A Jigsaw Of Faith
TranscriptAlright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, I’m glad to be back with you. Trust everything’s alright at your house. And I’m grateful for the privilege of sharing from God’s Word once more, God’s inerrant, inspired, infallible, eternal Word, the Bible. Never wobble on this matter of the Word of God. When you wobble there, everything else gets out of kilter. John R. Rice told me one time many years ago, he said, "Every new generation has to fight the battle for the Bible. Generation by generation, you have to settle, ’Do I trust the word of God? As indeed it is the Word of God.’" Well, we do, don’t we? You and I are looking at the second chapter of Ephesians. And we got into verse 20, "We are built upon the foundation," that’s where we were, "built on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets," that’s a reference, then, to the Word of God. The prophet said, "Thus saith the Lord, the Word of God. Now says he, Jesus Christ, Himself, being the chief cornerstone." Peter says something about our Lord Jesus "to whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious." Do you remember that? "The cornerstone." What is a cornerstone? It is a part of a building that identifies it, that identifies it and that shows what its purpose is. Our Lord Jesus is the one who identifies the entire process of redemption. He is it. He said, "I am the way, I am the door, I am the bread of life, I am the water of life, I am the Good Shepherd," just to name a few. Everything about our experience of God is identified and made meaningful by the Lord Jesus Christ. If you know Him, you know God. "He that hath seen Me," Jesus said, "hath seen the Father." If you follow Him, you’re walking in light, not in darkness. "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," John 8:12. See? So, because that is so, this has special significance, then, for you and for me, built on the foundation, Jesus Christ is the cornerstone. Now, as you look at the Word of God, you will find it becomes intensely interesting and meaningful to you if you just remember that the Lord Jesus is the cornerstone of all that the prophets in the Old Testament and the Apostles in the New Testament have to say. The Bible is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. And you don’t have to strain at it and make, as we say, a federal case of it. You’ll find that in every book, almost on every page that you turn to, there is some reference to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In those early Garden of Eden days, when Adam and Eve had sinned, God made them coats of skins, blood was shed even then, and he promised the redeemer in Genesis 3:15, the redeemer that would come and bruise the serpent’s head. And on through the Old Testament, all of the Mosaic, Levitical sacrifices were pictures of what our Lord Jesus Christ would do. The Passover, as you read about it in Exodus, was a picture of redemption by shed blood. Oh, the Bible is all about the Lord Jesus, Jesus Christ Himself, the chief cornerstone. He gives meaning to the Word of God. Now, as you read your Bible, look for pictures or types or references that will point to your Savior, and you’ll find that the Bible becomes a book alive, when you realize that that is so. Not only so, but a cornerstone identifies a purpose, without it, the structure doesn’t have any apparent reason. You take away the concept of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus out of your consideration of the Bible and you have what the heathen professor in a university has. He also talks about the Bible, but with dry, sterile, cold-hearted reference that has no dynamism in it at all. Why? Because the cornerstone is lacking from the structure. The Lord Jesus is the center, the heart, the meaningful part of the foundation. Do you follow that? So as you read your Bible, look for your Savior, look for His work, look for His love, look for His purpose, look for references to Him in picture and in type. You’ll find it all through the Bible references to what the Lord Jesus Christ is and what He does and what He can mean to you. Alright? Now he says, "In Him, all the building fitly framed together." This has a reference, then, to the process of God’s plan being worked out in the lives of all believers. "In Him, all the building fitly framed together." Did you ever try to fit a piece into a jigsaw puzzle that wasn’t quite the right one? You know the frustration you felt. Here you got the... The jigsaw puzzle is going well and now you pick up a piece of it and you say, "Well, I think it belongs there," and you put it down. The top fits, and the bottom fits, but the side, let us say, doesn’t fit. And you feel frustration, "No that doesn’t fit." Well, he says, "In Him, all the building," that means all the believers, all different kinds of Christians, "In Him, all different kinds of Christians, fully fitly framed together grow unto a holy temple in the Lord." Christ’s body is the church and this is likened in this passage to a building, and he says, "All the building fitly framed together." Did you know that the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ not only fits you for Heaven, but also fits you to interact with other believers without abrasion, without sharp edges that rub against others, fitly framed together? Did you know that when people pray together, they get along better? Did you know that when a church gets on its knees, church politics seem to diminish, and if not disappear altogether? Huh? "In Him, all the building fitly framed," that means you fit. What a delight it is, what a delight it is to interact with other Christians and realize that you fit with them. Not because you planned it that way, but because God made it that way. And God makes you accommodated to the outlines, let us say, of other people’s personality. God makes us fit with each other without abrasion, without conflict, without violence, without bruises. He does it, because the Lord Jesus Christ is the center of it all. I’m glad that’s so, aren’t you? You know, we Christians, we’re a strange lot, we are so different from each other, we have different ideas. You wanna paint the church boiler room green, and I wanna paint it brown or whatever. We have different methods. You think that we ought all to be out on street corners preaching, and I think that we ought to be on the radio, [chuckle] for example, you know? We have different ideas, we have different approaches, and it’s very easy to get into a real bru-ha about these things if we argue about them. But if you get on your knees and seek the Lord, you’ll find that He makes us fit, and the man who believes in street preaching can go out and preach on the street and the man who believes in radio broadcasting can go into the studio and broadcast and they don’t get in each other’s way anymore. [chuckle] Ah, yes. Have you experienced that? Next time that you get impatient with a fellow believer because you don’t quite fit or he or she doesn’t quite fit with you, take it to your Lord in prayer. Because it says, "In Him, the Lord Jesus, all the building is fitly framed together," God makes us fit. I’m so glad that’s so. Aren’t you? Now it says "groweth." There is a dynamism here that you must not lose sight of. God expects us to grow. "Groweth into a holy temple in the Lord." What kind of progress have you been making in your relationships with other people in terms of real spiritual growth? That is an embarrassing question, and it comes right home to me as well, when I ask these questions, like I say, anything I tell you, I’ve been there. [chuckle] Well, anything I ask you, I am there. [chuckle] Hey, we tend to stabilize our relations so that it’s pretty much the same old thing. Isn’t it true? You get to know a person pretty well and you say, "Well, he’s got these and these and these tendencies and faults, and it’ll never be any different, and that’s it. And so you just sort of stabilize your relationship more or less in self-defense so that there’s no trauma connected with your interaction with other human beings. Oh, we all understand that, I guess. But I’ve come on this verse now and he says, "It grows all the building," that’s us, "fitly framed together," that’s God’s purpose in making you and me fit together in his work. And he says it grows. Give some thought in your praying to this matter of a growing relationship with other believers. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get more intimate or closer in friendship. It may, I don’t know, but there is a spiritual growth, there is an awareness of God’s presence, a growing awareness of His touch upon your lives. There is a growing effectiveness in what you do for the Savior’s glory. Growth. "Grow in grace," said Peter, "and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Do other people know God better because you came along? See, that’s the kind of question we have to ask ourselves. No, don’t just settle for stabilization of relationships. Don’t just settle for an absence of sparks and fire. Yes, God can help us get along with each other, but beyond that, He wants us to grow in our knowledge of Him, in our relationship with Him, and thus in the effectiveness of our interaction with each other in His service. Oh, may God grant that for you and for me, is my prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, fit us together with each other in Thy service and help us grow in the process, in Jesus’ name, Amen. Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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