Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the series "Hope In The Darkness".
Series: Hope In The Darkness [#4]
LIVING IN THE CHURCH
1. I love how the Holy Spirit builds this book of the Bible. We are told to live in hope because of our salvation. We have been born again and therefore it should cause us to live in holiness. The only way we can live our lives differently from the world is to live in the Word and be in constant communication with God.
2. We are told in the Word that all of God’s children make up the Church. One Christian living in hope, living in holiness, and living in the Word will make a difference in this dark world; but the Church living in hope, living in holiness, and living in the Word will change this world. The difficult part about this is that all Christians have to do their part in order for the Church as a whole to be able to live in hope, holiness, and the Word. As we discuss the Church understand that although there are many denominations and many congregations that there is only one Body.
3. The Bible illustrates the Church and Christians with many different analogies. In the text of this study we are given three analogies of the Church. As in all of the analogies, it is important that we notice how each believer fits into the Church. As we continue in this study, my prayer is that all Christians will realize how important they are to the Church.
1 Peter 2:4 (MSG)
Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life. The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor.
1. As we study the Church we must always remember Who the founder is. If we try to build upon anything or anyone besides Jesus Christ it will fall. Peter gives a description of Jesus Christ. He is a living stone because He was raised from the dead in victory. He is the chosen stone of the Father, and He is precious. Although He is precious to the Father, men rejected Him. Jesus was not the Messiah that the Jews had been looking for and so they stumbled over Him.
1 Peter 2:5-8 (MSG)
Present yourselves a building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God. The Scriptures provide precedent: “Look! I’m setting a stone in Zion, a cornerstone in the place of honor. Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation will never have cause to regret it.”
To you who trust him, he’s a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him, “The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone.” For the untrusting it’s “… a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way.” They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.
2. Because of our salvation, we are also living stones. The Church is being built upon the cornerstone which is Jesus. What we must see here is as the Church is being built, it is being built one stone at a time. Each believer is added to this spiritual house that is being built. One stone is no more important than the next. If you were to pull out a couple of stones here and there the building would still stand, but it would become unstable. How could these Jewish religious leaders miss that Jesus was the Messiah. They had the Word of God and yet they were so busy trying to tell God what the Messiah was going to be that they did not realize that He was right before them and they were having Him crucified.
3. The Word of God is the blueprint for the building of the Church. Because some refused to carefully look at the blueprint, they were building on the wrong things. I heard a story of a contractor who was building a two-story house. The construction of the first floor went very well, but when they started working on the second floor nothing went right. None of the wood and other materials would fit properly. Everything was too long, too short, too thick, or too thin. The contractor looked and looked to try to figure out the problem. Finally the contractor looked on the back of the blueprints and realized that they were using a different set of blueprints for the second floor than what they used for the first floor. The contractor went and found the original blueprints and started over on the second floor using the correct blueprints. Guess what? They had no problems from that point on in completing a beautiful home. Many times the Church has problems, because we try to take “short cuts” or use our own blueprints. If we will follow the Master’s Blueprints, the Bible, we will build a Church that will never waiver. Remember what Jesus said about the Church?