Life, liberty and the pursuit of holiness (1 Peter 2:4-8)

Sometimes the Bible provides very clear teaching that is easy to interpret. Sometimes it’s a little more difficult to understand what it is God is trying to teach us. This is one such passage.

There is a conditional promise we ended with last week. Verse 3 only applies to those who have tasted the grace is God. (The Bible is written for everyone but not to everyone.)

1. When we come to Christ, we will be accepted by God but also rejected by men. He will not cast us out. It is the patience of God that accepts us just as we are. The gospel will clean us up. But we will be rejected by men. They hated Christ first, and so they will hate us. God’s divine design has always been a person and not a thing.

The ancient Israelits had a “pop psychology” concept of the coming Messiah. In their minds, He was going to be a conquering King. They rejected the notion that the Messiah would instead be a suffering servant. The Messiah who Isaiah prophesied did not fit their notion of what a Savior should be. He did not fit their lifestyle, and so they rejected Him.

It doesn’t matter what you build in life. If you don’t have a solid foundation, it will crumble. Yet Jesus did away with the bricks and mortar of the temple, and instead seeks to build us up. We are the temples of God. He lives in our bodies. We are a holy priesthood. Jesus broke down the walls of partition. We don’t have to go through other men for our forgiveness.

2. Everything we are is built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and His work in our lives. If we build up our lives around our jobs or other people, we will be miserable. Our lives must be built upon Christ. Some of us are good at tearing things down but not building them up. (Matthew 7:24-27 tells an important parable about the foolishness of believing in false prophets and building our homes on a solid foundation vs. sand.)

Whether we withstand depends on if we’re believers or not. The man who built his house upon solid ground vs. sand both got the same rain and the same flood. Yet one home crumbled and the other remained standing. In life, we all go the same storms. Yet some of us withstand them and some don’t. It’s all determined by our foundation. Too often, we build our life or our church on foolish things.

Jesus is Lord and He was right the whole time. People can reject Him and spit on Him, but He remains the cornerstone. Indeed, He is a rock of offense. The world rejects the Bible because it points out the sin our their lives.

3. The world stands in offense of the truth, but we stand without apology for the authority of God’s word. We ought to worship God and appreciate man. Instead, we too often worship man and only appreciate God. The world is offended by a great many things. We may not be great prophets of the Bible, but we do have them as our examples. He who sitteth in heaven shall laugh. He laughs at our calamity, at those who believe they can change His plan. Let us stand on the truth of God and not make apology for it.

The world will always give you a chance to compromise your beliefs. We must stand without apology in this evil culture in which we live. The world is offended by our message. It is offended by our churches. Let us not dilute our message and so let the world stay offended. Too often our churches remove the offense of the Bible. And then we end up with churches full of lost people.

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