Faithlife Sermons

The Priesthood of Believers

Epistle of 1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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1 Peter 2:4–10 ESV
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 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. 6 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.” 7 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,” 8 and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9 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. 10 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.

Our focus is gazing on Christ from this passage. As a result of who Christ is, believers have a number of privileges that come as a result. Last week we focused on the first of the many privileges mentioned here in this passage and that was our union with Christ:

1. It is a covenantal relationship

There will be on this later in the passage, but let me just touch on it now:

A. In the OT

The marriage covenant is used to illustrate the intimacy of the relationship between God and his people.
ESV5 For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. 6 For the Lord has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. 7 For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. 8 In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer.
ESV14 Return, O faithless children, declares the Lord; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
ESV32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.
ESV7 She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them, and she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.’
ESV16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’

B. In the NT

ESV31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

2. It is a relationship deepened through the incarnation

ESV14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
ESV3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
ESV21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
ESV4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
ESV14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

3. It is a relationship personally entered through faith

ESV16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
ESV12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
ESV11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
ESV38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ”
ESV31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

4. It is a relationship enriched through the sacraments

A. Baptism

ESV27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
ESV19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
ESV8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
ESV11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

B. The Lord’s Supper

ESV16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
ESV23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.

5. A relationship that affects every aspect of life

ESV17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
ESV1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
ESV20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
ESV9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
ESV19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
ESV20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

6. It is a mysterious relationship

ESV27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
ESV32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
Today, we are going to move onto the second of these privileges and that is the priesthood of believers.
Illustration: Access to August Country Club…for members only!
1 Peter 2:5 ESV
5 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.
As we think of this truth and doctrine, there are a number of realities that come to light. I would like to mention four specific thoughts today:

We as Believers have Access to God

Romans 5:2 ESV
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Ephesians 2:18 ESV
18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
Ephesians 3:12 ESV
12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
This access comes through a mediator:
1 Timothy 2:5 ESV
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
Hebrews 9:15 ESV
15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

We as Believers have Ministry to Others

Ephesians 4:11–15 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Eph 4:11-1

We as Believers have our Identity in Christ (2) (…acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”)

We did not merit our salvation and we do not merit our sanctification
Colossians 2:6 ESV
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
Our righteousness is still like a filthy and dirty rage
We have nothing to prove when we are in Christ
All our righteousness is filthy rages

We as Believers maintain a true Devotion to Christ (2)

Once more we see the pattern of gospel obedience: believers “offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (v. 5).
Our sacrificial lives of devotion to the Lord are not what makes us acceptable to God. Jesus himself made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf!
In light of his great work of redemption, we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord of mercy.

CONCLUSION:

300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans A Resolution to Not Act as One’s Own

Henceforth, I am not to act, in any respect, as my own. I shall act as my own if I ever make use of any of my powers to anything that is not to the glory of God, and do not make the glorifying of him my whole and entire business—if I murmur in the least at affliction; if I grieve at the prosperity of others; if I am in any way uncharitable; if I am angry because of injuries; if I revenge them; if I do anything purely to please myself, or if I avoid anything for the sake of my own ease; if I omit anything because it is great self-denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any of the praise of the good that I do, or that God does by me; or if I am in any way proud.

JONATHAN EDWARDS

ESV Bibles by Crossway. ESV Gospel Transformation Bible (Kindle Locations 262506-262509). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
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