Sermons

Summary: Believers spiritual privileges begin the moment the Holy Spirit draws them into a saving union with Jesus Christ. They then have access to the very presence of God as priests who are privileged to offer up a variety of spiritual sacrifices,

It has become more and more common to have ID badges in many venues today. Due to heightened security concerns, everyone from concert staff to cleaners, dawn ID badges to access various venues. They are intended to identify someone to enable them to have a particular privileged access.

The dictionary defines privilege as "a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor," which may be "attached specifically to a position or an office." It is a blessing or freedom enjoyed by some people, but which most people cannot take advantage of. Christians are a special class of people who enjoy unique and eternal spiritual favors"granted by God" because of their position in Christ.

There has always been confusion on what that position will be. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we now remember, today, as Palm Sunday, there was confusion on the new position through Christ as King:

John 12:12-16[12]The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. [13]So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" [14]And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, [15]"Fear not, daughter of Zion, behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!"[16]His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. (ESV)

This King of Israel did enable great privilege and when Peter as a disciple of Christ, reflects on the nature of privilege 1 Pt. 2:4-5, he rearranges the same basic truths into multiple images so that his readers might see the multifaceted glory of what it means to be children of God.

Perhaps you view the Christian life more from the standpoint of spiritual duty rather than spiritual privilege. They tend to be preoccupied with the temporal pressures of what they view as obligations and do not cherish the lasting privileges God has given them to enjoy. But Spiritual duty and spiritual privilege are not mutually exclusive for believers, either in this life or in the life to come. In this passage, the apostle emphasizes the richness of the privileges believers already have in Christ.

We can see: 1) THE INITIATION OF SPIRITUAL PRIVILEGES 2) THE PRIVILEGE OF UNION WITH CHRIST 3) THE PRIVILEGE OF ACCESS TO GOD AS PRIESTS 4) THE PRIVILEGE OF ACCESS TO GOD THROUGH SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES

1) THE INITIATION OF SPIRITUAL PRIVILEGES

1 Peter 2:4As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,

It is as you come to Christ that believers enter the realm of spiritual privilege. Jesus Himself, with Peter and the other apostles as eyewitnesses, called people to abandon the turmoil of their sin and come to Him in faith and experience true soul rest:

Matthew 11:28-29 [28]Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29]Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (ESV)

-The calling of Christ is rest. This may be surprising with everything I have said about putting off destructive habits and putting on Christ and His righteousness, but this means rest.

-To take Christ’s Yoke in Mt. 11:29 means that through his power and strength, He guides us, comforts us, strengthens us and enables us to do what he expects us to do, in his way and in his time.

-The Jews were a people seeing rest, hessed, from wandering in the wilderness, continual sacrifices, and relief from the oppression of the Romans.

-We look at the events of Palm Sunday and how there is often a misunderstanding of rest. Rest does not come from relief from all our earthly pressures, but we now have someone in the person of Christ, who gives us true rest.

Quote: Frances Ridley Havergal made an interesting comment on this rest:

Begin at once, before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your King to take you wholly into his service, and place all the hours of this day quite simply at his disposal, and ask him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what he appoints. Never mind about tomorrow, one day at a time is enough. Try it today, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace, so sweet that you will be only too thankful when tomorrow comes to ask him to take it also.

FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL (1836-1879)

In 1 Pt 2:5, when Peter talks about coming to Christ, the compound verb to come (proserchomenoi), however, conveys more than a mere drawing close to Christ for salvation. The preposition pros is a prefix to the normal verb erchomai and adds intensity, denoting a drawing near to Christ in intimate, abiding, personal fellowship.

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