INTRO: Hoover Dam, NV foundation approximately 1,500,000 cubic yards (15,000 football fields)
The Empire State Building (Twin Towers), NY The 1.2 million cubic yards (12,000)
You must go down deep and lay the right foundation before you can build the best structure.
We need the right foundation in our personal lives, our homes, our church, our community, and our nation.
I. GET THE RIGHT MATERIALS IN YOUR LIFE – I Peter 2:1,2
Anyone who has ever built any type of structure knows that it is important to choose good materials. Crooked 2x4s or cheap plywood may get the job done, but eventually the building will begin to suffer and repairs will have to be made. We are the materials that God uses to build his church. Unfortunately, because of our human nature, we are not grade A material. We are ridden with all kinds of flaws. In this respect the analogy breaks down because Christians are not grade A material at the time of their salvation, rather, over time God shapes and molds us into something better.
The only reason we are even worthy of being used is because God sees us clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. In that sense we are perfect in his eyes. If we had to rely on our own strengths God would never even try to use us to build up his church. In order for God to shape and mold us we must learn how to deal with others and how to deal with ourselves. Scripture tells us how.
A. When dealing with others (v.1)
1. Lay aside all malice – vicious character, a desire to hurt others, mean, and hateful ways.
2. Lay aside all guile – a bait, snare, deceit.
3. Lay aside all hypocrisy – “play acting”.
4. Lay aside all envies – the feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the prosperity of others.
5. Lay aside all evil speakings.
B. When dealing with ourselves (v.2)
1. I Peter 2:2 – “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, so that ye may grow thereby”. SINCERE – the absence of fraud or deceit.
a. Newborn babies take their food seriously. When they get hungry they let you know, and nothing but milk will satisfy them. That’s the way we should be about God’s word. We should be serious and desire the Bible just like that little one desires milk. We should have a voracious appetite for the Word of God and nothing else should satisfy us.
b. Why should we desire the milk of the word? Scripture tells us, “so that ye may grow thereby”. We need the word of God so that we can grow spiritually.
II. LAY THE RIGHT FOUNDATION – I Peter 2: 4-6
The only foundation that a church should build upon is Jesus Christ himself. I Corinthians 3:11 says this, For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ. Though others have tried to deny him and use another foundation. We need to use God’s choice: Jesus Christ to build our lives.
A. Why should we want to build upon the foundation? Without the right foundation, everything that is built on top is placed in jeopardy of falling, destruction, and ruin. We need a foundation that is firm, tested, and dependable.
III. CHOOSE THE BEST CORNERSTONE – I Peter 2:4,6
A. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone. A cornerstone is the formal beginning of a building. It literally holds the walls together. Verses 4 and 6 tell us four things about Jesus Christ, the Cornerstone.
1. He was disallowed, or rejected, by men (v.4)
2. He was elected, or chosen (v.4 & 6) – this refers back to the blueprints. It was always in the plans for Jesus to be the cornerstone of the church.
3. He is precious (v.4 & 6) – Nothing can be more precious than Jesus Christ who gave his life for sinful man.
4. Whoever believes on him will not be confounded, or, put to shame (v.6) – we will never be put to shame by anything that Jesus Christ did. On the contrary, we have committed many shameful acts. The amazing thing is that he still accepts us.
IV. KEEP WORKING ON THE BUILDING – I Peter 2:5,9
A. I Peter 2:5 refers to Christians as living stones that have life. The building itself, the church is made up of these stones. Together they form a spiritual house and a holy priesthood sharing one divine purpose.
1. “To offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”.
a. What kind of sacrifices would be acceptable to God?
- Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise.
Without a doubt, Christians should come before God with a humble, broken spirit. They should come before God recognizing that they are nothing without him.
4. WE NEED A TRUST THAT WILL NOT RUST vs. 6
Those who trust Christ a precious, chosen, and holy Cornerstone of the church, will never be put to shame.
Some will stumble over Christ as the cornerstone because they do not listen or obey his word. They don’t trust in him and they will fall. But you are….
B. I Peter 2:9 tells us some other things about the church.
1. We are a chosen generation.
a. Every Christian has been individually hand picked by God. Every single person is special in the eyes of God.
2. We are a royal priesthood.
b. Again God reminds us that we are members of the priesthood.
3. We are a holy nation.
a. How do we become a holy nation, or a holy church? Look at I Peter 1:13-15.
- Gird up the loins of your mind (v.13) – prepare your minds for action (NIV).
- Be sober (v.13) – be self-controlled (NIV). We can find another use of the word sober in the KJV over in I Peter 5:8. In this scripture God warns us to beware of the devil that roams about seeking whom he may devour.
- Hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ – set ... your hope fully on the grace… (NIV).
• We could not get into heaven without it. We have experienced it now to some extent, but on that day we will receive true GRACE - God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
- Do not fall back into your old, evil ways (v.14). This is a reference II Corinthians 5:17, “…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”.
- Be holy because God is holy (v.15). We should strive to live holy lives because that is what pleases God.
4. We are a peculiar people.
a. We are a purchased people bought with a price. Purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.
5. We should show forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
b. Because we have been purchased and called out of darkness we should give praises to God.
God is the master builder behind building up the church. He drew up the blueprints, he poured the foundation, he set the cornerstone, and he is shaping the materials into the building. Jesus Christ is the head of the body, the church, and every part of the church involves him. Listen, without Jesus the church has no foundation and will fall.
John Smith was a loyal carpenter, working for a very successful building contractor who called him into his office one day and said, "John, I