Choose your branch

Give

Give to a worker

  • Give
    A
    South Asia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Adam and Helane Ramsay
    Japan • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Adrian and Anita Lovell
    Bolivia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Amy Stephens
    Argentina • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Andrew Buchanan and Abi Tandiseru
    Indonesia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Andrew and Margie Newman
    Uganda • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Angelica (Mentac)
    • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Anna Radkovic
    Kenya • VIC Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Arthur and Tamie Davis
    Tanzania • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    B
    Middle East • WA Branch
  • Give
    Bruce and Libby
    South Asia • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Bryan and Sarah Haro Leon
    • TAS Branch
  • Give
    C
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Chenny Thie
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Chris and Erin
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Chris and Grace Adams
    Timor-Leste • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Chris and Karen Webb
    North Australia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Chris and Kristy Galea
    Malta • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Chris and Stef Overhall
    Chile • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Christopher and Julie Dean
    Timor-Leste • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Colin and Catherine Puffett
    France • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Craig and Lisse
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Craig and Samantha McCorkindale
    Cambodia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    D and T
    East Asia • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Dan and Marg
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Daniel and Kate Morris
    France • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Daniel and Olivia Webster
    Namibia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Daniel (Mentac)
    • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Dave and Leoni Painter
    Cambodia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    David and Beck McIntyre
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    David and Cathie Sandifer
    Netherlands • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    David and Jennifer Juniper
    Democratic Republic of Congo • WA Branch
  • Give
    David and Prue Boyd
    Democratic Republic of Congo • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Dene and Rachel Hughes
    Japan • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Derek and Rosemary Snibson
    North Australia • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Derk and Susan
    South Asia • WA Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    E
    South Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    E
    East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Elizabeth
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Elle Bryce
    Japan • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Faraj and Emily (Mentac)
    • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Frances Cook
    Chile • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Gillian Law
    Italy • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Gordon and Ruth
    South Asia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Howard and Michelle Newby
    Philippines • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Howard and Trisha Spencer
    Belgium • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    I
    South East Asia • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Ian and Jenny Wood
    North Australia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Ian and Narelle Hadfield
    Singapore • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    J and P
    Eurasia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    J and S
    Central Asia • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    J
    South East Asia • WA Branch
  • Give
    Jo
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Je
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Jason and Hannah Fairclough
    Italy • WA Branch
  • Give
    Jeremy and Jill Horrocks
    Cambodia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Jim and Tanja French
    Spain • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Joel and Tiffanie Atwood
    Vanuatu • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Joel and Aimee (Mentac)
    • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    John and Deb
    Middle East • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Jon and Deborah
    South East Asia • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Josh and Nici
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Josh and Steph Mackenzie
    North Australia • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Josh and Susannah Apieczonek
    France • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Jotham Booker (CoMP)
    Germany • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Julie
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    K
    South Asia • TAS Branch
  • Give
    K
    South East Asia • SA & NT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Karen
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Karina Brabham
    France • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Keith and Marion Birchley
    Papua New Guinea • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Kellie Nicholas
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Klaus and Jude Hickel
    Germany • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Kylie Zietsch
    South Africa • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    L and C
    South East Asia • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    M and K
    South Asia • VIC Branch
  • Give
    M
    Middle East • QLD & NNSW Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    M
    Africa • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Maggie Crewes
    Cambodia • SA & NT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Malcolm and Ainsley Purdey
    Chile • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Malcolm and Charissa Forrest
    Jordan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Malcolm and Leanne
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Martin and Julie Field
    Argentina • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Marty and Jenny Foord
    Singapore • WA Branch
  • Give
    Matt and Kate Vinicombe
    North Australia • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Matt and Bex Ooi
    Japan • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Matt and Jen Lim
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Matt and Lisa Pearson
    North Australia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Matt and Ellen Tyler
    Vanuatu • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Matthew and Melissa Lindfield Seager
    Cambodia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Maurice and Amanda Jacobson
    Cambodia • TAS Branch
  • Give
    Michael and Rani Grivas-Allison
    Belgium • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Mike and Karen Roe
    South Africa • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Mike and Katie Taylor
    Tanzania • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Miriam Bradshaw
    Spain • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Morgan and Olivia
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Na
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Nathan and Diane Lovell
    South Africa • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Nathan and Maki Clapham
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Nick and Kysha Davies
    Peru • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Nick and Rebekah
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Norm and Janelle Gorrie
    Kenya • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Pedro and Joy Oliveira Woolmer
    Latin America • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Peter and Terry Blowes
    Argentina • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    R
    Eurasia • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Ray and Sandy
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Rebekah
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Rowan
    South East Asia • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Ryan and Lynne Verghese
    Seychelles • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    S and M
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    S and P
    Middle East • WA Branch
  • Give
    Sam and Shan-Shan Chrisp
    Taiwan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Sam and Sharmila (CoMP)
    • WA Branch
  • Give
    Simon and Jessica Cowell
    Italy • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Steven and Sandra Parsons
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Tim and Olivia Mulherin
    Cambodia • VIC Branch
  • Give
    Tim and Sam
    Middle East, South & Central Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Zoe Creelman
    North Australia • VIC Branch

