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People of Privelege

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I.                    Introduction

a.       Duty vs. Privilege.

                                                               i.      “The Heart of a Great Pastor”

b.      We often identify ourselves by what we do, rather than who we are.

                                                               i.      This is true as followers of Christ.

1.      One who goes to church, been baptized, etc.

                                                             ii.      Peter is to describe to his readers their spiritual privilege.  Who they are.

1.      Who they are is not so much defined by what they do.

c.       Review

                                                               i.      Peter has detailed what God has done for you-now he describes who you are (as the result of what God has done)

1.      Your identification has been altered.  You are no longer who you used to be.

2.      So who am I?

II.                 Living Stone(s). (4-5)

a.       When we come to Christ we enter the realm of spir privilege, not duty.

                                                               i.      Jesus described

1.      As a living stone, rejected by men but select by God.

a.       The picture:  Quarry workers. Perfectly prepared.

b.      But this stone, rejected by men is precious in God’s eyes.

                                                                                                                                       i.      Not uncommon:  men’s wisdom is not in line w/ God’s ideal.

2.      The Living Stone.

a.       Not some lifeless inanimate object indifferent to our presence. 

b.      Nor some lucky charm, slot machine type figure.

3.      We come to Him as One who is living, who identifies w/ our struggles, and is pleased by our approach.

                                                             ii.      We come

1.      This is habitual, regular and intimate.

                                                            iii.      The people of God are described

1.      Notice our identification w/ Christ.  We are living stones, that is we take on His characteristics.

a.       We make up the church.  We are fitted together into a different type of structure

                                                                                                                                       i.      Not like the temple consisting of dead stones, resting upon any earth foundation. 

                                                                                                                                     ii.      A spir structure, consisting of redeemed souls, alive and growing. 

2.      We are priests

a.       We have the privilege to draw near to God personally

b.      Offer sacrifices

                                                                                                                                       i.      Prayer and praise (Hebrews 13:15), doing good and sharing (16), self (Romans 12:1).

b.      Summary:  We come to Christ, though men rejected him is actually precious to God.  As we identify w/ Him, God begins to work in us, fitting us together w/ one another enabling us to approach God w/ pleasing sacrifices.

III.               Scriptural Support (6-8)

a.       3 OT passages are used to provide support. 

b.      Isaiah 28:6

                                                               i.      Speaks of those finding safety in falsehood and lies, feeling secure in what is untrue. 

                                                             ii.      But God says that He is laying a foundation that will be a true refuge.

                                                            iii.      Application

1.      Many have est their lives on lies

a.       Many paths to God (just be sincere), Scripture cannot be trusted, Christianity is the source of our problems etc. Reason, logic and science will answer issues.

                                                           iv.      But whoever aligns th/s w/, builds their lives upon His foundation will never be ashamed

1.      VERY strong statement!!

a.       If you will build your life upon the foundation of Jesus you will never stand before God ashamed.

b.      Eph 1:4, Jude 24

2.      This is the privilege of those who believe.

c.       Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14

                                                               i.      Not all accept this offer. They choose to est their lives on some other foundation           

1.      They stone they reject is the very cornerstone, they stumble

2.      Picture:  Reject the stone for something else; they keep tripping over it, stubbing their toes, seeing it as an obstacle.  Curse it.

                                                             ii.      Their disobedience to the word will convict them.  They will be convicted by the very one they reject

1.      Mark 14:62. Rejecting Him does not change the fact that we will be judged by Him.

IV.              Who Are You? (9-10)

a.       Peter piles up privilege.

                                                               i.      Not ones who are ashamed but chosen by God (He wants you on His team), a priesthood (all access pass), set apart, acceptable to Him.  His possession (purchased at great cost)

b.      Why?  To proclaim His Excellencies.  That others will desire to est their lives on this chosen foundation.

                                                               i.      Believer priests are to live so that their Heavenly Father’s qualities are evident in their lives. To serve as witnesses to the glory and grace of God who called them out of darkness and granted them mercy.

c.       Who you were/who you are.  Hosea 1:10, 2:23.

V.                 Conclusion

a.       You are people of great privilege. 

                                                               i.      Not a source of pride but of humility. 

b.      What are the characteristics?

                                                               i.      Offer up spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God

                                                             ii.      Declare the Excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness.

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