1 Peter 2:4-10 Sermon Manuscript

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The Mission of the Church: Offering Spiritual Sacrifices and Proclaiming His Glory!

  1. Introduction
    1. What is reality?
      1. According to 1 Peter we are aliens and strangers in this world. This is not our home. Our citizenship is in heaven and we await a Savior, Christ the Lord. What we see with our eyes is true reality, but that’s not all. What is our mission and purpose while we wait?
      1. In 2 Kings, Elisha’s servant saw only one of those realities.
        1. 2 Kings 6:15-16  15 ¶ When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”  16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
      1. Now the reality was that a huge Syrian army stand before two men. But that was not the whole story.
        1. 2 Kings 6:17   17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
      1. The other reality there was another army. Elisha asked the LORD to open the eyes of his servant. Then he saw the other reality. There was no need to fear! True. A huge Syrian army was there to do battle. Yet, the Army of the Lord was there too!
    1. We encounter a similar thing in this passage of Scripture. Yes. Peter said we are elect exiles. However, we are told in this text that we are living stones and we are being built into a spiritual house—God’s house. Where is God’s house? Is it this building? No. We, believers in Christ, are God’s house. You are God’s house that is no longer in Jerusalem but one that extends over the whole earth!
      1. There are things that we see with our eyes that cause us to fear. But we should not fear for we are in God’s house—a house the world cannot see. They, just like ourselves, could not see that we were dead in our trespasses. They hang over the wrath of God by a thread and do not even know it.
      1. We can sing praises when they lock us in jail like Paul and Silas. We could joyfully receive the seizure of our property by the government because they only have it temporarily. What they take is not ultimately theirs. It’s our Father’s. He will give it back to His children one day. There’s no need to worry or fear.
  2. Reading of the Text 1 Peter 2:4-10
  3. Exposition
    1. Two Points
      1. Being Built Up into a spiritual house to Offer Spiritual Sacrifices (4-8)
      1. To Proclaim His Excellencies (9-10)
    1. Point #1: You are priests that offer spiritual sacrifices
      1. First, our text from two weeks ago ended with a plea to consider if you had in fact tasted that the Lord is good. Those who have tasted that the Lord is good continually come to him. “According to v. 4, the ‘Lord’ of v. 3, who is clearly Yahweh in the OT context of Psalm 34, is none other than Jesus Christ.  2:4   4 ¶ As you come to him…
        1. It is confirmed that “him” is Jesus Christ for he the “living stone.”
        1. This continual coming to him is a “drawing near.” The same word is used of the soldiers coming to Jesus while on the cross to offer him sour wine. Yet, we are to come near to offer spiritual sacrifices.
      1. Peter then describes Jesus as a living stone. This living stone is a difficult image to imagine. Stones were obviously building materials but they would not have been considered “living.” It makes me think of the passage when Jesus comes riding into Jerusalem on a colt and the Pharisees tell Jesus to stop the people from praising him–Luke 19:40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
      1. Peter will be referencing Isaiah 28:16 and Psalm 118:22 that speak of this “stone” but they do not mention it is as “living.”
      1. Schreiner thinks the reason Peter does this is because of the resurrection! I tend to agree.
      1. The idea comes about because this stone is first rejected (humiliated) but then becomes the cornerstone. Jesus becomes the cornerstone through his life, death, and resurrection! Rejection must precede exultation. That is our pattern too.
      1. Peter makes this clear with the first contrast—“a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious”
        1. Rejected by men=the cross
        1. In God’s sight chosen=resurrection
        1. Peter brings both of these together in Acts 4:10-11  10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead- by him this man is standing before you well.  11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.
      1. Peter then does something unexpected. He compares Jesus, the living stone, with the believers, like living stones, in whom he writes! Why does he do this?
        1. The reason I think he does this is because Jesus was the dwelling of God. The tabernacle and temple represented the dwelling place of God but these pointed to something
          1. John 1:14  14 ¶ 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.
          1. Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily
          1. Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,  2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.  3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
        1. Yet, Jesus has ascended to the right hand of the Father. Does that mean the presence of God is no longer on the earth? Well, no. God’s presence now dwells with his people—the church! Not fully like it will be—hence the “like.” We are his presence on earth by way of the Holy Spirit.
          1. Ephesians 2:18-22  18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
      1. For what purpose are believers compared to the living stone—Jesus?
        1. The former “builders” rejected the stone, but we see a new builder now—God himself. 1 Peter 2:5   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.
          1. It is an emphatic statement—“you yourselves.”
          1. God, the new builder, is building a spiritual house where all of his people are priest-like figures who offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God THROUGH his Son! “The church is God’s new temple.” Schreiner
          1. This new temple began with Christ as the cornerstone and is being extended throughout the whole earth through our witness of the gospel. God is building the house but he is using his living stones to proclaim his excellencies all over the world. (Beale)
          1. God is also building a spiritual house that will not fail.
            1. Matthew 16:18   18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
          1. No longer is the priesthood for one tribe among Israel, but to all believers corporately! “The church is the temple and the priests!” Schreiner