General Worker Support

Select a Branch

Please select the branch you would like to give to. This refers to the CMS branch that will process your donation.

NSW & ACT

QLD & NNSW

SA & NT

TAS

VIC

WA

Australia

Tax-deductible Workers and Projects

Select a Branch

Please select the branch you would like to give to. This refers to the CMS branch that will process your donation.

NSW & ACT

QLD & NNSW

SA & NT

TAS

VIC

WA

Australia

Give to a Campaign

Select a Branch

Please select the branch you would like to give to. This refers to the CMS branch that will process your donation.

NSW & ACT

QLD & NNSW

SA & NT

TAS

VIC

WA

Australia

  • Give
    Aboriginal Missionary Work
    Tax Deductible • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    CMS Overseas Aid Fund
    Tax Deductible • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Indigenous Ministry in North Australia
    NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Aboriginal Missionary Work
    Tax Deductible • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    CMS Overseas Aid Fund
    Tax Deductible • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Indigenous Ministry in North Australia
    SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Aboriginal Missionary Work
    Tax Deductible • WA Branch
  • Give
    CMS Overseas Aid Fund
    Tax Deductible • WA Branch
  • Give
    Indigenous Ministry in North Australia
    WA Branch
  • Give
    Go to: QLD & NNSW Campaigns
    QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Go to: VIC Campaigns
    VIC Branch
  • Give
    Go to: TAS Campaigns
    TAS Branch
  • Give
    Christmas Campaign
    VIC Branch
  • Zoe Creelman
    north-australia • australia Branch

