Summary: 1 Peter 2 gives insight into the Christians identity...do you know who you are in Christ?
We are moving into a fresh stage in our Christian faith, a birthing of victory in the church that has been unprecedented since the beginning of the church in the Book of Acts. Even as we sing that song, Enemies Camp where we talk about Satan being under our feet, God is bringing forth a generation of believers who will take the authority God has given them through the power of the Holy Spirit and they will rise up and crush Satan under their feet just as Christ at the Cross demonstrated the power to bring victory to all believers. We can do it because Jesus did it and we have power in Him. How many of you are ready to get out your stomping boots?
Turn in your Bibles, or look at your notes at 1 Peter 2. I want to focus on verses 9-10, but lets for the purpose of context begin reading at verse 4 as the Apostle Peter draws us into the association we have with Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone and foundation of our faith and our relationship to Him as His chosen people. (READ 4-12)
We are a chosen people, that is, God has picked out his building material, it is His desire that all will be saved, He has chosen us and we have accepted the opportunity to part of His plan, to be structured for His building from blueprints He has laid out according to Psalm 139 before we were born.
We are a royal priesthood, that is we have an intimate relationship with God and with such relationship we freely flow with spiritual song, thought and praise.
We are a holy nation, God’s people, specially prepared by God to be used for his particular purposes.
And we belong to God, we have been bought with a price, the precious Blood of Jesus, sacrificed for our sins to purchase our redemption from the bondage of this world to be free in His Spirit.
Tonight I want to talk about three simple things. Who we were, who we are, and what we do as Christians. As believers we will never fully appreciate who we are until we first understand who we once were.
I. Who we once were without Christ.
In verse 10 Peter tells us we once were not a people, the Greek word for people being laos meaning a people, a people group, tribe, nation, all of those who are of the same stock and language, of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere. There was a time when we were not a people, when Israel, the Chosen people were, but we, the Gentiles were not. There was a time when we were just a mishmash of people who had no identity, nomads passing through this earth. A time when Peter says we were without mercy because we were not participants to Gods special mercy which He showed to Israel, His chosen people. Paul refers to our state in Ephesians 2:1-2 when he says of the Gentiles, As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sin in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. So there was a point when we wondered in the darkness but verse 9 tells us we have been called out of the darkness into the light of Christ which leads us to our present condition…
II. Who we now are in Christ
Living in Ione there is a place called Gardner Caves, a limestone cave where you can see one of the world’s largest stalagmites. I always enjoyed taking visitors to the cave and at the bottom the guide would turn off the light and leave you in total darkness. It is a darkness like most of you have probably never experienced, much different than turning the lights off in the room and covering the windows. There it is darker than the night sky, so dark that you could put your hand in front of your face and never see your hand no matter how close it was to your eyes. Total darkness. Fortunately within a short moment of time the guide would turn the switch and the light would come back into the cave. I was glad there was no bats taking roost, and I checked to make sure my wallet was still in my pocket. Experiencing the darkness, one would not have the desire to live their life out in such a place. Verse 9 says we have been called out of darkness by Gods marvelous light. There was a time when we could not see, when we were blinded to the truth, but God in His mercy reached out and rescued us from the dark, shining His light into our life. Paul says in Colossians 1:12-14, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin. God did this for us in love, without our assistance, making us a people who once were not. Bringing us into the inheritance just as the nation of Israel was a part of the inheritance promised by Abraham according to Romans 9. Who are we today, children of the promise, regarded as Abraham’s children. Not people of a birth right, but people of adoption with the same rights as those in the birth line. We belong to God if we have accepted the free gift of salvation He has offered to us. True citizens of heaven. Which brings me to the final point tonight,