How many of you have ever been disappointed? Or how many of you have ever had expectations that were not met?
· A restaurant was not as tasty as someone had told you
· Your grade was lower than you were expecting
· Someone doesn’t act the way you would like
· You bought some new technology and when it arrived it didn’t work right and had to be sent back
· You didn’t receive the a reponse from someone that you were expecting
· You went to college and received a degree but couldn’t find a job in that area
· Your retirement isn’t as wonderful as you thought
If you think through the examples that I offered you might have noticed an increasing level of disappointment as we went – being disappointed because of the service or food at a restaurant is not nearly as disappointing as losing the benefits you thought you would have in your retirement. Is it not true that the level of disappointment is based on the level of investment? Is it not likely that an Olympian who has dedicated years of their life to a specific sport is going to be more disappointed with losing than someone who bought a pack of gum and didn’t really like the flavor? The one may have been slightly disappointed while the other may have been devastated.
Consider the Christian life. Consider the amount of investment that most of us make in the Christian walk:
· You accept a world view that is in contrast and conflict with most of the world
· It affects your relationships with your family, friends, and coworkers
· You attend church when most people are relaxing or getting important errands done
· You strive for and hopefully accomplish a devotional life that amounts to hours a week reading and studying the Word of God
· You use your abilites and talents by serving other people and the ministries of the church
· You give your money to church, missionaries, people in need
· You feel the weight of moral responsibility which keeps us from worldly pleasures
Has the thought ever crossed your mind, “What if I’m wrong?” There has been a great deal of investment for most of you – Yes, more for some than others, but all of us are here this morning investing in our relationship with Christ.
Consider the recipients to Peter’s letter. We acknowledge that we have invested a lot in this Christian Life; but as we consider the believers that were the recipients of this letter from Peter, we find a greater depth of investment. They had invested as much as us but most likely more. Their very lives were on the line, and it is possible that at this point in their lives they were wondering, “Is it worth it? What if we’re wrong? Should we sacrifice so much? I could be killed for this, do I really want to hold so tightly to Christ?” Peter encourages them with the reminder, “if you believe in Christ, you won’t be disappointed.”
While this should have been encouraging to these believers, there was a prerequisite that Peter clearly establishes, and it was that you believe. He says at the end of verse 6, “And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” So, before we can possess any confidence in the promises that God has made to those of us in Christ or before we can even productively invest in our relationship with Christ, we must first believe. In what are we to believe? Acts 16:31 offers a simple statement concerning belief, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. A bit more is offered in Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” This verse is like 1 Peter 2:6 in the way the statement is followed up.
Romans 10:10–11 (ESV) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Paul elaborates on this more in 1 Corinthians and establishes what it is we are to believe – that being the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:1–4 (ESV) Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you . . . 2 and by which you are being saved . . . 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
There are several passages that tell us we must believe and outline what we are to believe, but some other passages establish doctrinal truths that we must believe.
Romans 3:10, 23-24 (ESV) 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one . . . 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
1 John 4:2 (ESV) By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
So, what are we to believe?
· God became man (He was both divine and human – throughout the entirety of His life)
· This God-Man was Jesus of Nazareth
· He lived a perfect life
· He was the sufficient, perfect and only atonement for sin
· Sin which all humanity is inherently bound to and condemned by
· That Jesus, in His death and resurrection, defeated sin and death, and has offered life to dead people
· If we believe or trust in Him and His work, we are saved
Belief is the prerequisite. Now then, for those who believe, they can know that their belief in Christ and the promises that He has made will not fall through. “They will not be disappointed.”
Once we have established and embraced the prerequisite of belief, we can possess the surety or the confidence that the promises made to us will in fact be held. Consider 1 Peter 2:6.
1 Peter 2:6 (ESV) For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
If you have met the prerequisite of belief, you can be sure and confident in the promises that God has made. You will not be disappointed. You will not be disturbed or confused or ashamed. Paul gives us a beautiful example of such surety and confidence in Romans. Paul possessed a clear surety and confidence that His reliance on and belief in Christ couldn’t be touched by anything, and he stood firm in that belief.
We have established that if you meet the prerequisite of belief in Christ and His work, you will not be disappointed. You can possess a surety and confidence that the promises that He has made will in fact come to fulfillment. Take a minute and remember some of the promises that He has made. What things has God promised to us due to our relationship with Christ.
· If you believe, He will save you (Romans 10:9).
· Abundant Life (John 10:10).
· Peace and Rest (John 16:33).
· Strength amid difficulty.
· Perseverance of the Saints (John 10:28).
· He will hear our prayers (1 John 5:14).
· The Work of the Spirit (John 16:8). He convicts of sin, illuminates the truth of God’s Word, baptizes into the body of Christ, sanctifies, etc.
· Our Future Glorification (Romans 8:30).
· His Future Return (John 14:3).
· Eternal Life (1 John 2:24-25).
1 Peter 2:7 (ESV) So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,
This honor or precious value is for you who believe. Those who believe possess the precious value of Christ.
John 8:42 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
1 Peter 1:8 (ESV) Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
Mark 12:28–30 (ESV) 28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
John 14:15 (ESV) If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:21 (ESV) Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.
1 John 3:7–8 (ESV) Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
As we look at this passage, we don’t see this statement commanding us to love Christ. It merely assumes that if you are a believer you do love Christ. The clear evidence of that love for Christ – or – the natural ramifications of loving Christ are that you obey.
If you’re not characterized by obedience to Christ, then you don’t love Him. If you don’t love Him, you aren’t a believer. I’m not saying that you don’t love Christ if you struggle obeying at times or fail at times. What I am saying is that if there is no evidence of obedience in your life, if you are continually in sin and have no conviction or desire to repent, if you are characterized by a sinful life, then you don’t love Christ. You don’t find Him to be precious, and you’re not a believer.
The remedy to that is not to simply put on a moral lifestyle so that you can have the appearance or perception of love for Christ. Instead embrace Him in salvation. Find Him precious. Accept Him as the chief cornerstone. Love Christ. Then and only then will you truly obey Him.
1 Peter 2:8 (ESV) “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
Who will stumble? Those who are disobedient to the Word.
To what word are they disobedient? Simply put, the Gospel. They have failed to obey or embrace or trust in the Gospel. When someone fails to trust in Christ – Christ becomes their judge. He becomes the stone which crushes them.
The end of this phrase tells us that they were appointed. To what were they appointed? Were they appointed to be disobedient to the word which would mean that they were appointed to be an unbeliever? Or, were those who are disobedient to the word appointed to stumble which would mean that it is appointed to all unbelievers that they will be crushed or destroyed by the cornertone?
As we look at our lives this morning there are porbably a number or areas in which we are disappointed. Whatever it might be, we live in a world filled with disappointment. But, there is one area in which you will never be disappointed. Embrace the precious value of Christ. While life may be challenging and hard, Christ will never disappoint. He is a “Sure Thing.”