Here’s the outline for my sermon at West Smethwick Congregational Church last Sunday
- Increasing hostility to the Gospel
- local church feeling small and fragile
- Personal challenges
Big Picture … an Exodus/exile people (1:1) But chosen and called by God to be different and distinct from the world around them.
It was going to mean persecution/suffering/unfair treatment …but they were called to live differently -faithful to God and keeping their side of the bargain when others didn’t keep theirs
- In the workplace
- In relationship to government
- In the home
Why? — because we are to honour and glorify Christ with our lives – knowing who we are in him
Contrast 2:1 – evil/deceit with 2:2 babies seeking spiritual food in order to grow.
How can we do this?
Because Christ was rejected by men but honoured by God for our salvation (v4-8)
V4-6 – Temple imagery
- Christ as the rejected but now honoured stone
- We as God’s people being built up in him
- Imagery also focuses on us as priests …
Then v 7-8 Christ as the one who was rejected becomes the cornerstone – foundation – holding everything together in unity.
- Because due to sin we were rejected – despised but now chosen and loved in God (v9-10)
- Chosen by God … royal priests/holy nation (Israel imagery)
- To show others the goodness of God (which you have experienced
- All because of what God has done – calling us out of darkness into light
- “Unloved” and not a people become God’s loved people.
Death and resurrection
- Specific to WSCC a small local church has been through this experience of death. May feel inadequate for the task ahead of reaching Smethwick with the Gospel – but it isn’t about your strength or reputation but about Christ
- Individual examples