Give to another worker from

  • Give
    A
    South Asia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Adrian and Anita Lovell
    Bolivia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Amy Stephens
    Argentina • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Andrew Buchanan and Abi Tandiseru
    Indonesia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Angelica (Mentac)
    • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Arthur and Tamie Davis
    Tanzania • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    B
    Middle East • WA Branch
  • Give
    C
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Chenny Thie
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Chris and Erin
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Chris and Karen Webb
    North Australia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Chris and Kristy Galea
    Malta • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Chris and Stef Overhall
    Chile • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Colin and Catherine Puffett
    France • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Craig and Lisse
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Craig and Samantha McCorkindale
    Cambodia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Dan and Marg
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Daniel and Kate Morris
    France • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Daniel and Olivia Webster
    Namibia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Dave and Leoni Painter
    Cambodia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    David and Beck McIntyre
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    David and Cathie Sandifer
    Netherlands • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    David and Jennifer Juniper
    Democratic Republic of Congo • WA Branch
  • Give
    Derk and Susan
    South Asia • WA Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    E
    South Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Elizabeth
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Faraj and Emily (Mentac)
    • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Frances Cook
    Chile • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Gordon and Ruth
    South Asia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Howard and Michelle Newby
    Philippines • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Howard and Trisha Spencer
    Belgium • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Ian and Jenny Wood
    North Australia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Ian and Narelle Hadfield
    Singapore • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    J and P
    Eurasia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    J
    South East Asia • WA Branch
  • Give
    Jo
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Je
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Jason and Hannah Fairclough
    Italy • WA Branch
  • Give
    Jeremy and Jill Horrocks
    Cambodia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Jim and Tanja French
    Spain • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Joel and Tiffanie Atwood
    Vanuatu • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Joel and Aimee (Mentac)
    • QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Josh and Nici
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Josh and Susannah Apieczonek
    France • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Jotham Booker (CoMP)
    Germany • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Julie
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    K
    South East Asia • SA & NT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Karen
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Karina Brabham
    France • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Kellie Nicholas
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Klaus and Jude Hickel
    Germany • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Kylie Zietsch
    South Africa • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    M
    Africa • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Maggie Crewes
    Cambodia • SA & NT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Malcolm and Ainsley Purdey
    Chile • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Malcolm and Charissa Forrest
    Jordan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Malcolm and Leanne
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Martin and Julie Field
    Argentina • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Marty and Jenny Foord
    Singapore • WA Branch
  • Give
    Matt and Jen Lim
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Matt and Lisa Pearson
    North Australia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Matt and Ellen Tyler
    Vanuatu • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Matthew and Melissa Lindfield Seager
    Cambodia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Michael and Rani Grivas-Allison
    Belgium • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Mike and Karen Roe
    South Africa • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Mike and Katie Taylor
    Tanzania • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Miriam Bradshaw
    Spain • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Morgan and Olivia
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Na
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch • Tax Deductible
  • Give
    Nathan and Diane Lovell
    South Africa • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Nathan and Maki Clapham
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Nick and Kysha Davies
    Peru • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Nick and Rebekah
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Norm and Janelle Gorrie
    Kenya • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Pedro and Joy Oliveira Woolmer
    Latin America • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Peter and Terry Blowes
    Argentina • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Ray and Sandy
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Rebekah
    South East Asia • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Ryan and Lynne Verghese
    Seychelles • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    S and M
    Middle East • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    S and P
    Middle East • WA Branch
  • Give
    Sam and Shan-Shan Chrisp
    Taiwan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Sam and Sharmila (CoMP)
    • WA Branch
  • Give
    Simon and Jessica Cowell
    Italy • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Steven and Sandra Parsons
    Japan • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Tim and Sam
    Middle East, South & Central Asia • NSW & ACT Branch

General Worker Support

Select a Branch

Sed non urna. Donec et ante. Phasellus eu ligula. Vestibulum sit amet purus. Vivamus hendrerit, dolor at aliquet laoreet, mauris turpis porttitor velit, faucibus interdum tellus libero ac justo. Vivamus non quam. In suscipit faucibus urna.

NSW & ACT

QLD & NNSW

SA & NT

TAS

VIC

WA

Australia

Tax-deductible Workers and Projects

Select a Branch

Please select the branch you would like to give to. This refers to the CMS branch that will process your donation.

NSW & ACT

QLD & NNSW

SA & NT

TAS

VIC

WA

Australia

Give to a Campaign

  • Give
    Aboriginal Missionary Work
    Tax Deductible • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    CMS Overseas Aid Fund
    Tax Deductible • NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Indigenous Ministry in North Australia
    NSW & ACT Branch
  • Give
    Aboriginal Missionary Work
    Tax Deductible • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    CMS Overseas Aid Fund
    Tax Deductible • SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Indigenous Ministry in North Australia
    SA & NT Branch
  • Give
    Aboriginal Missionary Work
    Tax Deductible • WA Branch
  • Give
    CMS Overseas Aid Fund
    Tax Deductible • WA Branch
  • Give
    Indigenous Ministry in North Australia
    WA Branch
  • Give
    Go to: QLD & NNSW Campaigns
    QLD & NNSW Branch
  • Give
    Go to: VIC Campaigns
    VIC Branch
  • Give
    Go to: TAS Campaigns
    TAS Branch
  • Give
    Christmas Campaign
    VIC Branch
Total Gift

$0 / Month

Continue

 

God’s unchanging plans for mission. Part 4: God’s plan for followers of Christ 

Simon Gillham concludes his four-part series on God’s unchanging mission, asking how our identity in Christ will be reflected in our mission in this world. 

