We Are Not Our Own

Calvin wrote in his Institutes of the Christian Religion,
“We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God’s: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal. (Rom. 14:8; cf. 1 Cor. 6:19) 

My sermon is drawn from I Peter 2: 1-12, in which Peter writes to his brothers and sisters in Christ, “Come to him (Christ), a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house……”

Calvin says “We are not our own”; Peter writes, “Let yourselves be built (note that he does not say ‘build yourselves up’!) Looking to BPC’s future, we’re reminded that in all our deliberations and discussions, God is present and active through the power of the Spirit. Yes, in one sense this is “our church”, but ultimately it is God’s, and we need to be attentive to the work of the Spirit. Pastor Anthony Robinson, a respected church consultant, says more bluntly, “The church belongs to and owes it existence to God and not to us. God has created and claimed the church for God’s own purposes. The church, then, is not simply whatever we want it to be or what we choose to make of it. It is not simply a consumer-driven entity.”

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