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Craving Spiritual Nourishment


PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH


1 PETER 2:1-10                                                                                               30 JUNE 2024

 

 

 

 

The Church is the Church only when it exists for others...not dominating but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

READ: 1 Peter 2:1-10

 

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

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. For this is contained in Scripture:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

“The stone which the builders rejected,This became the very corner stone,”

and,

“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

In this passage, we'll see how important craving spiritual nourishment is. We will know the importance of being built into a spiritual house. And we will find the significance of Christ as our cornerstone.

 

When we hunger for God's presence and God’s Word, we grow in our faith. It may be slow growth. It may have ups and downs. But this craving for God is key to becoming more like Christ. Just as newborn babies crave milk to grow and develop, we, too, must crave the pure spiritual milk of God's Word and His presence in our lives.

 

We will find the spiritual nourishment we crave when we regularly read and meditate on God's Word. The Bible is the primary source of spiritual nourishment. You won’t find spiritual nourishment anywhere else.

God’s  Word contains the truth, wisdom, and guidance we need to grow in our faith.

 

By spending time in God's Word, we learn more about His character, His promises, and what His will is for our lives. This knowledge not only strengthens our faith but also equips us to face the challenges and trials that we may encounter in our daily lives.

 

Another key element in our Spiritual Nourishment is prayer. 

Prayer is our direct line of communication with God.

It is through prayer that we can express our gratitude to God for the blessings we receive from Him.

We can confess our sins.

And we can seek His guidance and wisdom.

By spending time in prayer, we develop a deeper relationship with God.

We can more fully experience God and His presence in our lives.

Prayer is the connection with our Heavenly Father that is essential for our spiritual growth and well-being.

 

Craving spiritual nourishment involves reading God's Word and praying, as well as seeking fellowship with other believers.

As Christians, we are not meant to walk through this journey of life alone.

Rather, we are called to be part of a community of believers.

As a community, we can encourage, support, and challenge one another in our faith.

By regularly attending church services, Bible studies, and Bible Study groups, we engage in Christian fellowship.

 In these times together, we experience the love, support, and accountability necessary for our spiritual growth.

It is when this fellowship is absent in our life that we become weaker, that we begin to wander and waver in our faith and Christian living.

 

Craving spiritual nourishment is not only about our personal growth.

It also has a direct impact on our ability to serve and minister to others.

As we grow in our faith and become more like Christ, we are better equipped to share the love of God with those around us. Sharing Christ with others may, and rightly must, involve sharing our faith with non-believers. We will offer encouragement and support to fellow believers.

But we should also be sure we are equipped to share our faith with those who are not in Christ.

By craving spiritual nourishment and growing in our faith, we can become effective witnesses for Christ and make a lasting impact on the lives of those around us.

 

It is important to recognize that our craving for spiritual nourishment is not something that we can create or achieve through our own efforts.

Instead, it is a gift from God. He desires to draw us closer to Himself, and the closer we draw to God, the more we are transformed into the image of His Son.

 

Our craving for spiritual nourishment increases our hunger for His Word and for His presence in our lives. He will graciously respond and provide the spiritual nourishment that we need to grow in our faith.

 

Very often when we are seeking that spiritual nourishment, obstacles stand in our way. We face a multitude of distractions and temptations that may very easily deter us from staying on course toward seeking spiritual nourishment for ourselves.

 

In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, it can be all too easy to become consumed with the things of this world and neglect our spiritual growth. We may find ourselves spending more time on all the electronic gadgets which are so much a part of life these days.

We might allow ourselves to spend more time pursuing other worldly distractions than we do seeking God's presence and nourishment. We must recognize these distractions and make a conscious effort to prioritize our spiritual growth and well-being.

 

Another potential obstacle to craving spiritual nourishment is the presence of sin in our lives. Sin will create a barrier between us and God. And that barrier makes it difficult for us to experience His presence and receive the spiritual nourishment that we need.

 

When we recognize sin in our lives, we must confess and repent, asking God for forgiveness and cleansing. As we do this, we can experience the restoration of our relationship with God and once again crave the spiritual nourishment that He provides.

 

It is also worth noting that our craving for spiritual nourishment may ebb and flow throughout our Christian journey. We may have highs and lows in our daily walk.

 

There may be times when we feel a strong hunger for God's Word and His presence.