Today many insist on the right to be identified as whoever or whatever they want to be. They may choose to be identified by by some or many elements: their achievements, their abilities, their sexual preferences, their personal decisions, their occupations, their appearance, or the group or tribe they belong to. They may even insist on their right to change their choices as often as they want. 

How should we as Christians respond to the availability of such choices? We believe that fundamental to our identity is that we are disciples of Christ. Jesus is our Lord, our saviour, our God and our kingBecause he is all of these things we belong to him and he defines usIn a sense we cannot even say that we choose Christfor God chose us in him before the creation of the world. (Ephesians 1:3-4) 

Add to this, as followers of Jesus we ask: how do we fit into God’s unchanging plans for mission? If we belong to him, this is a question we need to address. 

The story so far 

In this series on God’s unchanging plans for mission we looked first at the identity of the nation Israel. We saw how they failed to live up to the calling to be God’s treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, holy nation.  

In part two we saw, from the prophet Isaiah, that Israel was intended to be the ‘servant of the Lord’ who would bring light to the world. Ultimately God sent Jesus to succeed in the role of the servant, where Israel the nation had failed time and again.   

In part three we saw—especially from John’s gospel—that God sent his son into the world. His sending (that is, his missionwas to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. 

What does this have to do with us, as followers of Jesus and as God’s people? That is the focus of this fourth and final article. 

Jesus’ identity 

In Matthew 21:33-46, Jesus speaks to the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem and tells a parable about a vineyard with some hostile farmers as tenants. The actual owner of the vineyard sends a series of servants to collect rent due from the farmers. Those messengers are variously beaten, abused and killed, until the owner sends a family member, reasoning, “They will respect my son.” But the son too is killed. Clearly the tenants will now themselves be judged. Even the Jewish rulers can work that out! Jesus warns them, quoting Psalm 118: 

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes’?

Jesus himself is the son in the parable he tells. He is sent by his Father to collect the honour that is due to God as the owner of the vineyard. Everyone who heard Jesus speak knew that he was referring to himself, and to the way he was being treated by the Jewish leadersImmediately the Pharisees and scribes go awayplotting to kill Jesusthus confirming the truth of Jesus parable and teaching. They have indeed rejected the stone (Jesus). Now God, as prophesied by Psalm 118, would honour the rejected Jesus as the cornerstone. 

After Jesus’ resurrection, Peter reminds his readers of the stone image. In 1 Peter 2:7-8 he writes: 

7 Now to you who believe, this stone [Jesus] is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”  8 and,  “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”  They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

Peter is not inventing a new teaching. He is repeating and applying what Jesus himself taught from Psalm 118, and other parts of the Old Testament. 

Who are these recalcitrant builders that Peter and Jesus refer to? In the first instance, we understand that they are the Jewish leaders who had Jesus crucified. But now in 1 Peter, Peter broadens the application to include all who refuse to believe in Jesus. Ignoring or rejecting Jesus leads directly to disaster—those who do so will stumble and fall. 

Our identity in the light of Jesus the cornerstone 

Let us use Peter’s teaching (which is really Jesus’ teaching) to consider four areas: 

  1. Who the Father thinks Jesus is 
  2. Who the Father thinks we are (as followers of Jesus) 
  3. Who the world thinks we are (as followers of Jesus) 
  4. Who we actually are (as followers of Jesus)

after which we will conclude by speaking of how our identity in Christ affects every aspect of our life and our mission. 

1. Who the Father thinks Jesus is 

Jesus is the chosen and precious cornerstone‘Precious’ is an excellent word to describe a stone. But an even better word to use in this context (and still an accurate translation) is the word ‘honoured’. God the Father honours Jesus. Therefore, God has chosen and placed Jesus as the ‘honoured’ cornerstone within Zion (1 Peter 2:6).   

