Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

The Value of Christianity
1 Pet 2:7-12

7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner {stone,}     8 and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this {doom} they were also appointed.    9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for {God's} own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;    10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Introduction
Have you ever played this game? It ask if you were going to be on a deserted Island and you could take one book, one person other than family, and one possession what would you take?

Recently I saw four female country and Western singers answer those questions. Two of the four said they would take the Bible for there book. You know that kind of a game makes you think of what is precious to you.

In the text Simon tells us we Christians have a precious value in Jesus. Most of us know that very well, but let me emphasize that even more as I share more ideas on The Value of Christianity:
 

Is A Precious Value.

Is A Polarizing Value.

Is A Proclaiming Value.
 
 

1.    The Value of Christianity. . Is A Precious Value.  v 7


7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner {stone,}

A.    The . . Confessing of this Value. v 7 a
        "This precious value, then, is for you who believe."

        1. Confession through Belief.

BELIEVE Strong's # 4100 pisteuo (pist-yoo'-o);
from 4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ): KJV-- believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

Belief = Coming to Christ like in verse 4
 

B.    The . . Contrasting of this Value. v 7 b
            ". . . But for those who disbelieve, . . . "

        1.    Contrast through Unbelief.

DISBELIEVE
Strong's # 569 apisteo (ap-is-the'-o); from 571; to be unbelieving, i.e. (transitively) disbelieve, or (by implication) disobey:   KJV-- believe not.

Strong's # 571 apistos (ap'-is-tos);
from 1 (as a negative particle) and 4103; (actively) disbelieving, i.e. without Christian faith (specially, a heathen); (passively) untrustworthy (person), or incredible (thing):
KJV-- that believeth not, faithless, incredible thing, infidel, unbeliever (-ing).

C.    The . . Condemnation of this Value. v 7 c
        ". . . "The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner {stone,} . . . "

Strong's # 593 apodokimazo (ap-od-ok-ee-mad'-zo);
from 575 and 1381; to disapprove, i.e. (by implication) to repudiate: KJV-- disallow, reject.

Strong's # 575 apo (apo');
a primary particle; "off," i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative):     KJV-- (X here-) after, ago, at,. . . it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.

Strong's # 1381 dokimazo (dok-im-ad'-zo);
from 1384; to test (literally or figuratively); by implication, to approve: KJV-- allow, discern, examine, X like, (ap-) prove, try.

Matt. 21:42
42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
 

Illustration
Growing up on the Atlantic Coast, Gregory Elder spent long hours working on intricate sand castles. Whole cities would appear beneath his hands. One year, for several days in a row, he was accosted by bullies who smashed his creations. Finally he tried an experiment: he placed cinder blocks, rocks, and chunks of concrete in the base of his castles.

Then he built the sand kingdoms on top of the rocks. When the local toughs appeared (and Gregory disappeared), their bare feet suddenly met their match.

Many people see the church in grave peril from a variety of dangers: secularism, politics, heresies, or plain old sin. They forget that the church is built upon a Rock (Mt. 16:16), over which the gates of hell itself shall not prevail.
 

Application

To we who believe He is a Precious Value

Songs:

Oh precious is the flow that washes what as snow No other font I know nothing but the blood of Jesus.

How precious is Jesus my savior and King

For He is so precious to me.
 
 

2. The Value of Christianity . .  Is A Polarizing Value. v 8


8 and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this {doom} they were also appointed.
 

Introduction:
Is there value in polarization? Wether we think about it or not we all do this by choice in our daily life. I prefer the non-smoking section. This is a form of polarization. I don't like the smell of the smoke in my nose and I don't like it on my clothes. There are many other areas in my life where I polarize my self from the choices others make. However I do not want to be closed in sharing the gospel and will gladly sit with a chain smoker to share the gospel with him or her.
 

