Faithlife Sermons

A Chosen People

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God chose Christ for great honor. Therefore, those of us who trust in Christ are chosen by God as his ambassadors to the World.

“So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

Living Stones for God’s House

4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests.* Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,*

chosen for great honor,

and anyone who trusts in him

will never be disgraced.”*

7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected

has now become the cornerstone.”*

8 And,

“He is the stone that makes people stumble,

the rock that makes them fall.”*

They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,* a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

10 “Once you had no identity as a people;

now you are God’s people.

Once you received no mercy;

now you have received God’s mercy.”’*

Authors Intended Meaning (AIM)—WHAT IS PETER SAYING…

Mark who preaches up in Colony Kansas points out how a brief study of history helps us understand that Peter probably wrote this book somewhere between A.D. 62-65. If Jesus died roughly around A.D. 36-37, then Peter had been leading the church for roughly 28 years. He may have been 40 years when Jesus called him to switch occupations. Peter had been a fisherman. At 70 something he would have been an old man by that day’s standards. History records that Peter was crucified upside-down at the hand of Nero in A.D. 64-65, so Peter’s letter was probably written within a few years of him giving his life for the faith.

In the passage we just read Peter is telling us that Jesus is like no other stone. He is the Cornerstone!

He shares this information so that we can know for ourselves who Christ is. Remember, this...God reveals himself in Jesus Christ so that through Jesus we can live as ambassadors. Thus all of us are priests in the sense of bringing people who are outside the kingdom into the kingdom through Jesus Christ.

Our objective is to help other people see how precious Christ is (1 Peter 2:4).

Two times in just this short span of Scripture Peter refers to those who have placed their confidence in Christ as priests… (1 Peter 2:5 and 1 Peter 2:9).

Therefore, as God has given honor to Christ so may we. How may we give honor to Christ? As priest’ of God we are his ambassadors in this world.

I think this is so cool that Peter would see us all ministers.

Last Sunday I was preaching at the Arma Care Center (this is a nursing home for people that are no longer able to take care of themselves) and just getting into the sermon when I was interrupted by Mary. This past summer Mary told me that her saint is St. Dymphna. Mary having grown up in the Catholic Church would not surprise me if she spoke Latin. Anyhow she raised a question that made me put my sermon on hold. Her question dealt with Christ, Peter, and the church; she specifically was referring to Peter’s declaration about Jesus.

And so we read how Matthew the gospel writer recorded it.

Matthew 16:13-20 (NLT)

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”*

14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,* the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit* on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

It’s Peter’s declaration that Jesus is the Christ and upon this statement the church has been built!


1 Peter 2:7 (NLT)

7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected

has now become the cornerstone.”*

1 Peter 2:8 (NLT)

8 And,

“He is the stone that makes people stumble,

the rock that makes them fall.”*

There is something about this rock imagery. Look at the times this quote comes up in the Scriptures:

Psalm 118:22ff., Matthew 21:42ff.

Jesus’ story…

Matthew 21:33ff.

Jesus is the One we honor but he is also the One whom some reject.

The mention of Christ is a stumbling block to some.

Why is he a stumbling block? Christ tells us to deny ourselves. But sin feels so good. Some of us might think of sin as murder, stealing, and adultery; however, malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander are sin too…


Living in South East Kansas these last couple of years I have learned that raising cattle is a job.

Farmers or ranchers call it winging the calves. When the calves are large enough they are winged from their mothers. The reason for doing this is so that the mother’s newer calf can receive it’s milk. Sometimes a four or five hundred pound calf is still sucking milk; while the newer seventy pound calf gets none.

Why do I share this illustration could it be that we are not much different? The people Peter is writing to have recently put their trust in Christ. So there will come a time for them to move on from the milk they are craving (1 Peter 2:2).

Last week I challenged all of us to read 1 and 2 Peter. So how has it been going???

Have you read something that you have not seen in a while or perhaps for the first time???

Have you been enjoying the milk???

Are you growing???

Our spiritual growth is a little harder to see but no less evident.

A few years after Peter spoke about craving the spiritual milk (1 Peter 2:2); Paul says,

Hebrews 5:11-6:12 (NLT)

A Call to Spiritual Growth

11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.* You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

6 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

4 For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— 6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

7 When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.

9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,* as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.


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