have Jesus,
4. 1) We can be assured that Christ will never fail us, never mess up, never forsake us, never give up, give in, or give out. We never have to apologize for Jesus, forgive Jesus, nor make excuses for Jesus. Christ was and is perfectly cut and perfectly placed. 2) Because God values Christ as precious, so should we. Because God treasures Christ, so should we! This is the reason that God can be passionate about His own glory, because in giving Himself away and making His name great, He is giving the most valuable thing ever to us. Is Christ your treasure? Is He the most valuable thing to you? Is He more important than your kids, than your job, than your spouse, than your ___________? Do you seek Him more than these? Do you love Him more than these? 3) Christ is the foundation on which our lives are built upon. If we stand, we stand in Christ! If in Christ, we shall never ultimately fall. 4) Christ is the alignment factor in our lives. We should measure anything we do and say against Him, not each other. He is determinative toward our priorities, toward our values, toward our votes, toward our goals, toward our thoughts, actions, and words. 5) Without this cornerstone our lives are out of alignment, out of balance, and of no positive eternal value. If as a Christian, you treasure other things more than Him, you are bound for misery, depression, and a sub-par Christian existence. You will be buried with guilt from not treasuring Him. You will have a difficult time listening to or being led by the Spirit, because of the other things clouding your life. Joy and peace will be stifled as well, because you are looking for it in other things.
B. A deadly obstacle to unbelievers (v. 7-8)
1. Peter speaks now as an eyewitness to the rejection that Jesus experienced when He was on earth. He explains that to unbelievers, those disobedient to the gospel and to the word, Christ is a great offense. Quoting again from the OT (Ps 118:22 and Isa 8:14), He says that Christ is a stone upon which people stumble over, and also the rock upon which they fall upon and then are crushed by. This second word meaning a large ledge that juts up out of the ground. Peter says they “rejected” Him; a word meaning to examine and deem unworthy of an office. They rebel or stumble over Him because they are actively opposed to Him and His Word. They have moral issues in their lives that cause them to be offended by any who would impose a moral standard. An interesting phrase is found here-“as they were destined to do.” It is the inescapable conclusion that God has in some way ordained (past tense) unbelief (present tense) to accomplish His purposes. This does not mean that He is securing their permanent unbelief and damnation, but that He causes and uses their unbelief for a greater good. Rejection of Christ is the supreme example.