Posts Tagged ‘Church


What False Teachers Do

Peter, addressing the topic of false teachers, said that they will lead many astray. They would deny the truth and bring it into disrepute, Peter says. He wrote:

Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. – 2 Peter 2:2 (NIV)

When false teachers spread lies, two things occur. First, they lead people astray from the truth. Whatever heresy they spread, they end up leading people from the truth. Their version of the truth is really more of a perversion of it. Peter says that their conduct is depraved.
Second, not only do they lead people astray, but they hurt the witness of the church as well. False teachers cause confusion in the church and they hurt the church’s reputation in the world. The world doesn’t know any better for they tend to be ignorant of God’s Word. What is sad is when Christ’s followers are ignorant of the Word of God as well. If we don’t know the truth, we’ll be apt to be led astray and the church will be hurt as well.

Good Reminders

Sometimes we need to be reminded of things. We make a list to take to the grocery store so we don’t forget anything. You may keep a calendar in your purse or on your phone so you remember your appointments. You write a Post-It Note to remember something and put it somewhere so you don’t forget. We need people to remind us of things, too. Peter wrote:

So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. – 2 Peter 1:12 (NIV)

Peter took time to write his second letter to remind his fellow believers of important things so that they would not forget them. Even though he was confident that they knew these things, God thought it was good to remind them of who they were, what they believed and why they believed it. We need to be reminded of these same things. I think that this is why going to church is so important. We need a place to go where we can be reminded about who we are, to Whom we belong and why we believe what we believe. We need good reminders along the way as we make our way home.

Affection Toward One Another

Peter closes his first letter with two greetings, an exhortation and a blessing. He wrote:

She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ. – 1 Peter 5:13-14 (NIV)

Our relationships in the church should be rooted in love. It’s not always easy to get along with one another and sometimes we don’t feel like loving each other. Our personalities may clash and we bump into one another causing disagreements and hurt feelings. We may have times when conflict arises and we don’t feel like much of a church family. Then Peter comes along and says to greet one another with a kiss of love. Scholars aren’t exactly sure what kind of kiss it was, but they say that by the 2nd century, it was a regular part of church gatherings. If you think that the meet and greet time at church is uncomfortable now, imagine what it would be like if everyone started kissing each other! The point is that we need to love each other, even when it is hard and even when there is conflict. We’re all on the same team. We all are serving the same Master. Let’s love each other well because sometimes, we’re all we’ve got.

The Shepherds Of God’s Flock

In 1 Peter 5, Peter turns his attention to church leadership. He writes:

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. – 1 Peter 5:1-3 (NIV)

God is looking for elders who will watch over His flock with willing, servant hearts. He wants the elders of His church to serve as examples of what it means to lead like, love like and look like Christ. If elders aren’t following Christ, then how can people follow them? If elders won’t shepherd the flock, then the flock will be in danger. If the elders only desire exalted power, God will bring them down. Being an elder is a tough job and we need elders who will do it well.

Our Cornerstone

Peter says that Jesus is the One on whom the foundation of our faith is laid. Not only that, but Jesus is the One on whom the church is built. When Peter confessed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, Jesus told him that His church would be built on that confession. Jesus is the Cornerstone. Peter wrote in his first letter:

 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.” – 1 Peter 2:6 (NIV)

Peter was quoting the prophet Isaiah and pointing to Jesus as the fulfillment of that prophecy. God said that He would lay this foundation for our faith and the church in Zion, or Jerusalem. It was in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead. Everything hinges upon this event. The death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ is what it all boils down to. Jesus died and rose again and this is the foundation of our faith and His church.

Living Stones

Jesus is the Cornerstone of our faith. He is the rock upon which His church is built. Peter describes Him as a “living Stone.” That’s a real contradiction in terms. How can a stone be alive? Yet, Jesus is the living Stone who was chosen by God the Father. Peter writes:

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:4-5 (NIV)

Not only is Jesus the living Stone, but we who follow Him are like living stones. God is building us into a “spiritual house.” This house has Jesus for the Cornerstone and generation after generation of living stones are built upon one another. Let us remember that we are all in this together and Jesus is our foundation.

God’s Presence In Us

How do you know if God is living in you? How do you know if His presence in you is real? The evidence of God’s love and presence in our lives is when we love one another. The Apostle John wrote:

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1 John 4:12 (NIV)

It is so incredibly important that we love each other in the church. Jesus said that everyone would know that we are His followers when we love one another unconditionally. It’s not enough to sit next to someone at a pot-luck. It’s got to be more than just shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries on a Sunday morning. We need to go deeper with one another and truly reach out in love to one another. Even if we disagree on so many topics, we can agree on one – Jesus is the risen Lord. If we can agree on that and love each other in spite of our differences, we can show the world the love of God.

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