Sermon Illustrations
Posted by Douglas on Mar 01, 2006

Solid, liquid, or gas? Which are you? Everything around us is in one of those three states. What exactly does it mean to be a solid, or a liquid, or a gas? Good question.

A solid is a sample of matter that retains its shape and density when not confined.

A liquid is a sample of matter that conforms to the shape of a container in which it is held, and which acquires a defined surface in the presence of gravity.

A gas is a sample of matter that conforms to the shape of a container in which it is held and acquires a uniform density inside the container, even in the presence of gravity and regardless of the amount of substance in the container.

If we were to compare the people of this world to molecules, I think most would be in liquid state. Free to float about, held in place only by external forces, but never really bound together.

This is what our world is now, but I think that we are moving toward becoming gaseous. Our society has become more and more mobile as technology increases, and people talk about easy transportation and Internet as things which make our world "smaller." But in reality, they don't make our world smaller; they make us bounce about frenetically like gaseous molecules. We are becoming a people who randomly bounce about, running into more and more molecules, but never attaching to any of them. We are becoming gaseous.

But for those of us who are Christians, we are called to something completely different than this. Not liquid, not gaseous. Solid. We are called to be part of the church, a structure which, while living and breathing, has an architect who has fitted us together, and we are bound together. Something solid, something permanent, something unbreakable.

Most people in our society don't want to part of a structure, for a structure binds us, and makes us less free. At least...that is what they think. But even liquids and gases are bound -- they are bound by externals -- a pitcher, a glass, a room. And those which are bound by nothing eventually become utterly lost and alone.

But in a solid, no molecule is ever alone, and every molecule is part of something bigger and grander than itself. And, unlike water and gas, which shift and change depending on the container, the bonds which hold us together will never change, will never be broken.

1 Peter 2:4-6 tells us that we come to Christ to be built up as a spiritual house. Christ is the bond which holds us together. He is the foundation upon which we are built. And, "whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame."

It is interesting that, in our free-flowing, frenetic society, being "bound" is considered to be a bad thing, but it is only as you take your place in the structure which was designed for you that you discover what you were really made for, and how your life can be both fulfilling and free.

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