The Master’s Class, Summit Church
CHRIST IS THE LIVING STONE (1 Peter 2:4-7)

CHRIST IS THE LIVING STONE (1 Peter 2:4-7)

April 24, 2016
When we think of building a home, we spend a lot of time thinking about how many rooms we want to have, how big they should be, should we use carpets on the floor or some kind of tile or wood; what kind of countertops, marble, Formica, tile, or even solid wood; what color the outside of the house should be, do you want a deck or a fence in the backyard.  Everything we spend the most time on is generally on the appearance of the home, and the functionality of the rooms, and that is understandable because that is what we see and use the most.  

I would hazard a guess that, other than deciding on whether or not to have a basement, most of us will not even spend 5 minutes making sure the house has a solid foundation to be built on.  As Jesus said in His parable of the two builders, there are wise builders and there are foolish builders.

Matt 7:24-27
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
KJV

The foundation of our home may not be the thing we think about the most, but the truth is, if the foundation of your home is not solid, the winds and storms of Kansas will blow all of that nice exterior and interior beauty away in just a brief moment.  In fact, after a tornado, often the only thing left is the foundation of the home.  

The spiritual house of our church and our own spiritual life, depend on having a solid foundation.  You can have the best music program, the most entertaining sermons, even the best youth programs, but if your spiritual house is not built on a faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of the living God, then, you will have nothing but disappointment when the storms of tragedy come blowing into your life.  

1 Cor 3:11
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
KJV

This is what our lesson is about today.  Jesus Christ as the Living Stone that is to be the foundation that our spiritual house is built upon.
HOW TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE (1 Peter 2:1-3)

HOW TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE (1 Peter 2:1-3)

April 17, 2016
HOW TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE

When I was a kid growing up, my father would tell me that I needed to choose the people I hung around with very carefully because if you are part of a group, then you will be judged by the behavior of that group.  Whether, or not, you actually did whatever the group did, that was how people would think of you.  In other words, if you hang out with a group that is always getting into trouble, then people will think of you as a trouble maker.  If you hang out the smart people, then you will be judged to be like them whether you really are smart, or not.  I am not saying that is fair, it is just the way it is.  Life is rarely fair.  

I learned this lesson well, and I generally chose to do things the various groups of kids were not doing.  As the saying goes, I was country when country wasn’t cool.  I turned in my platform shoes and walked all around my college campus wearing cowboy boots.  Now, I have to admit, it was at Kansas State University, so it wasn’t all that unusual.  I gave up listening to Three Dog Night, Chicago, and Sly and Family Stone as a teenager and started listening to Willie and Waylon, Hank Jr, and Merle Haggard back in the rebel days of country music.  

After a while, I switched to traditional country music which included George Strait and the music from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.  People like Hank Sr., Patsy Cline, Don Williams, Danny Davis and Nashville brass, and so forth.  I even started listening to big band and 40’s club music.  Nobody was listening to these guys at that time.  It actually became a point in my life to be seen as different from all of the crowd.  But being different meant that I was not a part of any particular group.  Certainly not, the in-crowd.  This was a conscious, and deliberate, decision on my part.  I did not want to be associated with the in-crowd, and so I wasn’t.

This actually fit right in with being a Christian during my school years.  Living the life of a Christian means you will never be popular, and you will not be a part of the cool kids.  In fact, the Bible tells us that we will be hated.

Mark 13:13
13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
KJV

Even knowing that this true, there is to be a conscious, deliberate, decision on the part of a believer, to live a life that is separated from the secular world.  Not isolated from the world, for we live in the world, but we are not to be of the world.  When people describe you, they should say that there is something different about you, not goofy different, but a good difference.  There ought to be something attractive about the way you conduct yourself.  There should be a lack of anxiety about all of the things that worry the rest of the world.  There should be a humility in your words and your actions.  There should be kindness in your actions to others.  In fact, people should see Christ shining out of you.  

Everything you think about when you consider how Christ lived His life on this earth, ought to be something that you are moving toward, or growing toward as a Christian.  This is what living a holy life means.  It is living a separated life.  One set aside for Christ, dedicated to the work of Christ, and accomplishing the purposes of God in this world.  

