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You are God's People, Christians, Christ-like

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For prayer on this Sunday in July, the 13th. In the year 2008, ask for all the new converts, over the last two years to come forward; those who are new to the fellowship over the last two years to come forward for prayer and read the following;

John 15:18-16:4 (ESV)
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. 1 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.

So many times within our local fellowships and the local church establishments we know about being born again and being filled with the Holy Spirit.  But do we actually realize all that is happening to us and the changes that we are going through?  Peter writes some important lessons to these exile believers.  It is important for them and for us to understand our position in this salvation journey.  For the next few Sundays we will look at 1 Peter 2:4-12 and examine the subject, ‘You are God’s people, Christians, Christ-like’. 

Let us stand together as Christians and being Christ-like and listen to what God has to say to us in 1 Peter 2:4-12


1 Peter 2:4-12 (ESV)
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. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

·         May the Lord bless the reading, the hearing and the doing of His Holy Word, Amen

·         We will begin this portion of this series with just looking at verses 4 and 5.

·         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.

·         Notice the verbs in these verses; ‘as you come to him’

·         Peter picks his words carefully

·         ‘As you come to him’ as opposed to ‘as you go to him’

·         ‘Come to worship’ as opposed to ‘go to worship’

·         ‘To come’ meaning to approach or move toward versus ‘to go’ meaning to move, proceed from, to depart

·         To come to seek association with, versus to go to disassociate with

·         This statement ‘as you come to Him’ implies your ability to approach Him and that’s important that you keep in mind that you are approaching Him

·         This ability is possible because you are the elect chapter one verse one

·         Born again to a living hope chapter one verse three

·         You believe, have faith and love him, chapter one verse eight

·         And you are aware and you know that the Him I am talking about is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – Amen

·         All I’m trying to say is that you have tasted that the Lord is good

·         So as you come to Him in worship, come to Him in prayer, come to Him in praise, you’re coming to a living stone

·         The Rock of ages

·         The Rock of my salvation

·         The stone that the builders rejected

·         But when I need a shelter and when I need a friend, I go to the Rock

·         Don’t have to stay in the situation I’m in I can go to the rock

·         But brothers and sisters you can go to the rock

·         And as you come to Him, a living stone realize that this living stone is rejected by men

·         At one time you did it and there may be at this very moment in this sanctuary some of you still doing it

·         Your geology is flawed

·         For in the original language this rejection or to reject means to regard as unworthy, to reject as not genuine

·         It is not a casual rejection but to reject after scrutiny, inquiry, inspection, close watch, and a searching look

·         And after this scrutiny then the declaration of it uselessness is stated

·         Flawed Geology!  Listen

Mark 8:31 (ESV)
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

·         This, my brothers and sisters is a rejection by the religious leaders of the day

·         And that is amazing the ones who are responsible for the teaching and preaching of the Word of God, teaching and administering the Law of God, performing the Sacrifices to God, being in the holy and holy of holy places in the temple, being in the presence of God,  rejects the one sent from God.

·         Jesus says He must suffer, be rejected and killed

·         Rejected by men!

·         And by His grace you come to Him!

·         Not just Mark but this is repeated by Luke who points out that it was by the entire generation

Luke 9:22 (ESV)
saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Luke 17:25 (ESV)
But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

·         Flawed geology

·         Listen some more!

John 3:19-21 (ESV)
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

·         This is what the scriptures above are saying

·         As an Illustration

·         I can reject this ring because after closer inspection, I can conclude that it is just cut glass

·         My students would say you have to be careful when you go into some stores to buy tennis or sport shoes because there are counterfeits, you have to look close and if they are not the real ones reject them and don’t pay your money

·         You are told in the world of business or finance public or personal to read the fine print because there are opportunities out there that should be rejected because they are not genuine.

·         Sad news men feel that since Jesus doesn’t help their bling bling, doesn’t add to the wardrobe, and doesn’t increase their financial standing, he should be rejected and is rejected by men

·         These same men, women, boys and girls would say I don’t care about what happens after I die because heaven and hell is how you spend your time now!

·         Men say; I need a stone for building and this particular stone will not help me, is no use to me, has no value for me and thus it is rejected, cast aside

·         For whatever reason men may say that they believe in god, they may even except others who express a belief in god but they will also be very vocal about not believing in Jesus as the second person of the Holy Trinity, in Jesus who died for sin and bodily rose from the dead, Jesus who is Lord and Savior, and Jesus who will return to judge the living and the dead.

·         They will call him great.  They will call him a prophet.  They will call him a wonderful teacher.  But not the living stone chosen by God and precious to God

·         Flawed geology and there is a reason for it

·         Man in his fallen condition lives in a series of moments and in most cases fallen man fails to connect the moments

·         In this series chapter 2:4-12, Peter is going to make reference to the Old Testament and he will address that in this letter to the elect

·         The unsaved of his day would reject that not out of ignorance but wisdom of the world

·         The unsaved Jew would claim that this is about Judaism and his Messiah and the Gentile would say that the Old Testament has nothing to do with him

·         They both would reject these teachings

·         We are no different today

·         The unsaved citizen of the United States is probably educated with the wisdom of the world

·         To them Jesus is a thing of history, if they are black, Jesus is the white man’s religion, if they are wealthy, Jesus is the poor man’s religion, if they are well educated, this Jesus is just one of many Jesus who have walk on this earth

·         Flawed geology leading to ‘rejected by men’

·         Now as we tell the world about Jesus and tell them about His love be reminded of this

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (ESV)
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

·         This fallen state, this fallen condition is a series of moments, quick and fast moments

·         The answer is also in the verse

·         As you come to Him, a living stone

·         An old deacon use to say it this way; “He may not come when you want Him to but I declare that He is always on time”

·         Dottie Peoples would say; “He’s an on time God yes He is!”

·         To know that a stone is living involve long term interaction

·         It is not a causal coming to Him but a consistent, patient coming to Him

·         You may not get something that you can recognize with every worship service, prayer, or ministry

·         But hang on in there

·         What man rejects this verse ends by saying “but in the sight of God chosen and precious”

·         Has not God said; “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well please!”

·         This is my beloved Son,  with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

·         Chosen and precious

·         Let me close with this

·         If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good

·         And As you come to Him and you are doing that

·         And you realize that Jesus is a living stone actively living in your life

·         Then you have not rejected Him

·         And you agree with the Father, you say Amen, that Jesus is chosen and precious

·         As you prepare to leave this worship and go back into this fallen world in which you live, I can say to you ‘so are you!

·         You, my brother and my sister, you yourselves like living stones

·         You are like Jesus and you are being made more and more like Jesus

·         Well what does that mean

·         It means much and it will take eternity for you to comprehend it all

·         But two items are sure from verse 4

·         One – you two will be rejected by men

·         But two and it is a wonderful two – but in the sight of God chosen and precious

·         It’s in that uniqueness that makes you so unique; you yourselves like living stones just like Jesus

·         Just like you can’t see the atoms that make up your individual bodies, you also can’t see spiritual composition of your make up as God almighty sees you

·         Chosen and precious

·         God’s got His hand on you!

·         You are God’s people, Christians, Christ-like

·         We will continue this Lord willing next Sunday – let us pray


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