This is going to be a six sunday series based on First Peter, chapter two (last Spring we studied chapter one). There are five chapters in First Peter and I think we can cover them in four different series - so you will need to hang on until the Spring of 2017 to get to the end! I’m calling this series ‘Cornerstone’ and here is the reason: Peter’s message in chapter two stands on the prophetic idea that Jesus is The Cornerstone of Life and he makes it practical for his audience.
Remember, he wrote his letter to people who were christian exiles, refugees, pushed away from their homes by persecution. But he perceived that the persecution that caused them to leave the Jerusalem area was only the beginning - the rise of Roman persecution was on the horizon and Peter is giving them a serious pep-talk. He is encouraging them to weather the storms ahead that would arise because they were followers of Jesus.
I Peter 2:4-6
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a CORNERSTONE chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Peter speaks directly to managing intense persecution, but he also addresses practical day to day life and the fact that following Jesus is challenging - it takes hard decisions on a daily basis. Following Jesus results in radical personal changes which go against the cultural flow, both in that day and today. Peter knew it and wanted us to be built up - like a house upon a real and permanent cornerstone.
I hope you will be challenged and encouraged by the words he writes as we look into them over the coming weeks!