Life with Jesus

January 29, 2023 | Jess Rainer

Passage: 1 Peter 2:4-10

Blindfolded at Camp - Blindfolded, put in “maze”.  Other people were figuring out how to get out; getting frustrated.  When I felt like I had exhausted all my options, I finally asked for help.  Blindfold removed and saw the “maze”.  As long as the blindfold was on my eyes, the maze would never make sense.  Some of you feel that way right now, except in life.  It just doesn’t make sense.  You’ve been sitting here the past 3 weeks listening to me talk about hope.  And when I say hope, I am talking about living this life with assurance of what’s coming next.  It’s not a wishful thinking; it’s not an emotion.  Hope is knowledge.  But you’ve been listening and still not fully getting to the bottom of what it means live with hope.  Here’s the reality: Life without Jesus is disorienting.  And until the spiritual blindfold is removed, life will never make sense.  Today, we reach a part of the Peter’s first letter where he makes sure we know that life will only make sense with the spiritual blindfold removed.  My desire is that you will know the hope that comes with a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Because you’ll see that…Life only makes sense with Jesus.  Our current Sermon Series: Hope Fully - Let me give a quick recap of what we’ve uncovered so far in 1 Peter.  Hold on to Hope.  When you begin a relationship with Jesus, you are given hope.  Hope is Holy and Ready.  Our hope has certain characteristics that we must maintain.  Hope must grow in the right environment.  Our hope flourishes when wrapped up in God’s Word.  Let’s all turn to 1 Peter in our Bibles to see what hope does to our lives.  Read 1 Peter 2:4-10.  Peter clearly articulates what or Who must be the foundation of our lives.  Here’s what we see first: You either build with Jesus or trip over Jesus.

1) You either build with Jesus or trip over Jesus. (vs. 4-8)  Peter, as usual, begins with Jesus.  Our status – who we are – depends on the status of Jesus.  Look at how Peter describes Jesus in verse 4:  You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.  Do you all remember the name that Jesus gave Peter?  Cephas, which is Greek for “Rock”.  There have been a lot famous “rocks” in history:  Plymouth Rock,  Stonehenge, The Rock Movie, The Rock Actor.  Of all the people, Peter could have pointed to himself as “THE ROCK” because Jesus called him that.  Peter doesn’t point to Himself, but points to Jesus as our Rock.  Why? Because he knew that Jesus was the rock – the foundation – for everything.  What does it mean that Jesus is the “living cornerstone?”  I don’t know much about construction, but I know that the cornerstone is the stone for which all other stones are placed.  It’s the stone that connects all the other stones.  If the cornerstone was weak or misaligned, it would cause the entire structure to be weak or misaligned.  Jesus is the cornerstone of life. He is the One which all of life is built upon. And He’s not a cornerstone, Jesus is The Living Cornerstone. Jesus died and was risen from the dead. Jesus was set as the living cornerstone of life through His resurrection.  Look at verse 6:  As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

Jesus’ status as the living cornerstone of life is set – it’s permanent.  Nothing can change.  What we must do is to decide how we respond to that truth.  There are two options: you build with Jesus or you trip over Jesus.  Quote: Salvation is in no other; there is no other Son of God, no other atoning cross, no other resurrection life. Peter’s message begins and ends in the purpose of God; God has set in place his chosen cornerstone; God has determined, too, the rejection and doom of the builder.” – Edmund Clowney.  In verse 5, Peter tells us that those who accept Jesus as the cornerstone of life will build with Him.  And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.   We’ll talk about what that means for our identity in a minute.  In verses 7 and 8, we see what happens to those who don’t accept Jesus as the cornerstone.  Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.”  And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.  Legos – build or walk on them.  When I see my kids get Legos out, I know I have two options.  I either build something with them or I end up in pain.  If there are any leftover Legos, it will be inevitable that I will walk on them at some point.  There is no middle ground with Jesus.  We all have a cornerstone in our lives.  We find out what that cornerstone is when life begins to shift away from us.  When life gets sideways, what do you fall back on?  If you think there is enough money in the bank account, money is your foundation.  If you think your family will hold you up, family is your foundation.  If you think you have the power to get through hard times, then you are your foundation.  If the foundation of your life is anything but Jesus, life gets distorted fast.  The foundation of your life isn’t something that is “out of sight and out of mind”.  Your foundation will be revealed when hard times hit.  But your foundation will also be revealed as your live your life.  Remember a cornerstone affects all your life.  What Peter writes next is the effect of Christ as your foundation:  Our identity comes from Jesus.