This cornerstone is honoured because of the one who chose it, and because it is the stone that determines everything else: the direction and angles of the walls, the level of the floor, what is true, what is correct. Every other stone in the structure is measured against the honoured cornerstone. 

Yet this cornerstone is the stone that the builders foolishly reject. Even today, people everywhere object to Jesus being the one who determines what is right, true and foundational. 

As well as being the ‘honoured’ stone, Jesus is the living stone (verse 4). He is alive! Because of his resurrection, Jesus lives and rules today and for all days, and so is eternally honoured by God. 

2. Who the Father thinks we are 

If Jesus is the honoured and living cornerstone, where do we fit in the picture?  

1 Peter 2:5 tells us that “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  Then in verses 9-10, Peter goes further, quoting and applying words from Exodus 19 to all who trust in Jesus.[1] 

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

We who serve and put our faith in the Lord Jesus have become the fulfilment of Exodus 19. What was originally promised to Israel in Exodus 19 has now come to include all who trust in Jesus for salvation. We have been chosen with this purpose: “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  

3. Who the world thinks we are 

Therefore we hold a glorious and honourable position. This honourable position is ours by God’s mercy alone (“now you have received mercy”). But we should not expect the world to love us as a result. The world loves darkness more than the light (John 3:19) and has rejected Jesus as cornerstone. That means that if we follow Jesus, the world will hate us too. 

The world does not think we are living stones. It thinks we’ve got rocks in our heads! 

4. Who we actually are 

So, who are we? Do Christians have rocks in their heads, as the world believes? 

We don’t accept the world’s verdict upon us. But we can often try to assert our right to define ourselves, and we often choose very similar criteria to the worldperhaps emphasising personal ability or personal achievement or personal choice. 

Peter is showing us a better way. We are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation”. In Christ, God has gathered us into a global fellowship of people from every tribe and nation, joined together as living stones with the Lord Jesus as our cornerstone. We are not merely a collection of individuals. We are part of a greater whole chosen by God to be his, and to do his work in the world. 

How our identity in Christ affects our mission 

Our identity in Christ will thus affect every part of our lives. In particular, Peter tells us that it affects our mission. Because of who we are in Christ, we are to announce, proclaim, and declare the praises, the excellencies, and the wonders of the one who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.   

From the time of the earliest church in Acts, to the growth throughout the Roman Empire, to the more recent revivals in East Africa, or China, or the dramatic growth of the church recently in places like Mongolia, or Iran, or parts of India, the gospel has gone forward most powerfully when ordinary Christian people declare the praises of Jesus.   

Because we are sent, as Jesus was sent, [2] proclaiming him is our mission. That is so not only for those we call ‘missionaries’, but for all who find their identity in Christ. We really are all in this together. 

Encouragement: we are part of the greatest gang ever 

When I was training in the Police Academy, (many years before I became a CMS missionary) we were visited by a Detective Sergeant who had been an undercover operative among the bikie gangs of western Sydney in the 1980s. He told us about a time when he was working undercover when somehow his identity was discovered. The gang members bailed him up and were threatening his life. But he just kept smiling! One of them said “what are you smiling about?” 

He replied: “You think you belong to a big and tough gang. Well, you’ve just worked out that I belong to a gang of 16,000, and all my gang carry guns. If you touch me, they are coming after you.” 

He told us that story because we were all young and scared. He wanted us to know who we were and what we were part of, so that we would not be afraid. 

If we are in Christ, then we belong to an uncountable gang that includes people from every tribe and nation. While we are still in battle, in fact we know the war has been won and the victory belongs to JesusWe might not be tough. But he is mighty. 

So, we are unafraid to declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into light. We can live with joy now, even if the world tries to shame us, knowing that we are chosen and honoured by God. We are the people of God, declaring the praise of Christ from now and into all eternity. Let us take on our identity with gladness and speak gospel truth to those around! 

 

[1] See also part 1 of this series
[2] See part 3 of this series.