I Peter 2: 4 - 10
Foundations of Faith IV
The church as a fellowship of Christ’s people has a distinctive purpose on earth. Peter tells us that as we come to Christ as individuals we are built together into a spiritual house for the service of God. The cornerstone was used as the foundation and orientation of an ancient building. The Messiah is called the ‘Cornerstone’ in the Old Testament (Psalm 118 and Isaiah 28), and Jesus picks up this theme in the Parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21: 33 - 45). Peter reminds us that this Stone causes people to stumble. Jesus is a ‘Rock of offence’ because men and women cannot or will not admit that He is Lord.
Peter directs us to Jesus; his letter is full of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. He tells his readers that whatever their background, they have become a chosen people, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. So it is for us; once we were not God’s people but now in Christ we belong to God and this is for a purpose that we may declare to the world the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. There is no more important work in this world than the declaration of the Gospel of Christ.
Of course we must care for the sick and feed the hungry but all this is of no avail unless they hear that Jesus died to save them. We may not be preachers but we must take into account the most important need that people have. They need to experience the forgiveness of God and we should pray, as we serve, that the light of the Gospel will come to those whom we help. We should speak out about our faith but be careful to seek God’s time and opportunity. We may need to ‘earn’ the right to tell people the truth. We may need to love them and serve them to win their acceptance before the opportunity comes, but we must never stop seeking to declare the love of God for lost men, women and children.
Lord God, help me to serve You in whatever way You have decided. Help me to love people for Your sake and to seek to alleviate their greatest need by introducing them to Jesus. In His name. Amen.