A – BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LIFE – 1
A better title would be “Building Blocks for Life with Christ” but for a Christian, life is a life with and for Christ. 2 Pet.1:2 Peter begins with the assumption that the people to whom he is writing have faith. Faith is kin to belief. It goes a step further in that we believe in what we can’t see but for what we hope. Heb.11:1 If we had no belief in Jesus as the Son of the living God, then we have no foundation upon which to build.
Eph.2:20 A cornerstone was of extreme importance for it squared the walls. Jesus is our cornerstone for the church but He was rejected by the Jews. Acts 4:11,12 The entire building (church) is joined together as a building. Eph.2:21,22 This doesn’t say “has grown” for we are still growing into this holy temple in the Lord.
Grace and peace from God, our Father, is mentioned in so many of the letters of Paul, and now of Peter. We never deserve the favor of God and the peace that comes with it until we get to know the Lord. This knowledge isn’t theological book knowledge. 1 Jhn.5:20 As we grow in our knowledge and understanding of God and His Son, our favor with God and the peace it brings to our hearts is multiplied. 2 Cor.4:6 This comes even in the midst of pain and sorrow. When we know, our hearts fill with faith and joy and we can say with Job—Job 19:25
How could we ever doubt the power and glory of Christ. Eph.1:19 This power gives us everything we need to grow in Christ. 2 Pet.1:3 We can have faith that God will provide. Rom.8:32 He wants us to grow so He gives us what we need to accomplish this very thing. When we walk in the Light of Christ, we bear fruit of the Light. Eph.5:9
Jesus doesn’t want us to have just a mediocre life in Him. He wants our life to be an abundant life—an overflowing life with His precious promises. 2 Pet. 1:4; Jhn.10:10 His promises are true and secure. We can count on them. 2 Cor.1:20 The prophets of old gave many promises from God. Many of these were fulfilled in Christ; but now we have even better promises. Heb.8:6
As we become Christians, we become new in Christ. This means that we become Christlike. Col.3:10 God created us in His image. Gen.1:27 That image was corrupted by sin. Through Christ we can be equipped to again build our lives toward that image for which we were intended. Eph.4:23,24
A new Christian begins a new life that has been completely cleansed of sin. Sin no longer reigns in his life. Now he must start building that life all over again. His life is not over; it is just beginning. Gal.6:8 Before we became a Christian, we lived for ourselves with our worldly desires. Now we are changed. 1 Pet.4:2
This change cannot come through our own power but through the power given to us through the Holy Spirit. We are equipped with all we need to overcome this fascination of the world. The Christian life is a continuous progression toward that which brings us to our eternity with Christ. We are given all the equipment we need, but we must use it.
Our success in building our new life depends not only on God’s gift of salvation which we accepted, but it also depends on our continuous effort. Barclay gives a good example quoted from Bengel and taken from the Parable of the Ten Virgins. “The flame is that which is imparted to us by God and from God without our own labour; but the oil is that which a man must pour into life by his own study and his own faithful effort, so that the flame may be fed and increased.”
1 Pet.1:5 In beginning to build our lives, we are admonished to use diligence. This is important for we cannot be haphazard. Prov.4:23 Diligence is hard working and painstaking. We work and we care about what happens. Phil.2:12,13 If we don’t have the will to build our lives, we won’t work to accomplish it.
The first tool with which we are equipped is faith. Heb.11:6 We have to believe without a doubt that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matt.16:16 These are not just words. We believe that God is alive and that He sent His Son – Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). We believe Jesus is God’s Son. Jhn.1:1,14 This is the groundwork from where we start. Faith is our beginning toward salvation. Since we have faith in Christ as the Son of God, we also have faith in His demands for our life. Rom.1:5 Sometimes we don’t like that word, “obedience”. We just want to believe and go on with our life as it was.
We can have faith and yet be weak. Paul mentions this in regard to Abraham. Rom.4:19,20 Abraham grew strong in faith; so our faith can be strengthened. 2 Cor. 10:15 As we go through those of faith in chapter 11 of Hebrews (the Faith Chapter), we see how those men and women had great faith. How can we tell? We are told what they did. Jam.2:18 What we do for Christ and His church also shows our faith in Him.
When Jesus spoke and the unclean spirit came out of a boy, the father made a statement that we might make to show how we need growth in our faith. Mk.9:24 Jesus had no sin and yet he was made sinful as He took our sin on Himself. We have no righteousness and yet Jesus gave us righteousness through Him. 2 Cor.5:21 This is very powerful. How grateful we should be as we recognize our nothingness except through Christ.
The favor that we have from God came to us because of our faith. We could never have enough works to save us. Our salvation is solely a gift from God; however, we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Eph.2:8-10
The Corinthians were abounding in their faith. 2 Cor.8:7 Oh, that we could do the same. The love of the Thessalonians was greatly enlarged. 2 Thess.1:3 Our faith needs to be secure as an example for those around us. 1 Tim.4:12