Belief That Changes You

Belief That Changes You

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Salvation; Offend; Blindness / 1 Peter 2:6–8

 Have you ever tried to explain your passionate belief to someone who is not yet saved only to have them shake their head and wonder what in the world is wrong with you? Perhaps you try to give them a book by Lee Stroebel in order to have an expert explain why it is logical to believe the way we do. Perhaps if folks could just see what we see, or experience what we experience. We wonder what we are doing wrong… perhaps if only we could explain our faith better folks would believe.

As we continue our study through 1 Peter, we see the Apostle explaining that it is belief in Jesus that opens our eyes and changes our very foundation of understanding and interpretation of everything. Once we have trusted Christ and seen Him through the eyes of faith. We are no longer citizens of this country because we have become members of a celestial kingdom and it is the belief in Christ that changes you.

Belief Does Not Change The Truth.

King James Version Chapter 2

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:

Isaiah 28:16 KJV

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, A tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: He that believeth shall not make haste.

Ephesians 2:20 KJV

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Psalm 118:22 KJV

The stone which the builders refused Is become the head stone of the corner.

 • Truth IS whether or not you believe it.

 • It is foolish to refuse to believe something because you do not like some of the implications of it. Your unbelief does not make it go away, it just makes you wrong.

Belief in Christ Changes Your Perspective.

You will not be confounded.

and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

(translation wheel)

The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 1 Pe 2:6.

25.194 ??????????: to cause someone to be much ashamed—‘to humiliate, to disgrace, to put to shame.’ ?? ???? ??? ?????? ????????? ? ???? ??? ?????????? ???? ?????? ‘God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to put wise men to shame’ 1 Cor 1:27.1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 309.

1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Christ has precious to you.

King James Version Chapter 2

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:

1. time (????, 5092), primarily “a valuing,” hence, objectively, (a) “a price paid or received,” e.g., Matt. 27:6, 9; Acts 4:34; 5:2, 3; 7:16, rv, “price” (kjv, “sum”); 19:19; 1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; (b) of “the preciousness of Christ” unto believers, 1 Pet. 2:7, rv, i.e., the honor and inestimable value of Christ as appropriated by believers, who are joined, as living stones, to Him the cornerstone; 1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 310.

Unbelief Poisons One’s Perspective

1 Peter 2:7–8 KJV

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 

And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

If you are disobedient (unbelieving)

The word “disobedient” is the translation of a word literally meaning “disbelieving.” “Disallowed” has the same meaning as in verse 4, which please see1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 54.

What could be the foundation is instead is a stone of stumbling

The words “a stone of stumbling” are the translation of lithos (?????), “a loose stone in the path,” and proskommatos (????????????) meaning “to cut against,” which altogether mean “an obstacle against which one strikes.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.

-stumble at the word

proskomma (?????????, 4348), “an obstacle against which one may dash his foot” (akin to proskopto, “to stumble” or “cause to stumble”; pros, “to or against,” kopto, “to strike”), is translated “offense” in Rom. 14:20, in v. 13, “a stumblingblock,” of the spiritual hindrance to another by a selfish use of liberty (cf. No. 1 in the same verse); so in 1 Cor. 8:9. It is used of Christ, in Rom. 9:32–33, rv, “(a stone) of stumbling,” and 1 Pet. 2:8, where the kjv also has this rendering.¶ Cf. the Sept. in Ex. 23:33, “these (the gods of the Canaanites) will be an offense (stumblingblock) unto thee.” 1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 441.

rock of offence

6.25 ?????????a, ?? n: a trap, probably of the type which has a stick which when touched by an animal causes the trap to shut—‘trap.’ ???????? ? ??????? ????? … ??? ????????? ‘let their table become … a trap’ Ro 11:9. In Ro 11:9 ????? (6.23), ???? (6.24), and ????????? would all seem to be completely parallel in structure and meaning. As a result, in a number of languages the three terms are reduced often to two, for example, ‘snare’ and ‘trap.’ If there are three different kinds of traps, then, of course, three terms can be used. In some cases, however, it may be preferable to use verbs to express the catching and trapping, and thus one may translate ???????? ? ??????? ????? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ??? ????????? as in tev, “may they be caught and trapped at their feasts; may they fall.”1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 55.

 The words “rock of offence” are from petra (?????), “a ledge rising out of the ground,” and skandalou, “a trap set to trip one.” Our word “scandal” comes from the latter word. These who are disobedient (the literal Greek has it “non-persuasable”) are appointed to stumble at the Word, which is the penalty for refusal to believe it. “By faith we understand” (Heb. 11:3), is the God-ordained way. Thus, unbelievers find the Living Stone, which is precious to believers, an obstacle against which they strike, and a scandal, that which offends them.


Some time ago I was reading about the 18th century German sculptor Johann Heinrich von Dannecker. His skills were impressive. He could bring stone to life with his tools. At the height of his powers, he wanted to do something special with his gifts — he wanted to shape a statue of Christ that would stand out as a witness to his world. For two years he chiselled and scraped and polished the marble, till he was certain that it carried the likeness of his Lord. But he wanted to test his work on eyes that wouldn’t lie. So he went out to the street, and brought in a young girl. He took her into his studio, and he set her down in front of the shrouded stone. Uncovering it, he asked her, Do you know who this is? No, sir! she replied. But he must be a very great man. And Dannecker knew that he’d failed. The statue was good enough for kings and nobles, but it wasn’t good enough to speak the word about Christ.

He was discouraged. He was disheartened. He was depressed. But he knew that he had to try again. So he set his hand to the task. Six years it took him this time! Every day, painstakingly, shaping and carving. Finally it was done. And again, he brought in a child as his first critic. He took off the shroud, and asked her gently, Who is that? Legend has it that tears came to her eyes as she recognized Jesus. It was enough. Dannecker had finished his task. He had created his masterpiece. He had given visible shape to his faith. And later, to a friend, he told the secret of those last six years. It was as if, he said, Christ had joined him daily in his little room. He felt the nearness of his Lord. He sensed the glory of his Presence. All Dannecker had to do, really, was to transfer the vision of Christ that he received to the block of marble.

It’s a powerful story, isn’t it? But there’s more to it. There’s another chapter that comes later, one so striking that it actually makes John’s vision come alive.

Some years later, the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte saw Dannecker’s work. He was very impressed. He sent for the sculptor, and he had a commission for him — Make me a statue of the goddess Venus for the Louvre! he said. Quite an honor! To be chosen as the creator of a work of art like that! Who could refuse? But you know what?! Dannecker did! He refused the commission. He gave up that honor. And you know why? This is what he told Napoleon:

“A man who has seen Christ can never employ his gifts in carving out a pagan goddess!”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:27 PM April 22, 2020.

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