Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Christ Is the Rock
1 Peter 2:4-8 and Matt. 16:18

Matt 16:18
18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. (NAS)

1 Pet 2:4-8
4 And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For {this} is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner {stone} and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed." 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. (NAS)

Discussion of the Three words for stone or rock.

LITHOS.     3037 lithos (lee'-thos);
apparently a primary word; a stone (literally or figuratively):
KJV-- (mill-, stumbling-) stone.

PETROS     4074 Petros (pet'-ros);
apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than 3037); as a name, Petrus, an apostle: KJV-- Peter, rock. Compare 2786.

PETRA,     4073 petra (pet'-ra);
feminine of the same as 4074; a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively): KJV-- rock.

When Jesus said to Simon;   "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; . . ." .     He was not building the church on Simon but on Himself.   Simon clarifies that for us in his epistle.  He calls Jesus the rock.

RYRIE
Vs. 2:4-8 Christ is the living stone (v. 4), the corner stone (v. 6), the rejected stone (v. 7), and the stumbling stone (v. 8).
 
 

1. Christ is the Living Foundation Stone. v 4


4 And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God,

3037 lithos (lee'-thos);
apparently a primary word; a stone (literally or figuratively):
KJV-- (mill-, stumbling-) stone.

Rev 21:19 (NAS)
v 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. (LITHOS) The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;

4074 Petros (pet'-ros);
apparently a primary word; a (piece of) rock (larger than 3037); as a name, Petrus, an apostle: KJV-- Peter, rock. Compare 2786.

4073 petra (pet'-ra);
feminine of the same as 4074; a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively): KJV-- rock.

Mark 15:46
46 And {Joseph} bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock (PETRA); and he rolled a stone (LITHOS) against the entrance of the tomb. (NAS)

Rev 6:15-16
15 And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks (PETROS)of the mountains;
16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks,(PETROS) "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; (NAS)
 

Illustration FOUNDATION
The great architect Frank Lloyd Wright was given the challenge of building the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, one of the most earthquake- prone cities in the world.

Wright's investigation showed that a solid foundation could be "floated" on a sixty-foot layer of soft mud underlying the hotel, which would provide a shock-absorbing but solid support for the immense building.

Shortly after the hotel was completed it withstood the worst earthquake in fifty-two years, while lesser buildings fell in ruins around it.

Illustration
The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy is going to fall. Scientists travel yearly to measure the building's slow descent. They report that the 179-foot tower moves about one-twentieth of an inch a year, and is now 17 feet out of plumb.

They further estimate that by the year 2007 the 810-year old tower will have leaned too far and will collapse onto the nearby ristorante,   where scientists now gather to discuss their findings. Quite significantly, the word "pisa" means "marshy land," which gives some clue as to why the tower began to lean even before it was completed. Also--its foundation is only 10 feet deep! Today in the Word, March 1989, p. 6.

Application 1 Cor 3:10-11

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it.

11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (NAS)

On what kind of a foundation are we building?
 
 

2.    Christ is the Living Corner Stone. v 6


6 For {this} is contained in Scripture: "Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner {stone} and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed."
 

A.    The Corner Stone a Stone of . . Reference.

            1.    Corner Stones are a Stone of Reference.

                    a.    Now and in the Future.
                            1)    Significant papers placed inside the corner stone.
 

B.    The Corner Stone a Stone of . . Repentance.

        1.    Corners make turns.

                a.    Repentance is a turning from sin to Christ.
                b.    Repentance is almost a forgotten response in todays world.
                c.    Christians need to Repent.
                d.    Non Christians need to Repent.

Illustration
How does God take a Christian who lives one-half inch from hell and make him live one-half inch from heaven? It is not easy. There is a price to be paid. The divine Surgeon must be permitted to use his scalpel to cut, cleanse, and break, so healing can take place. In fact, such spiritual surgery is more painful than physical surgery. God doesn't use an anesthetic; he doesn't do his work while we are asleep. God can take any brokenhearted believer and make him or her a radiant, loving person. But when he performs such "heart operations," his children are wide awake. Erwin W Lutzer (1941- )

Application

Is Christ the check point for everything in your life?
 
 

3.    Christ is the Living Rejected Stone. 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,}

Illustration
A hermit was guided by an angel into a wood, where he saw an old man cutting down boughs to make up a bundle. When it was large, he tied it up, and attempted to lift it on his shoulder, and carry it away; but, finding it very heavy, he laid it down again, cut more wood, and heaped it on; and then tried again to carry it off. This he repeated several times; always adding something to the load, after trying in vain to raise it from the ground. In the meantime, the hermit, astonished at the old man's folly, desired the angel to explain what this meant.

"You behold," he said, "in the foolish old man an exact representation of those, who, being made aware of the burden of their sins, resolve to repent, but soon grow weary, and, instead of lessening their burden, increase it every day. At each trial, they find the task heavier than before; and so put it off a little longer, in the vain hope that they will by and by be more able to accomplish it. Thus they go on adding to their burden till it grows too heavy to be borne; and then, in despair of God's mercy, and with their sins unrepented of, they lie down and die. Turn again, my son, and behold the end of the old man whom you saw heaping up a load of boughs."

The hermit looked, and watched him attempting to remove the pile in vain , which now had accumulated far beyond his strength to raise. His feeble limbs tottered over their burden; the poor remains of his strength were fast ebbing away; the darkness of death was gathering around him; and, after a convulsive and impotent attempt to lift the pile, he fell down and expired.

Application

Many people are like that story. All they needed to do is bring their burden to Jesus, But they reject Him thinking they cab do it on their own.
 
 

4.    Christ is the Living Stumbling Stone. 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. (NAS)

A.    Jesus the Stumbling Stone . . Offends Some People.

        1.    Our Stand for Jesus may Offend Some.
                a.    Some try to be more merciful than God.
 

B.    Jesus the Stumbling Stone . . Omits Some People.

        1.    Omitted by their rejection.
 

Illustration
A deacon (Dwain Craig) and I went visiting one night. I presented the gospel to a man who has since moved out of the area. When I finished the presentation I asked the man does this make since, and he said yes from your perspective.

He then said I think people in other parts of the world can be good people and go to heaven, I find it a little offensive for you to say Jesus is the only way to heaven.

I agreed with him that people in other parts of the world could be good people. My emphasis became stronger as I tried to make even clearer that Jesus is not just a good way, or a better, or best way, but He is the only way.

Application

This man clearly understood the message from scripture. It was offensive to him, he did not believe and he was stumbling over the Stumbling stone.

CHRIST IS THE ROCK!