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Grace Under Fire – Living Like Stones

April 28, 2024
Neil Silverberg
Explore "Living Like Stones," where Pastor Neil unpacks spiritual growth from infancy to maturity in our "Grace Under Fire" series

In “Living Like Stones,” the latest installment of the “Grace Under Fire” series, Pastor Neil Silverberg guides us through an enlightening journey drawn from 1 Peter chapter 2. This sermon delves into the metaphorical richness of our spiritual growth, likened to newborn infants who crave pure spiritual milk and mature into living stones, crucial components of a spiritual edifice with Christ as the cornerstone.

Neil begins by exploring the initial stages of a believer’s life—spiritual infancy—where just like newborns crave milk, we are to desire the pure spiritual sustenance that fosters growth and leads to salvation. This foundational stage is critical as it sets the tone for our entire spiritual journey, emphasizing the importance of deepening our connection with Christ from the outset. As we transition from infancy to maturity, Neil introduces us to the concept of believers as ‘living stones.’ This imagery not only symbolizes our transformation but also our collective purpose. Each believer, like a stone in a building, is integral to the structural integrity and beauty of the church. Christ, the cornerstone, aligns and holds every stone in place, ensuring stability and strength.

Throughout the sermon, Neil stresses the importance of shedding sins like malice, deceit, envy, and slander—impediments that can stunt our spiritual growth. He encourages us to embrace our new identity as God’s chosen people, a royal priesthood tasked with declaring God’s excellencies. This identity is not passive; it calls for active engagement in the church’s mission and a personal commitment to spiritual disciplines. The sermon also tackles the practical aspects of living as ‘living stones’ within the community of faith. Neil discusses the interconnectedness of personal spiritual growth with the collective development of the church. This relationship emphasizes diversity and interdependence within the Body of Christ, showcasing how each member’s growth contributes to the whole.

In a powerful call to action, Neil challenges us to shift from mere church attendance to active participation in a holy priesthood. He advocates for confronting the modern clergy-laity divide and embracing the New Testament model where every believer is empowered to minister. As living stones, we are called not only to withstand persecution but to advance the gospel courageously. “Living Like Stones” is a clarion call to all believers to deepen their faith, actively engage in the church’s life, and uphold the gospel in every aspect of their lives. It’s an invitation to experience the profound transformation from spiritual infants to robust pillars within God’s temple, each playing a vital role in proclaiming the light of Christ to a darkened world.