At other times, we may struggle to maintain that same level of desire. During these times, we must continue seeking God and asking Him to renew our hunger for spiritual nourishment.

 

Personal Testimony

 

So, let’s go back to our text in 1 Peter 2.

When Peter speaks of being built into a spiritual house, he addresses the nature of our faith and the individual growth and development that occurs within each believer.

 

As Christians, we aren’t meant to live in isolation. We are called to be part of a larger spiritual community that God is building up and strengthening.

This spiritual house is a metaphor, or a likeness, for the body of Christ—the church—which is made up of individual believers who are shaped and molded by the Holy Spirit.

 

Peter describes believers as living stones being used to construct a spiritual house. His language speaks of our faith's dynamic and active nature.

 

As living stones, we are not passive or without action. The Holy Spirit's work in our lives continually shapes and transforms us. This process of spiritual growth and maturation is essential for the health and vitality of the spiritual house as a whole.

 

What does it mean for Christ to be the cornerstone of this spiritual house? In architecture, the cornerstone is the most important part of a building. The reason for that fact is that the cornerstone provides the foundation upon which the rest of the structure is built.

 

In the same way, Christ is the foundation of our faith and the source of our spiritual growth. As believers, we are called to build our lives upon the teachings and example of Jesus, recognizing that He is the one who holds everything together and gives our faith its ultimate meaning and purpose.

 

Being built into a spiritual house also involves being a holy priesthood. In the Old Testament, the priests were responsible for offering sacrifices on behalf of the people and serving as mediators between God and humanity.

 

In the New Testament, however, this role is expanded to include all believers, who are called to be a "holy priesthood" that offers "spiritual sacrifices" to God.

These spiritual sacrifices include our prayers, acts of worship, and commitment to living lives that please God. As members of this holy priesthood, we are called to serve as ambassadors of Christ, representing Him to the world and sharing the good news of His love and grace.

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it well: "The Church is the Church only when it exists for others...not dominating but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others." (Letters and Papers from Prison). Bonhoeffer captured the essence of what it means to be part of the spiritual house – a community of believers who are committed to growing in their faith, supporting one another, and reaching out to a world in need of the hope and healing that can only be found in Christ.


Christ as the Cornerstone


Earlier, I mentioned that a cornerstone is the first stone laid in the construction of a building. It’s the most important stone because all other stones are set about it. It determines the position of the entire structure.

If the cornerstone is not properly placed, the entire building will be out of alignment. In the same way, Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our faith, and our lives should be built upon Him and aligned with His teachings.

 

In our passage, Peter quotes (vs 6) from the Old Testament prophecies in Isaiah 28:16 and Psalm 118:22, which speak of the coming Messiah as the cornerstone. These prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who was rejected by the religious leaders of

His time but was the foundation chosen by God to be the cornerstone of our faith.

 

Peter emphasizes that those who trust in Jesus as the cornerstone will never be put to shame, meaning that their faith in Him will not be disappointed or proven false.

 

However, for those who do not believe in Jesus, He becomes a stumbling block.

They reject the very foundation of their salvation, and as a result, they stumble and fall.

 

This is a sobering reminder of the importance of recognizing and accepting Jesus as the cornerstone of our faith. Without Him, we cannot have a solid foundation, and our spiritual lives will be unstable and soon will collapse.

 

As believers, we are called to be living stones built upon the cornerstone of Christ. Our lives should be aligned with His teachings, and we should strive to follow His example in all that we do. As we grow in our faith and become more like Christ, we are being built into a spiritual house, a holy temple where God's presence dwells.

 

We are called to support and encourage one another, just as the stones in a building support and strengthen the structure. We are also called to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. These sacrifices include our worship, our prayers, and our acts of service and love towards others.

 

Let us always be about building our lives on the solid foundation of Jesus and His teachings. As we grow in our faith and become more like Christ, we are being built into a spiritual house, a community of believers who are called to support and encourage one another and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are pleasing to God.

 

By recognizing and accepting Jesus as the cornerstone of our faith, we can experience the stability, security, and peace that comes from being firmly grounded in Him.

 

So, as we go forth today, let's remember to crave that pure spiritual milk, grow in our salvation, and be built into a spiritual house with Christ as our cornerstone. Let's embrace our roles as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation, called to declare the praises of our God, who brought us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

 

Invitation

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