Summary: Peter’s encouragement to live lives distinct from the world around us to God’s glory.
Life as a Rock: 1 Peter 2:4-12
A. Did your Mom ever say, “Behave yourself. Remember you’re a _________ and you never know who might see you.”? Mine did. I hated that…because she was right. You just never know who might be watching. Especially now, as a Christian, and even more so as a future minister of the Gospel – people are going to be watching to see if I’m living up to what I say I am.
B. We live in a culture today that tells us that Mr. Jones is a Christian and he is such a good guy…just don’t catch him Saturday night at the pool hall. Mr. Smith down the street has a great relationship with God...but you ought to hear him talk to his wife. Mrs. Robinson across the road must be going to Heaven because she volunteers on Saturdays at the nursing home…just don’t get on her bad sad or she’ll destroy you with gossip.
a. Anyone can be a good person! Being a good guy is not enough.
b. I saw a bumper sticker – “If going to church makes you a Christian, does going to the garage make you a car?”
C. Because we, as Christians, are God’s chosen people – people who profess to be the people of God – we need to live holy, separate, and distinct lives from the world around us so that we might draw people to us and therefore to God.
D. Peter, in his first epistle, writes to Christians in the area that we know as Turkey, whom he reminds of just this fact. These are Christians that are suffering persecution at the hands of Nero. Peter reminds them to keep going – keep their eyes on the prize. Becoming a Christian was a good thing. And in 1 Peter 2:4-12, he reminds them that their conduct may be able to bring some to God. He does this by:
a. Reminding them who they are and what that means – vs 4-6.
b. Contrasting the believers with the disobedient – vs 7-9a.
c. Making a plea to (these that he calls) the pilgrims – vs 9b-12.
Transition: Look over at our text and listen to verses 4-6.
I. Peter reminds them who and whose they are. (Vs 4-6)
A. Peter, right off the bat, compares them to Jesus. He says Christ was rejected by men but chosen by God.
1. He says in vs 5 that you also, as living stones… The “also” associates us to what Christ went through.
2. He was rejected – we will be, too. But, He was chosen by God. We too, are chosen by God. Christians are so described because they derive their very life from Christ!
B. He says, “…you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood…”
1. Peter says that you now, as Christians, are part of the new house of God – living pieces of this house. More than that, you are now the priests!
2. As this is written primarily to Jews, this was language they could understand. Dealt for years with the temple and the priesthood. They are now the crucial parts of the spiritual house – the church.
3. Exodus 19:6 – called a “kingdom of priests”. Under the Law of Moses, priests were to oversee and offer up the sacrifices for worship for the people.
a. Now, in the Christian worship of God, all Christians are priests and therefore constitute a priesthood of believers who may ALL worship!
b. For what purpose? Last half of vs 5 says that they are to offer up spiritual sacrifices TO God THROUGH Jesus. Again, it is all based on Jesus!
4. Peter supports the idea of all acceptable worship has to go through Christ by referring to prophecy in verse 6.
a. Quotes Isaiah 28:16 – Whoever believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.
b. Stay strong through your persecution because you are God’s chosen people!
C. I am proud to be a member at Linder. Olson is proud to be a member at _________. And I know that all of you all who are members here are proud of the _____________ church of Christ. But, Peter reminds us of what is better than being called a member at Linder…He says you are living participants in God’s spiritual house. What more could we ask for? What better name to be called?
Transition: (Read vss 7-9a)
II. Peter contrasts the believers to, what he calls, the disobedient – vs 7-9.
A. Peter uses some interesting language in this section. He initially continues with his thoughts regarding the believers.
1. He says, “…to you who believe…” This passage ought better to be translated as “in view of the preciousness of Christ, that preciousness, (literally ‘honor’) is transferred to you who believe.