Full Service Sermon Video Sermon Audio Scripture Verses 1 Peter 2:4-10; Matthew 7: 24-27. 16: 13-18; Daniel 2 Worship Playlist Glorious Day by PassionAnother in the Fire by HillsongCornerstone by HillsongFrom the Inside Out by Hillsong Study Questions How does knowing that you have been chosen by God help you stand firm in your faith?What are some things that can undermine our faith?What are some faith builders you have experienced in your walk with Jesus?Read Philippians 1:27-2:4. Why is it so important that we stand firm in one spirit and one mind together? Apply It! Read and reread 1 Peter each week over this sermon series. One of the shorter books of the Bible, it takes just 16 minutes to read. The full text is in your Stand Firm sermon series booklet. You can also read it or listen to it read in various translations at www.biblegateway.com Downloads & Resources Sermon Video Download Service Video Download Sermon Audio Download Stand Firm As God Shakes Our Nation Dr. Jon Morrissette - 10/11/2020 1 Peter Body of Christ Build Confession Government Kingdom Pastor A Pivotal Question: Who Is Jesus?One of pivotal moments in Simon’s life comes in Matthew 16:13-15 (CSB). Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” But Jesus pressed them further. “But you…” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Back in our Berlin days, Lara and I had a dear neighbor, who suddenly had a heart attack. We were in our living room, and noticed the ominous emergency lights, flashing through our windows. I raced over to check on the neighbor as they loaded her into the ambulance. She looked utterly terrified. Later, I asked her what was going through her mind in that moment. She said, “As I lay there, I realized that nothing in all the world mattered more in that second, than Jesus. I wasn’t thinking about my husband, my kids, my house, my bills, my job, nothing. Just whether I was ready to face the Living God.” A time is coming, if it hasn’t already, when it will matter not what “other” people think or say or feel about Jesus. But it will matter greatly what you believe. In Matthew 16:16 (CSB) Simon, with utter clarity, says, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” And in Matthew 16:17-18 (CSB), Jesus says, “. . . Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” For centuries Catholics and Protestants have disputed these verses. When Jesus gave Simon the name “Peter,” Peter’s name meant “Rock.” Those of Catholic faith understand Jesus to be telling Peter that God would build his whole church upon Peter, the man. If this is the case, Jesus could have easily said, “. . .you are Peter, and on you, I will build my church.” But this isn’t what Jesus says, He says, “You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church. . .” In the original Greek language Jesus is clearly referring to a “thing,” to Peter’s confession. Peter’s confession that “Jesus is the Son of the Living God”, would be the rock upon which God would build his Church.Jesus is the "Rock," the Living Stone! This is most certainly Peter’s understanding in 1 Peter 2:4-5 (CSB). Peter says, “As you come to Him, a living stone, rejected by people but chosen and honored by God, you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” And of course Peter quotes God Himself in 1 Peter 2:6 (CSB), “For it stands in Scripture: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Let me summarize: Who is the Living Stone? Jesus! 1 Peter 2:4 (CSB). When did Peter become the Rock? The very moment he believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God! (Matthew 16:18). And, at what moment did these aliens and strangers (at what moment do you and I) become living rocks, part of a holy priesthood, just like Peter? 1 Peter 2:4, “As you come to Him, a living stone. . . you yourselves, as living stones. . . are being built to a holy priesthood.” Peter was telling these believers, “Guys, yes you may be scattered all over modern Turkey. You may be dispersed, scattered, distressed, beaten down and beaten up, subject to cruelty and chaos. Yet know this for certain… you yourselves are God’s chosen and honored people. . . you are living stones… you are part of the living church of Christ that is being built upon the Living Rock Jesus Christ Himself. And the Gates of Hades will not prevail against neither you nor Church!We the Church Are Living Stones, Little Rocks! This imagery of Jesus, the prevailing, Living Stone. This imagery of the Church, of all of us, through our faith in Jesus, being living stones, being built upon Jesus, being built into a spiritual house. . . this is perhaps the single, most powerful metaphor found in all of Scripture. Perhaps you remember our sermon series on Daniel. Like these believers, Daniel was exiled, made an alien and stranger in a distant land. His whole world, his nation Israel, his city Jerusalem, God’s chosen people Judah, were laid waste as Daniel was taken captive and made to serve in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. But in Babylon God gave Daniel powerful visions. Do you remember? In Daniel 2, the nations were symbolized in a vision as a giant statue, made of earthly elements. The head