Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 2:4-5
Text: 1 Peter 2:4-5
Title: Christian Identity I
Date/Place: LSCC, 7/10/05, AM
A. Opening illustration: State of Maine 2000 census statistics
B. Background to passage: Coming off of his exhortation to desire the Word, specifically the statement about their tasting of the goodness of God, Peter goes into some further implications of the Christian’s relationship to God. He speaks of who they are in Christ.
C. Main thought: In our text we will see three of those truths about our identity in Christ.
A. We are in union with God’s Son (v. 4)
1. The phrase found in this verse seems simple enough, but the word has grand implications. It is a word used for continuous, abiding, intimate fellowship. It refers to the union that believers share with Christ. Theologian, bible teacher, and author Wayne Grudem defines union with Christ like this: “a phrase used to summarize several different relationships between believers and Christ through which we receive the benefits of salvation…including the fact that we are in Christ, Christ is in us, we are like Christ, and we are with Christ.” As Christians we are in Christ, and He is in us. We have been raised with Christ. We have new life in Christ. All our actions are done in Christ. And corporately we are one with Christ. This is something that theologians refer to as the “mystical union” because we can’t explain it all. All that we know is what is revealed in Scripture. But what is there is spectacular.
2. Col 1:27, Gal 2:20, 2 Cor 5:17, Rom 6:1-4, Eph 2:5, Rom 8:17, 11x in 1 John “abide in him”
3. Illustration: symbiotic relationships are never based on anything but self-interest, in a marriage you grow in unity, beginning as two separate individuals, and hopefully attaining a state where you think similar, talk similar, walk similar, and dream similar,
4. We must remember who we are. The center of the Christian life is being in Christ. God is most glorified when we are in Christ. Because we have been brought into the fullness of God’s purposes in Christ. We are of great value and worth, because we are in Christ. We have access to the greatest resource ever in Christ. We are made alive, real life in Christ. In Him, we are made heirs to every promise, and secured that they will come to pass. We have constant fellowship with God in Christ. We are free from condemnation in Christ. We are permanently connected to the love of God in Christ. Our sanctification and justification is found in Christ. In fact, in Him we become the righteousness of God. We are sealed in Him permanently securing our glorification. Our hope, joy, refreshing, and encouragement are found in Christ. We can triumph over every situation, every enemy, and every circumstance in Christ. We have been brought near to God in Christ. We find forgiveness, and grant forgiveness in Christ. We stand in strength, boldness, confidence, and protection in Christ. All our needs will be supplied in Christ; in fact, we are enriched by him. We are completed in Christ. We will reign with Him eternally.
B. We are stones in God’s house (v. 5)
1. After speaking of Christ as the Living Stone (whole other sermon there), Peter calls us as believers living stones. Peter makes a link to the temple here, speaking of the house where God dwelt. He says that God is building a great house for Himself to dwell in, but this one is not made with literal, inanimate stones, but with a redeemed people. In this one can see the great purposes of God to exalt His name and further His glory to the ends of the universe. Metaphorically, God is looking over His great blueprint for the universe bringing His redeemed into their proper places to grow individually, and for the kingdom.
2. 1 Cor 3:16, 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:20-22; Heb 3:6;
3. Illustration: their 4-year-old daughter, Alicia, answered and politely asked who was calling. To tease her, I said kiddingly, "Alicia, you come to my house almost every Sunday and you don’t know who I am?" In a reverential voice, she replied breathlessly, "Jesus?" One writer said, “the beauty of this new and living temple made of people should no longer be expensive gold and precious jewels, but the imperishable beauty of holiness and faith in the Christians’ lives, qualities which much more effectively reflect the glory of God.”
4. From a practical sense, we see that God is carrying out His plans by placing individuals in His church to carry out specific duties that His kingdom would continue to advance. God gifts them, orchestrates the circumstances in our lives, and then places us in the exact church during the exact time to accomplish His purposes. You are in this church for such a time as this. The corporate nature of these statements points us to the great understanding of growth within the activities of the church. If you want to Christ in your walk with God, get involved in service at the church. Other ministries are fine, but God has ordained the church as His body on earth.