Summary: A message about the security found in God and what a secure Christian looks like.
All right, open up your Bibles this morning to First Peter, chapter 2. We’re in the sermon series called First Peter; we’re just looking through this book. We’re going to topically walk through this book of First Peter. And again I want to remind you that every week, I want you to read along with me, so you can probably guess next Sunday I’m probably going to talk about something out of First Peter three. So read First Peter one, First Peter two but especially First Peter three this week, so that when I come on here on Sunday, you’ve already read it; you’ve already thought about it. God’s already spoken to you out of First Peter three. And so this morning we’re going to look at First Peter two. And I want to talk to you about a topic that Doug tells on what we talked about last Sunday.
Last Sunday we talked about getting our joy back. This glorious indescribable joy, that is possible despite our circumstances. No matter what our circumstances, we can walk with this glorious indescribable joy that God gives us. And one of the ways that we keep that joy – and I got a lot of response for me this week, and I appreciate the encouraging emails, the encouraging phone calls, conversations we had about the miracle. I heard many, many miracles around the church this week, about people getting their joy back, walking out, getting away from their depression, the darkness that had kind of overwhelmed them.
One of the ways that you keep that joy is by dealing with insecurities. This morning I want to talk to you about freedom from insecurity. If we were all honest in this room, all of us have probably wrestled at time to time maybe wrestling now with the idea of insecurity. And when Peter was writing this letter to the churches throughout Asia, several churches read this letter; he was writing this letter to a group of people who were literally in exile. Many of them were very poor. They all felt like they were the least of society, they were looked down upon, they were tormented in many cases, persecuted in many cases, they were living under a 90% tax rate.
Now think about that just for a minute. Ninety percent of the money of the money they made went to the government, to the military, to the Roman government, to the local governments. So it’s hard for me to complain. I don’t know how it would feel like to earn a dollar and get to spend a dime of it. But this is what the reality of these people. They were poor, they were exiled, they were looked down upon, they were considered outcasts in their culture because they had decided to follow Christ. And so you can imagine they were probably wrestling with a lot of insecurities, because what they what they believed about, being a Christ follower, they were victorious people. They were supposed to be the victorious ones. And they were but their circumstances told them something else.
I want us to really confront this in our culture today, okay? I want to – I’m going to touch on some things that I want you to really wrestle with. Your circumstances do not determine your ability to be victorious. Listen, circumstances change everyday. What I’m talking about today is an internal strength, an inside-out strength. You sang that song this morning. I love it. It’s one of my favorite songs right now, “Inside-out”, because we tend to focus on everything on the exterior while ignoring the condition of our heart. When God says no that’s the backwards. I want you to focus on the inner formation of your heart and let me take care of the circumstances. Do you believe that this morning?
One of the big issues in our hearts is insecurity. And so Paul is writing to them to remind them who they are. He says, “Listen, I know your circumstances are a mess. I know you feel like slaves and exiles and I know you feel like you’re the outcast of your culture. But I got good news for you.” Listen to what he says; First Peter two, verse nine, “But you are a chosen people. A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…” I’ll stop here for a second. I think a lot of us feel like stray dog sometimes. You know a dog without a collar? Let me just say this to you. You belong to God. Like you put a collar on you r dog, to say that’s your dog, God says, “I want to put a seal on your forehead of the Holy Spirit. I’m going to seal you with my Holy Spirit, like a seal on your forehead to remind you – as a reminder you belong to Me.” That‘s good news this morning, by the way. You belong to God. We belong to Him. He has adopted in a legal way in Heaven. It’s been done. He says that, “You may declare the praises of Him, who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” So it was God who reached His hand into the darkness, pulled us out of the darkness to light that we live in today. And He says, “Once you were not a people but now you are, the people of God. Once you have not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”