            1. This is what Israel was meant to be but failed because of disobedience. Exodus 19:5-6   5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;  6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
            1. This can only happen NOW because of Christ. God’s presence can remain and therefore transform the body of believers because our sins are forgiven and we have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us!
          1. This house offers spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ.
            1. It seems the context points us to v.9 where we are to proclaim God’s wonders to this world.
            1. The church is a display of God’s glory. We share the gospel, his excellencies, to a dying world so that they might be born of imperishable seed and lift their voices in praise to God through the Son!
      1. Peter now sets out to prove what he just stated. 1 Peter 2:6   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.”
        1. This is a quote from Isaiah 28:16. God is pronouncing judgment upon the priests of Jerusalem. They were drunk and vomit completely covered the table. The priests had not lead the people in worship. They trusted lies and falsehood.
        1. Peter notices the only glimmer of hope in the passage: that God has laid a cornerstone in Zion. Peter understands this prophesy to have been fulfilled in Christ! If they will trust in this cornerstone “they will escape judgment.” (Schreiner)
        1. But what comfort is this quotation? For those in whom Peter writes have possibly suffered the same displacement God’s judgment had pronounced. In may be that Peter wants them to know “their painful situation did not reflect the displeasure of God. Far from it: God’s plan includes a division of people around the Son, this cornerstone rejected by so many [Israel’s priests], and the most important thing, both for this life and for the life to come, is to be living stones along with him in the temple of which he is the cornerstone.” (Carson)
        1. Peter draws a conclusion of those who will not be put to shame—judgment. Those who believe in the Son, believes in the living stone—the cornerstone—will be honored. 1 Peter 2:7   7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
          1. Peter contrasts those who disbelieve—rebel against God’s word—will not receive honor.
          1. In fact, “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. 1 Peter 2:7-8  
          1. In this statement, you hear both sides of the same coin. It says they stumble because they disobey the word. They do exactly what they want to do. However, the Lord also destined it. “We have a divine passive verb here that most certainly means God himself appointed them to this end.” (Carson)
          1. We must conclude with McKnight, “God’s act of appointing Jesus as the living stone has become both honor for believers and judgment for unbelievers; this was God’s design, and everything happens according to his will.”
          1. There is much comfort for the readers of this letter in knowing God is sovereign over all things.
          1. When your path crosses the Rock you either believe or reject. You either humble yourself now or you will be humbled. You will receive honor or you will receive shame! There is no in between.
    1. Point #2—The Purpose of the Priesthood is to result in proclaiming his excellencies!
      1.  In contrast to those who “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. 1 Peter 2:8-9  
        1. Those who have repented and believed in Christ are now, whether Jew or Gentile, a part of the chosen race, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, a people of his own possession.
        1. Those who stumble are not chosen. Those who disobey the word are not a royal priesthood that offers spiritual sacrifices. Those who were appointed to do so are an unholy nation. They are not God’s own possession.
          1. They reject the gospel. They reject Christ. They do not proclaim his excellencies throughout the nations. Christ in not praise-worthy in their eyes. He is not glorious to them. They care not about spreading his name over the globe.
        1. But for what purpose are believers a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation?
          1. We are a priesthood. This is a corporate aspect. The church is to display the gospel. In how we love each other and how we maintain our witness in this town and world by meaningful church membership that submits to God’s design of church discipline anytime one of Christ’s church threatens the witness of the gospel.
          1. Our purpose is proclaiming and spreading the fame of Christ’s name. We are in the house of God and his people make him known. This is our mission as a church. This is our goal as the new temple of God that we spread this building over all the earth. That more and more worshippers come to Jesus becoming living stones!
          1. We the church are the lampstand in this new temple that is ever expanding. May we be a light here and to distant nations.
          1. There are no other means by which to expand God’s house than proclaiming the gospel. Are you sharing the gospel? There is no fear. Remember whose house you are in. Remember the unseen reality that unbelievers do not see.
  4. Conclusion
    1. What is our purpose here?
      1. We are to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ.
      1. We are to proclaim his excellencies among the nations.
      1. How can we do that?
      1. Let’s start this week by using this last verse as a means of offering up spiritual sacrifices and proclaiming his excellencies.
      1. As you go throughout your day, tell those around this:I was called out of darkness into his marvelous light.  10 Once I was not one of God’s people, but now I am of God’s people; once I had not received mercy, but now I have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
      1. You walked darkness. You were once cut off from God’s people. You were going to receive the just payment for your sin but God had mercy on you.
      1. If you have never experienced this I would urge you to call on the name of the Lord today. Repent and believe in Christ. you must love him more than husband or wife, mom or dad, brother or sister, job and career. You leave everything and follow him. Will you have him?

About Jason and Kimberly

Jason is the former pastor at First Baptist Church in Greensboro, Florida. Kimberly homeschools our three awesome kids. We enjoy being together as a family in wherever so long as we are together! Grace and peace to you in the Lord Jesus Christ! View all posts by Jason and Kimberly

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