Our current sermon series is about the challenges that we face in life. Today, I am preaching from the letter of Simon Peter to dispersed churches and Christians living in a time of persecution. When the letter was written Simon Peter was in prison at Rome awaiting execution. It’s understandable that he wrote much about suffering. Afterall, he was experiencing it. Today’s sermon title is, “The Challenge of the Church Being the Church.” It’s a positive affirmation from First Peter 2:917 about what the church must do.

Let me use this article to talk about what the church (that’s you and me) must not do.

First, the church cannot be a cafeteria line or a menu where we get to pick and choose what we like and don’t like. We are the church. We are the body of Christ, and we must live in obedience to Him in all things, not just in the things we like. Partial obedience is disobedience; delayed obedience is disobedience as well.

Simon Peter’s letter to the church is filled with exhortation about living for Christ in all things. It’s only five chapters, but these chapters are packed with guidance for the church being the church.

Second, the church cannot be a “they” in our minds; it must be an “us.” All of us make up the body of Christ. Christ is the cornerstone, and we are all “little stones” who make up the church. To have a “they” attitude about the church is an unbiblical attitude. It’s an attitude that puts us outside the church as if we are unbelievers.

Third, the church cannot be supported and encouraged by only a few people. Here are things God wants all of us to do: pray, give, serve, witness, and love. God wants us to live holy lives of obedience and faithfulness. He wants us to be filled with the Spirit and seek Him with all our hearts. To leave out any of these vital areas is to live without regard for God. If these are things God wants, we must do them.

God has given us a sacred duty to serve Him. Let us do so with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

– Waylon Bailey