Stop following principles, start following a person.

by Feb 17, 2016

Stop following principles, start following a person.

by Feb 17, 2016

When I ask someone looking to get married what kind of spouse they’re looking for, many of them say, “Well, I’m looking for someone who has the same Christian values as I do.” When I ask parents how they want to raise their kids, many of them say, “Well, I want to pass along a Christian worldview to them.”

Most people have the idea that Christianity is a set of beliefs and values to hold. A set of principles to follow. A philosophy of life to pursue. But it’s none of those things without a person.

When Peter was on trial for promoting a set of beliefs (specifically the idea of resurrection), he immediately brought things back to a person. He said to the leaders of Israel:

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:11-12)

A cornerstone is what you build your life on. It’s what shapes everything about you. Peter doesn’t say the cornerstone is a set of values. It’s not a philosophy of life or a worldview. It’s a person, and his name is Jesus!

Now, sure, there are values and worldview that come from this cornerstone. But I don’t want my wife to have a certain set of values, first and foremost I want her love Jesus. I don’t want my kids to have a certain worldview, I want them love Jesus.

There’s no worldview that died for you. There’s no set of values that rose from the dead. There’s no life philosophy that’s reigning at the right hand of the Father. The cornerstone is a person.

Peter says that the leaders of Israel took a look at this rock named Jesus, and they didn’t think he was useful so they tossed him into a rubbish pit in the ground. And most of us feel the same way about Jesus. We think, “Jesus is nice and all, but he’s not really useful for my career. It’s not like he’s going to help me get ahead in life. Jesus is great, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not that useful for my relationships. Is he really going to help me get a girlfriend?”

Most people — even most Christians — ignore Jesus for most of everyday life. We’ve tossed this stone aside. But Peter says that God saw the stone lying in the bottom of the rubbish pit: he saw Jesus lying in the grave. He raised him up and made him the cornerstone for the whole world. So now we can build our lives on him. We can depend on him for everything.

As Peter wrote later, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). We have everything we need for godliness and all of life through the knowledge of Christ. Not through a system or a worldview.

Stop following principles, and start following a person.