Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: For a people who rely on the risen Christ, the Apostle Peter explains that this results in four spiritual privileges that believers enjoy today: 1) Security in Christ, 2) Affection for Christ, 3) Election by Christ, and 4) Dominion with Christ.

One marvel of architecture is the new standard of buildings. Architects have examined how stress put on buildings impacts the structure and stability. They have learned from past earthquakes and other events to design many modern buildings to withstand great stress. The design is no accident. The pieces perfectly fit together for maximum stability.

As Peter wrote the book of 1 Peter directly to the people in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey, they were a people under great stress and persecution, he wanted to instill within them hope, since God puts people together in a holy temple, perfectly fit to withstand all attacks, threats and stresses.

Perhaps you come here today under stress, with apparent chaos in your life and wonder how Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Christ makes any difference? How do events that happened two thousand years ago make any difference today yet alone offer great privilege.

For a people who rely on the risen Christ, the Apostle Peter explains in 1 Peter 2:6–9b that this results in four spiritual privileges that believers enjoy today: 1) Security in Christ, 2) Affection for Christ, 3) Election by Christ, and 4) Dominion with Christ.

1) Security in Christ 1 Peter 2:6

1 Peter 2:6 [6]For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

God called His people to behold or view Messiah as the cornerstone that the Father Himself laid in Zion—Israel, and more specifically the mountain in Jerusalem (cf. 2 Sam. 5:7, 1 Kings 8:1, Pss. 48:2, 51:18, 102:21, Isa. 2:3, 4:3, 10:12, 24:23, 30:19, 52:2, Jer. 26:18, Amos 1:2, Mic. 3:12, Zeph. 3:16, Zech. 1:17).

Isaiah 2:3 [3]and many peoples shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

As Christ was put to death on Mount Calvary in Jerusalem, Zion, God the Father was establishing the reality of the new kingdom or His spiritual rule over the hearts of all who believe in Him (cf. Luke 17:20–21). Figuratively, Zion can refer to the new covenant as Sinai does to the old covenant (cf. Gal. 4:24–25), or to heavenly blessings as Sinai does to judgment (cf. Heb. 12:18–23).

We saw in v. 4 that Christ is not dead, but a living stone.

• The central reality that we celebrate today at Easter, is that death could not contain Christ, but the Father raised Him up from the dead

Jesus Explained it to Peter:

Matthew 16:18 [18]And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (ESV)

• Jesus was saying that is was the reality of the new Zion, the kind of faith that Peter displayed upon which Jesus would build His Church.

The word translated cornerstone (akrogōniaios) denotes a chief cornerstone and describes the stone that sets all the proper angles for the building. It is like the building’s plumb line in that it sets the horizontal and vertical lines of the rest of the building, it also establishes the precise symmetry of the entire edifice. To ensure the perfect precision of God’s spiritual house, the main cornerstone had to be flawless. The only one who could set all the angles of God’s house was the living, perfectly prepared cornerstone, Jesus Christ

Christ is uniquely fitted for His task and thus He is cornerstone chosen, God’s chosen One. Peter’s believing Jewish readers would have remembered that during the building of Solomon’s temple, the workers prepared the stones in advance and brought them to the site (1 Kings 6:7). With the help of a careful blueprint of the temple, the craftsmen cut and shaped each stone to its perfect size and determined the exact place each was to fit. With only minor adjustments on site, those temple stones were set precisely together like parts of a large puzzle.

Illustration: There is a persistent legend in connection with the building of Solomon’s temple that perfectly illustrates this prophecy. The stones for the temple were prepared in advance in a nearby quarry. As they were needed, they were raised up to the building site. One day the workers in the quarry sent up a stone of unique shape and proportions. The masons saw no place for it in the building so they carelessly pushed it over the hill where, in time, it became overgrown with moss and surrounded with weeds. As the temple neared completion, the masons called for a stone of certain dimensions. The men in the quarry replied, “We sent that stone up to you long ago.”

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