Posts Tagged 1 Peter 2: 5

Love & Fear

2 Timothy 1: 7

For God, has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

If God has not given us a spirit of fear, then from where do you suppose it came? Who did give it to us? Bingo! Fear is a weapon from the enemy’s camp. God gave you a spirit of power. He gave you His love and He gave you a sound mind. A mind that is consumed with fear is not from God. Jesus came so that you could be free from such torment.

God’s love inside of you produces power and soundness of mind. It is a shield and protection. That is not to say that you will not be attacked with the weapon of fear. Satan knows well that he can really sidetrack us with fear. Fear causes you to take your mind off of Yahweh and Jesus. It causes you to meditate on the bad things that “could” happen when you should be meditating on the promises of God. You can choose God’s Word over Satan’s lies. It is not always easy but we need to grow. When you are attacked, do just what Jesus did. Confess God’s Word right out loud. If it is a Dr.’s report that is worrisome, then attack that fear with God’s Word that He, God, sent His Word and healed you (Psalm 107: 20). Or that the stripes that Jesus bore for us were for our healing and that by those stripes you are healed (1 Peter 2: 5).

Know that God is not the author of fear but rather that He has sent to you His spirit. There is power, love and a sound mind plus all the wisdom you need for every situation in God’s spirit.

Edifice of God

Matthew 16: 18

I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

We have been talking about this scripture in a group study I participate in and I have been giving it a lot of thought. Jesus said he would build his church. We use the word “church” interchangeably. When we say, “I am going to church,” the reference is usually to a church building. When we are not going to the church building we usually clarify by saying, “I am going to a church event.” Now, obviously, in this latter example the word “church” does not refer specifically to the church building but it may well be an event specific to our congregation even though it could involve other groups of believers too. Is this as clear as mud yet? Let’s go a step further. We also talk about THE church by which we mean the body of believers. In this case THE church is the nebulous group of people who call Christ Lord. We can divide this group into parts by saying the American Church or the Austrian Church, or whatever. Usually we use the word church in this capacity to describe how the masses of believers move, believe or think. It does not refer to any one denomination but rather the collection of us all.

So here is the question, when Jesus said, “I will build My church” what did he mean? It’s a little confusing, isn’t it? Does the word “church” refer to a building, a congregation or all of us en masse? Well, here are a few points to ponder. First, know that when you walk with Jesus, your mind and your thinking pattern have to become flexible. Thinking, “outside the box” most definitely describes Yahweh and Jesus. Let’s see, though, where we can get with this.

Note that Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter. The name Peter means “rock.” This is significant for the obvious reasons of stability and foundation but there is another insight implied here. Jesus is called the rock. He is also the corner stone but wait, it gets better. Look at 1 Peter 2: 5, “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 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.” The first mention of a living stone, rejected by men is, of course, about Jesus. So now we have Jesus the rock, cornerstone and a living stone. I didn’t even know stone was living, did you? There is a second mention of living stone in this verse. You, also, are living stones. I bet you didn’t know that. So if someone calls you hardheaded you can say you get it from Jesus. The even more fascinating bit of this scripture is the end. It says that we, the living stones, are being built into a spiritual house. Each of us is a brick in the house God is building through Jesus. Are you getting this? Can we go a bit further?

1 Corinthians 3: 9 reads, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” There it is again. Collectively, we are the house of God. God is building us together into an edifice for Himself. We are the temple, His abiding place. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2: 19 – 22).

Picture this then. The foundation was laid by the apostles and the prophets. We are the brick and the mortar which has been laid upon that foundation and Jesus is the capstone and the cornerstone, the beginning and the end. The whole building rests upon and is dependent on the cornerstone and the capstone is the finisher. He is first and last, Alpha and Omega, the Aleph and the Tav but in him, we are all being fitted together as a holy building to the Father. We are the new temple. Solomon built the first temple but Jesus is building the eternal one in which the Father will take up permanent residence for all time. That is amazing!

So back to the original question – does the word “church” refer to the building or to the people. Now we know that the answer is “Yes!”