Summary: Part One -All Christians as living stones are to work together to build God’s kingdom.
According to many historians, archaeologists, and others who study ancient cultures, the Incas had their great capitol in the mountains of Northern Peru thousands of years ago. Most intriguing of their architecture from the period are the great walls they built. The Incan walls of Northern Peru, though less well-known, are as much a mystery as are the pyramids of Egypt. Even more impressive, most of the Incas had already abandoned the rugged mountains of Peru for more favorable farmland as far North as Mexico before the first stone was laid for one of the pyramids.
Among the mysteries surrounding these ancient walls is how they were built to outlast the cities they surrounded and still, to this day, are solid and are in no danger of toppling. Some scientists and engineers speculate that the stones, of varying shapes and sizes, have been fit so closely that there is no chance of shifting and thus falling down or apart. In fact, the stones were placed on bedrock and fit so closely together that there is not enough space between them to fit a piece of paper.
Although the Incas have disappeared, although the villages they inhabited have crumbled, although almost everything about the ancient Incas of Northern Peru has vanished through time, the walls still stand. I believe this is a snapshot of the spiritual house God is building with you, his living stones.
I. Christians are living stones, each a part of a great spiritual house called the church. (1 Pet 2:4-5)
A. A living stone is one who has come to the living Stone (capital S)
1. Matt 16:18-19 (Peter’s confession of Jesus as Christ)
2. The idea is that a living stone is yielded to Christ.
3. A Christian is chosen by God and is precious to him.
B. A living stone has a purpose greater than being a rock.
1. You have a personal relationship with God – Individualism.
2. Your purpose cannot exist outside the church – Community.
3. You must serve as a witness to the outside world – Priesthood. (Rev 5:10)
C. Like the Incan wall you must be willing to fit in where you are needed.
1. Without the wall nobody would marvel at the rocks.
2. Without the rocks there wouldn’t be a wall.
3. Without people there is no church.
4. Without the church, a person is a dead as a stone.
D. The church is a group of individuals all with the common purpose of worshipping and glorifying God.
II. The bedrock of our faith and the church is Jesus Christ. (1 Pet 2:6-8)
A. Jesus is the cornerstone.
1. Everything must be judged according to Jesus.
a. Revealed in Scripture.
b. Revealed through the Holy Spirit.
2. You can never be put to shame by trusting in Jesus.
a. You may be ridiculed by the world.
b. You may be rejected by friends and family.
c. You will never be rejected by the Creator.
B. Many cannot accept Jesus and they will perish.
1. He was rejected by the builders (The Jews)
a. They should have known who he was.
b. They rejected this stone
c. Jesus was made the capstone by the new builders – Christians
d. Luke 20:9-19 (The Parable of the Tenants)
2. Those who cannot accept the simplicity of the gospel fall.
a. It is a simple message and people think that complexity makes a firmer foundation.
b. They cannot put their faith in something they cannot explain.
C. Luke 6:46-49 (The wise and foolish builders)
D. What foundation are you resting upon?
III. Your mission is to be an ambassador for God.
A. Every church building is like an embassy building in a foreign country.
1. In some countries people flock to the US Embassy.
2. In other countries they bomb the US Embassy.
3. In some countries the embassy is deserted and lifeless.
B. The nation is what gives significance to the embassy. We are part of a holy nation – God’s kingdom.
C. It is the people who make things happen.
1. They represent their nation in a foreign land.
2. They live according to the laws of their home nation.
3. They seek peace.
4. They help others understand their home culture.
5. They always work to further the prestige and power of their home nation.
D. 2 Cor 5:20 (As ambassadors of God: Be reconciled!)
E. You are God’s ambassadors.
1. You are chosen – a special envoy.
2. You are part of a holy nation – the kingdom of God.
3. You declare his glories – a spokesman.
IV. Like the wall, each stone must be an individual working for a common goal.
A. Each has his own gifts.
B. Each uses strength in a different way.
1. Vertical (prayer warriors, those of extreme faith)