of the statue, symbolizing kingdom of Babylon, was made of gold. The powerful shoulders and arms of the statue, symbolizing the Medo-Persian Empire, were made of silver. The body and thighs, symbolizing the Kingdom of Greece, was made of bronze. Then then there were the legs of iron, symbolizing the Roman empire and the feet of iron/clay symbolizing the coming Antichrist. We cannot let the lessons of Daniel be lost upon us. These Kingdom’s of Men don’t become greater, and increasingly glorious. No, the gold becomes silver becomes bronze becomes iron becomes clay becomes dust. Each successive kingdom becoming more beastly in character and corrupt than the former. And perhaps you remember how in Daniel’s vision a STONE (a ROCK), falls from heaven and strikes the statue. Daniel 2:35 (CSB) says, “Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:44-45 (CSB) Daniel interprets the vision perfectly. “In the days of those kings, the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it, and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is certain, and its interpretation reliable.” Jesus is the “living stone”, the chosen and previous cornerstone, that fell from heaven and upon which the Kingdom of Heaven, the Church, and all of us are being built into a spiritual house, a spiritual mountain, a holy priesthood that rises up before God Almighty… and against which gates of hell cannot prevail.God's Kingdom Prevails As Nation After Nation Fails I deeply love this nation. I’m not ashamed of our country, nor our flag. No matter where you look in the world, every nation has skeletons in its closet, unhealed (and even still open) wounds. Every nation has deep ugly scars. Those who most visibly and most vocally condemn our nation have no plans to leave. This one of the greatest nations that’s ever existed on earth! But if we believe the Bible, we have to face some hard truths. This nation is the greatest “earthly” or “worldly” kingdom we can be part of. But one day this nation, just like every other nation, will come to naught. Our nation and flag will be carried away by the wind like chaff from the threshing floor of God’s judgement. The only permanent, eternal, enduring, immovable, holy, prevailing kingdom is the Kingdom of Christ, of which Christ is the cornerstone, and his people living stones. If (and God forbid) this nation comes to naught in 2020, the Church of Jesus Christ universal, the Kingdom of God universal, will continue rising, will continue prevailing, and the Kingdom of Satan shall not prevail against us! 1 Peter 2:6, “For it stands in Scripture: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.'” Come November, come 2020, or come 2021, or anytime… we need not fear… not even should the foundations of this great nation be shaken.Have Faith. God's Kingdom Cannot Be Shaken. Peter tells these believers exactly what they should expect to see happen in the nation in which they found themselves. First, Peter tells them that God is going to keep on building people into his Kingdom (1 Peter 2:5). Second, Peter tells them that anyone who believes in Jesus will NEVER be put to shame (1 Peter 2:6). Third, Peter tells them that they are going be honored (1 Peter 2:7). But notice the sober tone of 1 Peter 2:7-8 (CSB), “So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving, 'The stone that the builders rejected—this one has become the cornerstone,' and 'A stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over.' They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this.” When I read these verses I thought of Jesus’ teaching about the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27 (CSB), “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash.” The defining characteristic of those who trust God is that they take God at his Word, and obey Jesus in every area of life. The defining characteristic of the ungodly is that they arrogantly stumble over, and disobey Christ’s word, at every turn. We can expect unbelievers to mock, to ridicule, to insult, to persecute, to disregard every aspect of the counsel of God. But in the end it’s the unbeliever who will be put to shame, when that which he has built on sand, topples. We can expect everything about us to crumble… yet the one who believes will NEVER be put to shame. Should God shake this nation, and believe he is, how shall we live? 1 Peter 2:5, Peter says, “you are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 (CSB) he says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” We may very well feel like writing this nation off. But I think Peter’s suggestion is, be a holy priesthood. The priests would come before God on behalf of the people… but the priests would also come before the people representing God. Look at 1 Peter 2:4, Peter commands us to never stop coming to the Living Stone Jesus, being built up in him, and upon him! But then look at 1 Peter 2:9, we never stop proclaiming the praises of the one who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. We never forget that just as God made us his people, he can make the people of this nation his people. Just as God showed us his mercy, his mercy is also for the people of this nation.