Introduction: My visit to the Rock (Alcatraz)contra THE ROCK CHRIST JESUS.
I. Build your faith upon the cornerstone of the Church – The Lord Jesus Christ (v. 4, 6)
A. It’s a supernatural stone
1. It’s not about buildings for God
B. It’s a select stone (v. 4)
1. Stone is not Peter
C. It’s a slighted stone (v. 4, 7)
1. James illustration
2. Christians haven’t done Him much good
D. It’s a stumbling stone (v. 8)
1. Hermit illustration
2. Too good to be true?
E. It’s a strategic stone (v. 6)
1. All of Scripture has been about Him
2. OT re: rock (trace symbolism)
F. It’s a solid stone (v. 6)
1. World Trade Center building story
TRANSITION: Jesus is a… not only but…we are blocks
II. Build Yourselves up together as a spiritual house –Living stones (v. 5)
A. We are built together
1. No one more important than the other
2. No Lone Ranger Christians
B. We are bound together
1. Like a family we must come together
2. Love one another
C. We are blessed together
1. Like an army, like a body, like a team we celebrate or console as one.
TRANSITION: Since Jesus is… and we are… then we should…
III. Behave like the stones that you are (v. 9)
A. Our privilege as a Priest
1. We’ve been chosen
2. When OT priests found themselves in the Holy of Holies
3. When Isaiah found himself before the throne of God
B. Our Practice as a priest
1. Proclaim His excellencies
2. Honor Him
C. Our profession as a priests
1. What do you mean we’re all priests; I thought that’s what we paid you for pastor?
Conclusion: With Christ as our foundation, working together as His spiritual house we can make a difference in this church, neighborhood, city, county, state, nation, world.
Years ago Harvard University was erecting Emerson Hall, the new home for the philosophy department. President Charles Eliot invited psychologist and philosopher William James to suggest a suitable inscription for the stone lintel over the doors. After some reflection, James sent Eliot a line from the Greek philosopher Protagoras: "Man is the measure of all things." James never heard back from Eliot. His curiosity was piqued when he spotted artisans working on a scaffold hidden by a canvas. One morning, the scaffold and canvas were gone. The inscription over the door? "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" Eliot had replaced James’s suggestion with words from Psalm 8. Between these two lines lies the great distance between the God-centered and the human-centered points of view.
A hermit was guided by an angel into a wood, where he saw an old man cutting down boughs to make up a bundle. When it was large, he tied it up, and attempted to lift it on his shoulder, and carry it away; but, finding it very heavy, he laid it down again, cut more wood, and heaped it on; and then tried again to carry it off. This he repeated several times; always adding something to the load, after trying in vain to raise it from the ground. In the meantime, the hermit, astonished at the old man’s folly, desired the angel to explain what this meant.
"You behold," he said, "in the foolish old man an exact representation of those, who, being made aware of the burden of their sins, resolve to repent, but soon grow weary, and, instead of lessening their burden, increase it every day. At each trial, they find the task heavier than before; and so put it off a little longer, in the vain hope that they will by and by be more able to accomplish it. Thus they go on adding to their burden till it grows too heavy to be borne; and then, in despair of God’s mercy, and with their sins unrepented of, they lie down and die. Turn again, my son, and behold the end of the old man whom you saw heaping up a load of boughs."
The hermit looked, and watched him attempting to remove the pile in vain, which now had accumulated far beyond his strength to raise. His feeble limbs tottered over their burden; the poor remains of his strength were fast ebbing away; the darkness of death was gathering around him; and, after a convulsive and impotent attempt to lift the pile, he fell down and expired.
World Trade Center Illustration
History channel ran a special recently following the September 11th tragedy. The show was produced before the events. The eerie thing is that the engineers of the building said in the interview that the building could withstand an airplane collision. Doesn’t appear to have been the case. We can, however, have confidence that Christ is the solid Rock.