Scripture: 1 Peter 2:1-10
- By grace God has brought us into his family, and delivered us from futile lives. We witness to our salvation by loving one another from a pure heart, having been born anew by the same Father and by the same imperishable Word of God (1 Peter 1:17-25).
- Now in chapter 2 Peter speaks to our function and calling.
- Corporately, our calling as believers is to grow together as an integral part of God’s temple, the church.
- To this end God’s people must put aside all hypocrisy, deceit and slander.
- We’re to long for pure spiritual milk, that we may put aside the sins of our infancy and to grow up to salvation.
- Milk is called pure in contrast to milk that is watered down. The modern church has been delivering watered down milk and producing weak, ineffective Christians.
- True believers will be hungry for God’s Word.
- The key in our lives and ministry is that we are faithful to the Word of God whatever the cost.
- Instead of “living stones” many Christians today are “rolling stones” who reject authority, and refuse to be committed and accountable within the local church body.
- We must be fitted into God’s temple. If we’re unwilling to be chiseled by the Lord we cannot be fitted into His house.
- The living stone is Christ, chosen and precious. Likewise we as living stones, precious to God, are being built into a temple to God (Isa. 28:16 cf. Ex 19:5).
- Christ is the Cornerstone of God’s temple, His Church.
- Jesus fulfills the image of the temple as God’s house.
- To reject the Cornerstone means disaster. Those who reject God in unbelief are destroyed (Matt. 21:43-44).
- Under Christ’s Lordship we find personal meaning and joy in belonging to one-another in Christ.
- We no longer engage in envy, malice, backbiting because we’re freed by Christ to live together in love.
- We’re a chosen priesthood, and as recipients of mercy, we’re to extend God’s word and salvation to the nations (Ex. 19:4-6).
- Like Israel, we do not merit citizenship among God’s people. It is by grace through faith that we join God’s people (Isa. 61:6; 19:24-25).
- We’re set apart in Christ as a royal, priestly people. We’re to protect, guard, and tend God’s garden-kingdom, extending His justice and grace to the world.
- We’re to lift God’s banner of salvation and justice to all men, though we be judged “peculiar” or even “hated” by the world. Wherever we live and move we represent the kingdom of God.
- We’ve been called out of darkness into light. Having been consecrated to life, we’re to be separated from death (Lev. 21:10-11; cf. Matt 8:19-22).
- We’re to put away all envy, malice and slander, and drink the pure milk of the Word as we serve the King.
- What signifies healthy growth among believers?
- In what ways has the modern church watered down the word of God in the pulpit? What are the consequences?
- Why is God’s shaping necessary to fit us into His body? Are we willingly being “chiseled” by God?
- Describe our role as a royal priesthood to the nations representing the kingdom of God.
- How does a Christian funeral testify to Christ’s resurrection?