Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 1 Jesus the Master Builder ..Living stones treasturing the living stone

..Living stones treasturing the living stone

 

1 Peter 2:1-10 (NIV) “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,”8 and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

 

Introduction:

Today is our first service in the hall of “Our Home”, and we rejoice in God’s provision. The question is very simple, what are we doing here and for how long are we going to do it faithfully? Is Logos Community Church a new club in town in competition with other clubs or are we here for a greater purpose. My prayer is that we all are of one mind that it is about something bigger.

Let me ask us all a critical question. How is your spiritual walk, are you growing in Christ as much as you would love to? On a scale of 1-10 how do you evaluate yourself spiritually? I am not happy with where I am at, I so want more of Jesus, I so want more of the work of the Spirit in my life and I so want to draw closer to the Father and to get to know Him better, I so want to never sin. With Paul I have to say that I so easily do things I should not and I so easily don’t do what I should. The Kingdom of God is surely about more than what we are used to isn’t it? I read a very good book a while ago, which I would like you all to read. The book by Paul Tripp is entitled: “A Quest for more”. Should that not be the journey we all are on, namely a quest for more? By the way, you can if you are a part of the church that Jesus is building.

Last week we looked at the Church that Jesus is building as part of our month of January theme entitled “Jesus the master builder” – with a sub heading “unless the Lord builds the House, we labour in vain.” In my last sermon we turned to Matthew 16:18 where we looked at 7 pillars of the church that Jesus is building.

Now there are two levels which I believe we all need to strive for more in, and the order of the two levels is of critical importance. At one level we will focus upon over time has everything to do with us. We will look at family, marriage, the Christian in the workplace, the Christian in society and so the list goes on. But more important than that we need to look away from us and our needs and start with Christ. Unless the glory of Christ is pre-eminent at Logos we can look at our lives from all angles and we are not going to experience the more and the greater, because if we remain the standard we measure ourselves by, we will stay exactly where we are. In a quest for more you need to start with Christ because He is the perfect measuring stick, He is the standard, He is the perfect model and everything we will do at Logos is “through Jesus Christ”. If Christ is not at the centre of all we do here at Logos, let’s close shop now.

You cannot study the New Testament and miss the glory of Christ in the church. All you need to do is read what Paul says in: Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV) 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

In 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV) Paul says: 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”a made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. “

So what we see with the eyes of the heart as soon as we become children of God is the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now if you really want to understand how we see God’s glory you just need to go two verses back to 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV) 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

You cannot look at the death and resurrection of Christ without seeing ‘glory!’ So our passion for the church is because we have a passion for God, and we have a passion for God because we have a passion for Christ and we have a passion for Christ because we saw what he did for us on the cross. That is “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.

Our aim today is simply to remind us that Christ is going to be supreme here. He is the only head of the church and Lord of our lives. Why? The Hebrew writer is clear when he says in Hebrews 1:3 (NIV) 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Our aim here at Logos is not going to be to give you more laws. Our aim will be to try and raise our level of our love for Christ, because then I know that all else that is needed will follow.

In the text before us I see something that I believe will heighten our passion to spread God’s glory together.

Something we all need to know is that the extent to which you value Christ is going to be the extent to which you are committed on every level of your Christian involvement in the Kingdom. My desire for all of us this morning as we study 1 Peter 2:1-10 together is that we will embrace the Christ of Logos Community Church supremely and then to be committed to the church that belongs to Christ.

Let me ask a few questions that will then lead us to our points. Why will we treasure Christ at all? What is the evidence that Christ is precious to us? Why will we treasure Christ together? What will the outcome be of us treasuring Christ together?

So, back to the first question. Why will we treasure Christ at all?

Firstly, because we know that Christ is precious.

You only treasure what is precious to you. Peter is pondering and applying several Old Testament texts that point to Christ as a stone. Isaiah 28:16 (NIV) 16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” Psalm 118:22 (NIV) 22”The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;” But notice the words of Peter in verse 4: “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him". Look at those 3 critical words “precious to Him”. Then look at verse 6:- 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Again we see the word “precious.” Think about it. The creator of the universe, the all-knowing, infinite sovereign God who made everything beautiful values Jesus Christ as ‘precious’. This is simply another way of saying that God treasures Christ. Treasuring means feeling the preciousness of what you value or what you prize or adore.

So my argument is very simple – if God, who sees all things as they truly are and feels all things as they truly are, treasures Christ, shouldn’t we treasure Christ above all things? So Christ is precious to God, but now verse 7 says: “Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.” We read Colossians 1:18 (NIV) earlier that says: 18”And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.What we normally do is to say that it is Christ first and then family, church, work, sport and so the list goes on, right? I believe this is a wrong way of approaching the text. It does not say here that Christ is first above all things but “in all things”. He must have supremacy in all things. So it is not Christ first and then the rest. No it is Christ first in worship, in the workplace, in the family, in sport etc. You do that and you will never be put to shame.