A.    Polarized by . . Offense. v 8 a
        " and, "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense"; . . . "

Matt 18:7
7 "Woe to the world because of {its} stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! (NAS)
 

B.    Polarized by . . Disobedience. v 8 b
           ". . . for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word,

Strong's # 544 apeitheo (ap-i-theh'-o);
from 545; to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely):
KJV-- not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.

Strong's # 545 apeithes (ap-i-thace');
from 1 (as a negative particle) and 3982; unpersuadable, i.e. contumacious: KJV-- disobedient.
 

C.    Polarized by . . Appointment. v 8 c

        1 Pet 2:8 (NAS) " . . . and to this {doom} they were also appointed.

        1 Pet 2:8 (NIV) ". . . which is also what they were destined for."

        1 Pet 2:8 (KJV) ". . . whereunto also they were appointed. "

RYRIE
Vs. 2:8 appointed. The same divine purpose that has chosen some has ordained others (those who are disobedient) to the only alternative.

Illustration
You who have the occupation of teaching know how to spell out the class requirements at the beginning of the semester. Most of you will say something like this: 90 to 100 equals an "A"  80 to 90 equals a "B", and so on as you tell about the grading scale. If a student makes an "F" many times they are angry at the teacher. But it was appointed ahead of time.

When I teach I give a listing of the grades before the last two exams. Everyone knows where there are and what they have to do to pass the course.

Application

Hell and Heaven or opposites and they have a polarizing effect.    Some are disobedient to the word and therefore are appointed to stumble and go to hell.

2 Pet 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (NAS)

STUMBLING BLOCK
Isn't it strange that princes and kings
And clown that caper in sawdust rings,
And common folk like you and me
Have the opportunity to build for eternity?
To each is given a bag of tools,
A lump of clay, a book of rules
And each must make ere time is flown
A stumbling block, or a stepping stone.
 
 
 

 3. The Value of Christianity . . Is A Proclaiming Value. v 9-10


9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for {God's} own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

A.    Proclaiming God's . . Choice. v 9

        1.    Chosen (Elect) Race. v 9 a (By Birth)
Strong's # 1085 genos (ghen'-os);
from 1096; "kin" (abstract or concrete, literal or figurative, individual or collective): KJV-- born, country (-man), diversity,

        2.    Chosen (Elect) Priesthood. v 9 b

        3.    Chosen (Elect) Nation. v 9 c

        4.    Chosen (Elect) Possession. v 9 d KJV Peculiar People

Strong's # 4047 peripoiesis (per-ee-poy'-ay-sis);
from 4046; acquisition (the act or the thing); by extension, preservation: KJV-- obtain (-ing), peculiar, purchased, possession, saving. AROUND
 

B. Proclaiming God's . . Characteristics. v 9 b - 10

        1.    Out of Darkness into light. v 9 e
        2.    Out of Desolation into Something. v 10 a
        3.    Out of Death into Life. v 10 b
 

Illustration
Can the gospel really dissolve deep-seated prejudices that have been hardened by centuries of hatred and strife? The experience of Yishael Allon of West Valley City, Utah, gives the answer.

Yishael is Jewish. About 17 years ago, he met his cousins's wife Sandy, who was dying of leukemia. Peace filled her heart and a love radiated from her life that gave her a "special glow." "She was the first real Christian I had ever met," writes Yishael. "She was different. I would question her, and all she'd talk about was Jesus."

In 1980, Yishael heard the gospel on the radio and received a Bible. As he read Isaiah 53, the Holy Spirit convinced him that the prophet was speaking about Jesus -- the same Jesus that Sandy knew. Yishael recalls, "I believed in the Lord Jesus and became a 'completed Jew.'" Now here's the answer to the question of prejudice. Yishael says, "A year and a half later, the Lord gave me His love for my enemies -- the PLO who murdered 37 of my friends."

Conclusion
The Value of Christianity
Is A Precious Value.
Is A Polarizing Value.
Is A Proclaiming Value. v 9-10