2) Our identity comes from Jesus.  (vs. 9a)  One of the things I love about the Bible is how endless it is.  There are certain verses that are for certain seasons of our life.  Verse 9 is a verse that we can hold on to right now as a culture.  Underline it!  I want to encourage you to bring your Bibles each week.  Write in them, underline, highlight.  There are times when God will teach you a truth that you should make sure you remember.  Look at what Peter writes:  9a But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.  We are not like what?  We are not like those he describes in verse 8 – those who don’t have Jesus as their foundation and will trip over him.  So what are we?  Before we look at who we are in Christ, I want to get understand of what identity is.  The identity has taken a whole new meaning recently.  Look at this definition of identity:  Quote: “Your identity is built around whatever the most important person in your life thinks about you.” – Clayton King.  (Repeat it)  Let that sink in for a minute.  Who in your life holds a place over your identity?  I think that it’s not always a person, but it a combination of people.  Parents, we derive our identity in what our kids think about us and their level of happiness.  Even as grown adults, the desire to please a parent plays into identity.  I think a parent that has passed away can still play a major impact on identity.  Husbands and wives, it’s so easy to let who you are get tied in your spouse.  Now, it’s important to value your spouse’s opinion and have a healthy marriage.  But your identity can’t be in just being a wife or a husband.  And then there’s social media.  The longer I’ve been removed from social media the longer I’ve realized that I’ve let my identity be wrapped up in what people digitally thought about me.  There’s another aspect of social media where we constantly watch these people’s reels and feeds and derive our identity from them.  Because we want their perceived life. 

The Greatest Showman (The Greatest Movie) - Charity leaves home when she can.  Her dad had parting words to PT Barnum.  “She’ll be back. She’ll tire of your life, of having nothing, and come back home.”  You see this theme play out through the whole movie.  Jenny Lind sings a song with the lyrics.  All the shine of a thousand spotlights  - All the stars we steal from the night sky - Will never be enough - Never be enough - Towers of gold are still too little - These hands could hold the world but it'll - Never be enough - Never be enough.  After PT Barnum’s life crumbles, he sings these words:  For years and years  - I chased their cheers - The crazy speed of always needing more - But when I stop - And see you here - I remember who all this was for.  This search for finding happiness was never enough, even in the end.  Whenever we let our identity be associated with anything that’s not Jesus, we are always left with the feeling of never being enough.  So who are you? Look at what God tells us: 

  1. Chosen
    • God wants you.
    • He chose you to be a part of His family.
    • He loved you so much that He sent His Son to die for you.
  2. Royal Priest
    • In the OT, there were kings and there were priests.  They each held a distinct role.  There was a stature with the kings.  And there was a privilege with the priests.  
    • In the NT, we are called to offer spiritual sacrifices (as in verse 4) as part of our calling to in God’s kingdom.  That means we get to worship, serve, give, -- do all the things as priests in God’s kingdom.  What a status!
  3. Holy Nation 
    • As Christ-followers, we are set apart  
    • Who we are is not wrapped up in this world, but as people who are set apart for God
    • We get to help display the power of the gospel everyday  
  4. God’s Own Possession
    • God not only chose you, but He claims you as one of His own
    • The Creator of the World calls you “His”
      • He looks at you and says, “He’s mine. She’s mine.”  Think parents watching pre-school singing.  
      • That’s what God does with you.  To God, you are enough. Let your identity be tied up in that God sees you and that He loves you and that you are enough.

 When you build your foundation with Jesus, your identity will come from Jesus.  Life begins to make sense when you build your life on Jesus.  Life begins to make sense when you who you are is wrapped up in Jesus.  Out of this place – your foundation and identity in Jesus – your purpose becomes clear.  That’s what we see last:  Jesus makes your purpose clear.

3) Jesus makes your purpose clear. (vs. 9b-10)  Peter starts the second half of verse 9 with what?  “As a result”  9b As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.  10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”  Because of who you are, here is what you do:  “show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”  CSB – “so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  ESV – “that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  There is your purpose!  You might not know the purpose of the micros in your life, but God has answered the purpose of the macros in your life.  Do I take this new job?  You may not have an answer right away, but you do know that whether you stay in your current job or get a new job, the purpose of your job is to proclaim the excellencies of God.  Do I buy the house?  God will answer that in time, but no matter what house you live, you will use it to proclaim the excellences of God.  When your life is tied up with Jesus, your purpose becomes clear.  Life only makes sense with Jesus.  Quit living in confusion

Quote: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’” – CS Lewis.   

Open your eyes, see the blindfold, and take off the blindfold.  Some of you don’t know you have a blindfold on and some of you don’t want to take the blindfold off.  Don’t be content with a life of confusion and disorientation.  The world through Jesus is more vibrant than you can imagine.  And when you see the world through Jesus, that’s where you’ll find clarity.  That’s where you’ll find hope. 

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Series Information

This 13-week series focuses on 1 Peter where we will look at what it means to have hope as sojourners.  This chapter points us towards eternal hope.  The Christian hope is more than mere optimism that says things will “hopefully” work out. It is a sure hope, and so we “hope fully” (1 Peter 1:13) through every trial and test of faith.

Other sermons in the series

January 08, 2023

Hold on to Hope

1Peter 1:3-4 [ESV] 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus...

January 15, 2023

Ready and Holy

1Peter 1:16 [ESV] 16 since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am...

January 22, 2023

Hope Grows

1 Peter 1:25 [ESV] 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever." And...

February 05, 2023

Keep Your Identity

1Peter 2:11-12 [ESV] 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to...

February 12, 2023

Keep Going

1 Peter 2:24 [ESV] 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree...

February 26, 2023

Hope-Filled Marriage

1 Peter 3:1, 7 [ESV] 1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own...

March 05, 2023

Many Good Days

1 Peter 3:12 [ESV] 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous...

March 19, 2023

Life Choices

1 Peter 4:10-11 [ESV] 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve...

March 26, 2023

Continue to Rejoice

1 Peter 4:19 [ESV] 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's...