Summary: Peter calls us a "kingdom of priests" - what does he mean, and how can the Church carry out this purpose? This message explores what it means for God's people to be priests to the world.

Title: "Lakewood: A Kingdom of Priests"

Text: 1 Peter 2:1-12

ILLUS: Father Matthew Kelty spoke at Asbury College chapel on day – what intrigued me most was that the abbey was just an hours’ drive down the road…..I even spent a few meaningful days.

Something pretty intriguing about the priesthood. I love the culture, the heritage, the set apartness … but I’m convinced Scripture has a way of widening our horizons to say, This priesthood thing – maybe it’s something for me.

At the end of the service, we’re going to take communion .. going to give you a chance to say to God, to one another, to this church, ‘We will be a church of priests. We will be a kingdom of priests for the community of Lake Charles.”

In fact, that phrase right there comes from God Word and I want us to read that this morning. It’s in 1 Peter 2. And I’m convinced this place in Scripture gives a glimpse into the very heart of the Father for his church. Almost a ‘vision statement’.

ILLUS: lots of time spend creating vision statements/mission statements/ dream statements. What about God’s vision for his church?

Text? 1 Peter 2:1-12

ILLUS: The Princess Diaries - Amelia Thermopolis – visited by an estranged European grandmother. Tells her about a wealthy crown prince in Europe who has just died….what does that have to do with me? That crown prince was also your father. … Then that would make me – a princess.

Peter to the church? YOU are royalty. Not just any kind of royalty – but royal priests.

Lakewood, take a look at yourselves – this is a priestly bunch of folks!

This isn’t Peter’s idea – it’s been around for awhile. Like, book of Exodus kind of awhile.

Turns out God had this grand idea …

GOD’s VISION – from Exodus 19-20?

o God bring Israel out for divine purpose (Gen 12) – ILLUS: Building a bridge over the creek on my chilhood homestead. God is looking for people to be bridgebuilders.

o God seeking a nation of kohenim (priests, lit. ‘drawn near ones’). What does this look like? 3 things

• To be set apart (condition)

• to share God’s holy character (qualification)

• and to be brought near God’s presence (function).

o Yet Israel unable/unwilling to pay the price of priesthood.

o Aaronic priesthood est – yet the heart of God remained – what if ALL of my people could be ‘drawn near ones? Rev. 5:9

MAIN IDEA: Church, take your priesthood seriously! God has called you to be Mediators to a broken world. A church of priests – collectively offer worship, who go out to minister, who ‘draw near’ to God and share his holy character.


1. Requires willingness to be in the ‘dangerous love of God’

Hebrews 12:28-29 - Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

• ILLUS: Aslan – “not safe, but good”

• The priesthood of God is a dangerous thing. It just might demand your career, your wealth, your self-reliance, your own kids.

2. Requires a willingness to share His character.

1 Peter 1:15-16 “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Psalm 24 – “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.”

• ILLUS: EStanleyJones – met a Hindu man in India – man says to Jones ‘just as Christ and the Bible has saved you, so Krishna has saved me’, - Jones invites man to come and serve the poor with him. Man says "Sahib, I am saved ... but I am not saved that much!"

• A call to the royal priesthood is a call to total transformation - heart and life.

3. Requires a life of ‘sacrifice’ – Romans 12

Romans 12:1-2 - I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

• OT priests? Daily offerings of sacrifice. Your life? Daily offering a ‘living sacrifice’

4. Requires a life of intercession for others –

• The ancient priest? Daily sacrifices –daily intercession/mediation between a holy God and un unholy people.

• We call this ‘ministry’ – and yes, it is for everyone – you’ve got some unique giftings that you have been called to put to use in ministering to others.

1 Peter 4:7-11 - 7The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

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