This is what our lesson is about today, how to live a holy, or a separated life.  
THE SOURCE OF POWER IN A CHRISTIAN LIFE (1 Peter 1:22-25)

THE SOURCE OF POWER IN A CHRISTIAN LIFE (1 Peter 1:22-25)

April 10, 2016
Have you ever been told by someone in authority that you are to go do something that you don’t believe is within your capability to do?  At my workplace, we move people around to different roles a lot.  With a large part of the employees, they are moving to a different role about every two years.  This means that they have to quickly learn how to do a particular role, and then just when they get a basic understanding of how to do it, they move on to another role.  

Quite often they will move a very young, inexperienced, person into a position of greater responsibility and expect them to sink or swim.  I often hear people say that they were intimidated by the responsibility of the new role, and that they did not feel capable of doing it.  However, the company philosophy is one of if you have the right virtues, talents, and philosophies, then they can put you just about anywhere, and you will succeed.  It can be a bit daunting at times.  

The one thing the company does do is provide the right tools to help a person who is humble enough to ask for the help.  I have watched as a person will try to succeed by his own wit and knowledge, and almost always, you will see them fail, many times quite miserably.  I have watched others who were humble enough to ask for help and they can often succeed.  The corporate world can be a real meat grinder of people.  The proud can rise, but they can also fall quite hard.   

The demand that God puts on us as believers is very similar to this.  You take a brand new Christian, and you immediately give them the elevated standing of an ambassador to the almighty Creator of all things.  You then tell them all of the things that God has done for them to provide them with eternal life and redemption, much as Peter has been doing over the last several weeks, and then you tell them all of the things that this new standing, or position, requires of them.  

They are to hate sin, they are to live a life that is uniquely different from the life they led before, and the life of the lost people all around them.  They are to tell people about the gospel message of Christ, but more than that because words can be hollow, they are to live a life that is a testimony to the Christ they serve.  They are to be a light in the darkness drawing people to them so that they can lead them to the cross of Jesus.  

It is easy to be intimidated by this requirement of a holy life.  Yet, God formed His plan of redemption for us from the foundation of time.  That plan included the tools and resources that the new-born Christian could depend on to accomplish the task that God had given them.  They just have to be humble enough to ask for the help.  It is absolutely impossible to live a holy life that is acceptable to God under your own wit and knowledge.  You simply cannot do it on your own.  You must use the power and tools that God is offering you, or you will fail, and fail miserably.  

Those tools and resources are the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, and the living, indestructible, incorruptible, and eternal, Word of God.  It is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God who are the true source of power in a Christian life.  God has provided them as part of His plan of redemption, you just have to be humble enough to seek them out and use them.  This is what our lesson is about today.  Listen to this podcast to learn the true source of power for the Christian to live a holy life.   
GOD’S PLAN OF REDEMPTION (1 Peter 1:19-21)

GOD’S PLAN OF REDEMPTION (1 Peter 1:19-21)

April 3, 2016
God has a plan for your redemption.  God was not taken by surprise by the fall of man.  It was foreknown by God.  If God acted in creation, He knew He would eventually have to act in redemption.  He also knew that all three persons of the Godhead would have to be involved.

So, before God ever spoke the words that began creation, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit conceived the plan to redeem Adam's ruined race.  It was foreordained before the foundation of the world that, when the fullness of the time was come, God the Son would enter into human life.  He would become the Babe of Bethlehem and then, in due time, the Lamb of Calvary.  Our redemption was no afterthought with God.  It was part of a plan.  

Christ was the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world because God knew that you and I would need a Savior, and He loved us enough to provide that Savior.  The Biblical concept of foreordination is just that simple, we only needed a God with a great big heart of love who provided redemption by His grace. 

John 3:16-18
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
KJV

This is God’s plan of redemption.  God loves you enough to offer salvation by grace.

Revelation 13:8
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
KJV

Whether man wants to acknowledge the existence of God or not. Whether man wants to accept God’s plan of redemption, or not.  God’s plan states that from the foundation of the world, God planned for all mankind, saved or not, to worship Him.  If you want to find God’s salvation, then the object of your faith must be in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  God very reasonably declares…

1 John 5:9-12
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
KJV

Our redemption has been a part of God’s eternal plan.  Our response to that plan demands that we accept the redemption offered by God, to live a holy life as set out by the Scripture, and to do the work that God has sent us here to do.  

Listen to this podcast to learn about God’s plan for your redemption.