Sunday, June 14, 2014: Living Stones in The Temple of God

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As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

Confusing the Means with the End

On a construction site, there are many materials which contribute to the building of a structure. If you were to visit just about any hardhat area, you would likely find lumber, concrete, brick, glass, and many other goods, which are necessary for the making of an inhabitable building.

According to the apostle Peter, the concept of church membership is analogous to building materials on a construction site. It is a divinely instituted means to an eternally significant end. And this must become clear to us if we are going to think rightly about it. Unfortunately, there are some significant obstacles to our understanding. In our day, the means and the end are often confused. And if we are going to correct course, we must first recognize that and hold it up next to the Scriptures to see it from God’s righteous vantage point.

The sad reality is that many churchgoers want a church that suits their personal preferences and perceived needs. Instead of seeking God’s wisdom first, they go straight to looking for a certain kind of preaching, a particular style of music, or a top notch children’s ministry. While by no means inconsequential, these aspects of a local church’s “performance” are prioritized over prayerfulness, faithfulness, and the pursuit of biblical wisdom. Expectations must be met or else would-be church members look elsewhere to find the religious goods and services that meet their subjective criteria for what a church should offer to its constituents.

You Were Made for This

Although the local church so often misses the mark, it is nonetheless God’s ordained context for true worship. Therefore, we must pay close attention to 1 Peter 2:4-5 (see above). It will help us to experience church membership for all it’s worth.

While we get caught up in wishing for the perfect church, God lovingly reminds us that we’ve actually got it backwards. If we stop and listen, He will re-orient us to the reality that we are living stones being built up into a spiritual house. His Word provides us with the clarity we need to realize that the house isn’t made for the stones, but the stones for the house. In other words, LifePoint Church does not exist for us, but we for it.

Therefore, each Lord’s Day Jesus shows up to remind us of the unique place God created for us in the house He is building. The gathering of His covenant people is His way of telling us, “You were made for this–to be eternally united with Me and My Body.” This means that Christ Himself is a Member of the local church. He is its living Head (Col. 2:19). And if Jesus is willing to be a faithful Member of the church, why not us?

Make no mistake, church membership really matters to Jesus. Trying to have a relationship with Him without the church is both biblically inconceivable and spiritually dangerous. In fact, it’s downright impossible because it evades His design for mission, community, and worship. Therefore, He fully intends to show each of us what it means to be grafted into His Body, to live among His people in greater faithfulness as a response to His grace toward us in the Gospel. You see, because Christ lived, died, rose, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, we have a place to belong…forever. And when we gather in His name, we get a very real glimpse of the house He is building, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail (Mat. 16:18).

So let’s come to church this week remembering Christ our unshakable Cornerstone. Such remembrance will land on us more easily if we make a conscious effort to check our consumeristic tendencies at the door. After all, Peter reminds us that church isn’t about what is being offered to us. Rather it is about what we offer to God through the life-giving realization of our identity as His holy priesthood. In other words, Christ is calling us to serve Him faithfully in Life Together–to give of ourselves, to love one another, and to worship the Father in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). That’s what you and I were made for. So don’t let anything–not even your idea of the church you want–stand in the way of it.

Liturgy for Sunday, June 14, 2015:

Call to Worship:

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

Behold Our God the Glorious Three

Your Great Name

Confession & Assurance:

O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. At the tumultuous noise peoples flee; when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered, and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers; as locusts leap, it is leapt upon. The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure. (Isaiah 33:2-6)

We Will Feast in the House of Zion (NEW SONG)

Sermon

Jesus Thank You

Savior King

Benediction:

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

You can also follow the Spotify playlist for this Sunday.

About Tyler Greene (168 Articles)
Tyler Greene is the Associate Pastor of Worship Ministries for LifePoint Church in Ozark, MO.

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