The first is Matthew 16:16,17, where the rock is Peter’s confession that Jesus is the “christos,” which we now understand means king. The second is 1 Cor. 10:4 where we are told “and the rock was Christ.” In each of these passages, along with our original one, the issue is the kingship of Jesus. This is the rock which crushes some, and becomes the basis of a new nation for others… A Christian nation!
You are a “separate nation!”
Lest you think I am making this up, please consider these further words of Peter, our king’s ambassador. We have already considered Matthews record of Peter’s initial recognition of the kingship of Jesus, and we believe that he was in earshot of the conversations recorded in Matthew 21. Hear him as he addresses various groups of Christians scattered through nations that now form the nation and State of Turkey:
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very cornerstone,” 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. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.—1 Peter 2:7-11
That phrase “A HOLY NATION” is no mere metaphor. Today we see that word “holy” in a completely religious context, but the Hebrew, and the Greek equivalent used here simply means separate, or set apart. In other words “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a separate nation, (the word is ethnos) a people for God’s own possession. Notice that our king’s ambassador calls his audience aliens and strangers and urges this nation to keep their behavior excellent “among the nations” of their residence–the ethnos whom they have been called out of. Sadly the word Gentiles obscures this fact yet again.
The questions remain, and have been ignored too long; have you been broken by falling on the rock, or are you waiting for it to fall on you? Is your allegiance to the nations of this world and their States, or are you a resident in them, living as an alien and stranger, committed to the king they oppose? Are you a part of the Christian nation?
Have you not wondered why we don’t experience the “royal power of God” the way the early followers of our king did? Maybe it is because we are not following our king like they did.
Please pray about what our king wants you to gain from this. Ask a question and/or check back for the next installment.