Rolling Stones (part 3)

I have heard it said before that happiness is a full peg board. By this, it is meant that there is a large amount of satisfaction that comes to any man who has a “peg board” wall full of tools in his garage. At one time in my life, I would laugh at this assertion in disbelief. Now, as a homeowner, I nod my head in knowing affirmation. When you have a home, things break. When things break, you need tools to fix them, and there is a certain amount of security that comes from the knowledge that you have a tool for every purpose.

One of the tools that hangs on my peg board is a simple hammer. I say “simple” because everyone has one. The hammer is possibly the most common tool in every toolbox. What makes the hammer so impressive to me, though, is that it equally performs two opposite tasks. The hammer can be used to both build something, and to tear something apart. On one side of the hammer is a striking surface that can be used to nail things together, securing them to a building. On the other side of the hammer is a claw that can be used to rip nails out of wood, effectively tearing it apart.

What is true of hammers, is also (sadly) true of believers in Christ’s church. Over the past couple of weeks, we have been in a series entitled “Rolling Stones: Understanding God’s Mobile Home.” This 3 part series is a study of the modern day Temple of God . . . a Temple that is no longer located in one geographic location, but now exists wherever the people of God gather. So far in this series, we have seen that redeemed people are “living stones” in Christ’s new Temple and that Christ has built all who believe in Him into the same Temple, thus creating unity between believers. This Sunday, we will conclude this study by looking at 1 Corinthians 3:4-17, where we will see that individual believers (you and me) are invited to help in the building of Christ’s Temple. Like a hammer, however, we can either be used to build up the body, or to tear it down.

Join us at Wildwood on Sunday morning in either the 9:30 or 10:50 service as we conclude our series together. If you have a chance before Sunday, go ahead and read 1 Corinthians 3:4-17 before you arrive in preparation for our study of it together. We look forward to worshipping with you and hearing from God’s Word together this weekend. See you Sunday!

Rolling Stones (part 2): Sunday Preview

Segregation.  People want to rank groups of people based on lots of different criteria such as: finances, skin color, ethnicity, upbringing, education, etc.  Because of our sin nature, discrimination, racism, and elitism are prevalent in our world.  However, because people are also created in the image of God, those that choose to fight bigotry become heroes.  People like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Abraham Lincoln come to mind as heroes who dared to buck the biases of their culture and stand for the equal value of all mankind.  Alongside these familiar names, I want to add another:  Jesus Christ.

When you see Jesus name in this context you probably did one of two things.  1) You might have said, “Of course!” and pointed to the love Jesus displayed to all people during His earthly ministry.  2) You might have said, “No way!” How can you put someone who ministered in a culture dominated by slave trade yet never speaking out directly against it in the same breath with these civil rights crusaders?

I think that both of these perspectives are somewhat incomplete in their understanding of why Jesus name should be mentioned at the top of any discussion of a fight against racism, elitism, etc.  Jesus did not lead a rally against racism or simply live out a positive example of cultural integration.  Jesus did far more!  The book of Ephesians (2:11-22) tells us that He made peace between cultural divisions AND made peace between all kinds of people and God Himself.  This sure beats merely picketing town square or trying to persuade people of a better way.  He created the groundwork for true reconciliation and unity.

This Sunday at Wildwood in our 9:30 and 10:50 worship services, we will look at the second installment in our series “Rolling Stones: Understanding God’s Mobile Home” by studying Ephesians 2:11-22 together as we see how Jesus creates peace between people and God in His new Temple.  Join us this Sunday!

Rolling Stones (part 1): Sermon Audio

This past Sunday, I began a 3 part sermon series on the modern day Temple, entitled, “Rolling Stones:  Understanding God’s Mobile Home.”  We began the series this past Sunday by looking at 1 Peter 2:4-10, focusing on God’s Home in the Community.  I have posted the sermon audio here in case you are interested.  You can listen to it online by clicking on the “play” button below.  You can also download the message by clicking on the linked file below.

Rolling Stones pt 1

Rolling Stones: Understanding God’s Mobile Home

Go with me to Jerusalem, 32 AD.  It is Passover time, and the city is bustling with spiritual pilgrims returning for worship.  Among the worshippers that year is none other than Jesus of Nazareth.  As Jesus enters the city, He made His way to the Temple and made a most peculiar statement, “Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19).”  Those within earshot scoffed at this notion.  After all they had waited a LONG time for this Temple to be built.  In fact, they tell Jesus that it had taken 46 years to build this “third generation” Temple.  Frankly the folks were having a hard time believing that Jesus could deliver on His massive claim.  After all, this was a massive building.  Herod’s Temple was 1600 feet wide by 900 feet deep by 9 stories high with walls up to 16 feet deep.  Some of the stones in this Temple weighed over 600 tons!   How could one man make such a bold claim?

The truth of the matter is that Jesus had no intention of rebuilding Herod’s Temple at all.  The Temple Jesus was talking about was His Body.  For a millenia the presence of God in the ancient world had been housed in one of three Temples (Solomon’s, Zerubbabel’s, and Herod’s).  With Jesus death and resurrection, He would set in motion the plan to move the presence of God from a stone building to a living Body of believers.  Worship of  God would no longer run through many sacrifices in one geographical location, but would be established by the One sacrifice of Jesus death, making it possible for believers everywhere to worship God regardless of their physical location.  In a sense, Jesus death made God’s house a mobile home.  What a tremendous contrast to 600 ton immovable stones!

Over the next three weeks at Wildwood in our Sunday morning worship services (9:30 and 10:50), I will be guiding us through a study of some of the relevant passages that talk about what it means that believers are a part of “God’s Mobile Home” today.  We are living stones (rolling stones) in God’s mobile agenda.  We will begin our study this week with a look at 1 Peter 2:4-10.  Take a look at those verses before Sunday and consider the implications of these verses on what it means to live in Christian community in Norman today.  I look forward to seeing you Sunday!