There is nothing more valuable in the universe than Christ, because he is God and he is the manifestation of God precisely so that we might see him and savour him—that is, treasure him. I love the word ‘treasure’ because you can use it as a noun and a verb. Not only is Christ a treasure to us, but we treasure him above all things. And so it helps us do exactly what the Bible wants us to do. Know and feel Christ as precious—that is, treasure him. As we set out as a new congregation I believe that what is going to hold us together in the future is the treasuring of Christ.

So Christ is precious to God and us, but what is the evidence that He is precious to us?

Secondly, because we crave to know Him better.

1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV) 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” There are two words here critical to us. The one is “crave” and the other one is “tasted”. Why are we here Sunday after Sunday, sitting under the Word of God? It is because we have tasted the preciousness of the Lord Himself.  So we don’t just have knowledge that the Lord is precious. We keep on craving since the moment we tasted the goodness of Christ. Are we craving more because we have tasted. I pray that this craving will be ours for the future, not just early in the year 2012 or just early in the start of this ministry. Oh, that we will come back again and again treasuring Christ together because we have tasted. May we be those who can say with Paul: “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”, why? Because we have tasted His preciousness and now I treasure every moment to learn more and more of Him.

I am like a baby that cannot survive without the Word of God, because it is about Christ. And knowing Christ and treasuring Christ and longing for the Word about Christ does have an impact on our lives. You cannot be captured with all this desire and not have a changed life. That is why Paul can say in verse 1: “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” Why, just go back to chapter 1 and you will see because you have been bought with a price, because you are born-again, because you have been washed by the word, because you have tasted Christ.  So you don’t have to pretend and you are not a hypocrite, because Christ is our all satisfying infinite treasure. He saved us and it is a joy to serve Him.

Another question that begs to be answered from this text is this: Why will we treasure Christ together? Why not just do it alone?

Thirdly, because we are a new race.

This is critical for us here at Logos. Look at 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." While we are an English speaking church, Logos will be a multi-cultural and a multi-generational church. Look at the three words here namely “people”, “nation” and “people”. Peter uses three different Greek words to explain this group of people who value Christ together. He uses genos {ghen'-os} which is where we get our word ‘race’ from. Then he uses ethnos {eth'-nos} which refers to a multitude of a same nature. Lastly he uses laos {lah-os'} which refers to a people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language.

I pray that at Logos we will be an exposition of the text in real life as we see people joined together in a new race, a new multitude of people with the same nature, a new people group who now speak a different language namely the joy of treasuring Christ together on their lips. So in Christ we are a new race, a new ethnicity, and a new people-group.

Christians are to be colour-blind, ethnic-blind, people-group-blind. There are greater issues in the world than colour and culture. Now one thing we do not do is to ignore the indescribable abundance of differences in the world. We celebrate our upbringing, we celebrate our traditional culture, and we celebrate our roots just as we celebrate the multifaceted creation of God in nature. God did not take anything of that away when we became born again unless it was sinful, but what He did do is to create a new race, new people who have one thing in common and that is their value of Christ.

Our value of Christ supersedes all the beauty and uniqueness of our traditions and culture. Treasuring Christ does not make us blind to differences. Rather it makes differences serve the larger unifying identity of treasuring Christ together. What’s new about the Christian race is that the infinite value of Christ is reflected by each member differently. We are the living stones being built into a new temple—or a new race. And the defining trait of this new race is the manifold and unified reflection of the infinite value of Christ by the way he is treasured among diverse people.

What is the desired outcome of treasuring Christ together?

Fourthly, we will make Him known to a lost world.

To get back to our purpose statement which is very simple: “To know God and to make Him known?” Verse 9 is radically clear: 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” This verse is often abused. Some Christians will use this to defend Congregational Church Government. They will make comments like, “well, we are a royal priesthood; therefore we all rule the church.” Baptists have a principle that they hold dear is called: “the priesthood of believers” and by the way I hold it dear as well. Some of us just interpret it differently.

This verse says that we are a royal priesthood, all with direct access to God and then it gives us our job description which is to declare His praises. It is not to govern a democracy. We have been called out of darkness to light and our natural tendency will be to declare His praises to others. Our aim through missions is to make worldwide worshippers. I still love the purpose statement of Bethlehem Baptist church where John Piper is the pastor. Their statement reads something like this: “We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples”

In closing:

So I present to you what Peter teaches us namely that we treasure Christ together because He is precious to God and to us. Is He precious to you?

Then, in treasuring Christ together we realise that it is more than tasting, it is craving and for that reason we will gather together day after day and week after week so that we can savour His goodness together.

Then this morning, we praise God that we are able to do it as a new race while acknowledging that we are unique and different. Because we are unique and different we will work extra hard to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Lastly we will keep making known His praises through mercy ministries and missions because our aim can be nothing less but to see the world filled with people who treasure Christ with us. He is precious to us and we would like to see Him as precious to all.

So, let us as living stones join hands as we embrace the task before us, to spread the praises of THE LIVING STONE, Jesus Christ, who has called us into His glorious light.

 

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: - 15 January 2012



a Gen. 1:3