1 Pet 2:4-6
INTRO: Can you imagine the problem of the infinite Gods finding ways to communicate with human beings? We are so limited in language, knowledge and experience. God surely had a problem. So, as God communicates, He chooses to use figures of speech which compare things about which we know with things God wants us to know about Him and His church. I suppose that every book in the New Testament has in it similes and metaphors. Certainly, this book of 1 Peter does. In the text before us Peter continues the subject of fellowship within the church. He tells us:
I. OF FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST 2:4
A. Christ, the living stone
1. here is the continued use of metaphor
2. living suggests continuing life in Christ
3. stone suggests a stability, sturdiness for our lives
B. Christ, chosen ... and precious
1. chosen specifically to redeeming work Rom 3:24
2. precious as Gods only begotten Son - 1 Jno 4:9,10
3. indeed, Christ is not precious, chosen to/by all men there are those who desire no fellowship with Him
C. But the born again (1:23) person does desire that fellowship
1. to whom coming
2. 1 Cor 1:9 called unto the fellowship ...
3. it is fellowship which gives us both life and stability
II. OF FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHER CHILDREN OF GOD 2:5
A. A spiritual house
1. Eph 2:20-22 the church is a spiritual house
2. it is the habitation of God
3. it is, importantly, a community of believers
a. stones (Christians) are built into one house
b. each building blocks function is to become an integral part of the one house a fellowship
c. an isolated stone, then, is unnatural, out of place, unuseful not functioning (comment on Christians who do not give themselves to the community idea)
B. A holy priesthood
1. suggests the fellowship of worship
2. what are spiritual sacrifices?
a. Rom 12:1 yourself (not a dead animal)
b. Heb 13:15 your praise to God (a service)
c. Heb 13:16 your care/help of others - servants
3. as stones we become a place for God to abide as priests we become the servants of God .. and all of this is in fellowship with one another
III. OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD 2:5b
A. ...Acceptable to God ...
1. the entire aim of discipleship is this fellowship
2. it is to restore broken fellowship (because of sin) and to maintain that fellowship - 1 Jno 1:3
B. ... Acceptable ... by Jesus Christ
1. consider the word acceptable God has terms of acceptance!
2. and one of them is access through Jesus, thus ...
IV. OF FELLOWSHIP THROUGH STANDARDS 2:6
A. The importance of the corner stone?
1. an entire building lines up on it
2. tell of brick masons careful work at the corner
3. and a cornerstone joins parts of a building together
B. Each stone lines up on Jesus
1. His example, His teaching must be observed
2. or a stone will be out of place, unsightly
3. Phil 3:16 walk by the same rule
C. ... Shall not be confounded ...
1. here is great blessing of fellowship through standards
2. the Christian need never to be flustered, coming apart ... without poise
3. because His life has Christ as its answer
CLOSE: What a great word is fellowship. And to be one of many stones in Gods house conveys so well the idea and the significance of that word!
Cecil A. Hutson
20 May 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)