Pastor Sam Perez In this talk, pastor Sam Perez teaches God's heart for the local church. Sam is a pastor who planted the Grace Reformed Church of Jersey City, NJ. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging with his wife and 4 children.
PASSAGE | 1 Peter 2:4-10, 1 Corinthians 12:12-26
1 Peter 2:4-10 ESV As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,  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.  For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”  So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”  and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 ESV For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.  For the body does not consist of one member but of many.  If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?  But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,  and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,  which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,  that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Read the passages above.
Is it possible to be a believer (living stone) and not be part of a local church (spiritual house)? See 1 Peter 2:4-5.
In one or two sentences, summarize the descriptions of the Church in 1 Peter 2:9. Why would the emphasis in God’s redemptive work be on the collective body of Christ and not on individual Christians?
According to 1 Cor 12-13, how does the body of Christ demonstrate both unity and diversity? List three evidences for each.
In what ways are you tempted to say “Because I'm an eye, I do not belong to the body” (1 Cor 12:16) or "I have no need of you” (v 21)?
What must change in your life for you to enjoy the blessings of living in active fellowship within a local church that embraces other believers and serves them? List four concrete steps.