I Peter 2:8-9 And the Scriptures also say, "He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that will make them fall." They stumble because they do not listen to God's word or obey it, and so they meet the fate that has been planned for them. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests. God's holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
There are two things I want to emphasize from this passage today. The first is that Jesus is the stumbling block in many people's lives and the other is that we are who we are in Christ so that we can be a witness in the world of God's transforming power.
Two things happen when we are confronted by Jesus: either we will embrace Him or we will reject Him. To embrace Christ is to become like Him. There is no such thing as an unchanged child of God. It may not happen quickly, nor may it be easily seen, but change does indeed happen. When Jesus enters the heart He begins to get rid of all that is unholy there. He changes the way we live and think. He replaces all that is not consistent with the holiness of God with those things which are. To reject Christ is to resist the changes He wants to make in us. There is an outright rejection and a subtle rejection. An outright rejection is slamming the door in Christ's face and refusing to even let Him in. A subtle rejection is to let Him in, but resisting the changes He needs to make in us. It is giving lip loyalty to Him but not a life loyalty. When we fail to embrace Christ with all of our heart, mind, and soul, He becomes a stumbling block to us.
We who are in Christ take on a new identity and become living witnesses of God's transforming power. We are on display in the world of God's goodness. We become beacons of light in the darkness of the world. We don't blend into the world, we stand out from it. It becomes obvious to the world that we don't belong here; we are citizens of heaven. We do not hold dual citizenships. We are chosen by God to represent Him on earth. We are priests of God, a holy people, a people who belong to God.
A child of God is outstanding and out standing in his field.