Summary: We are privileged to be God's a part of God's family.
Living A Life Of Privilege
Text: 1 Peter 2:4-12
1. Illustration: Can you fathom this? The God of the universe, who holds all things together by the word of His power, who fills all things and is bigger than the universe; bigger than time, literally lives in you. Calls you His dwelling place. What a magnificent creation you are! What high and wonderful privilege we have been given, to house the Holy Spirit of God!(Clark E. Tanner, The Dwelling of God).
2. One of the great deficiencies of the church today, or any age, is that we do not understand how privileged we are to belong to Christ.
a. We focus on what we don't have rather than on what we do.
b. We focus on how much money we don't have.
c. We focus on the cars we don't have.
d. We focus on the things we don't have.
e. But we are a privileged people!
3. In today's text we are going to focus on three privileges we have as Christians...
a. Privilege of Coming
b. Privilege of Honor
c. Privilege of Treasure
4. Let's stand together as we read 1 Peter 2:4-12
Proposition: We are privileged to be God's a part of God's family.
Transition: First is the...
I. Privilege of Coming (4-5).
A. Coming To Christ
1. One of the great differences between the New and Old Testaments is the concept of approachability.
a. In the OT God was selective as to who could approach Him.
b. In the NT we see that everyone who gives their life to Jesus has access to God at anytime because of the blood of Jesus.
1. Peter begins this section by using a new metaphor. He says, "You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor."
a. Peter employed Old Testament imagery to describe believers’ relationship with God.
b. Believers can constantly come to (or approach) Christ.
c. The words “come to” do not refer to initial salvation, but to constantly drawing near and coming into Christ’s presence.
d. In the Old Testament, only the priests had that privilege; under the new covenant, all believers can enter into God’s presence at any time, with any need.
e. Christians are a special class of people who enjoy unique and eternal spiritual favors—granted by God—because of their position in Christ.
f. Many believers view the Christian life more from the standpoint of spiritual duty rather than spiritual privilege.
g. 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.
h. They often think of those as blessings reserved for heaven, to be appreciated only in the presence of God and Christ in that place of perfect joy, peace, harmony, unity, rest, knowledge, and wisdom.
i. Since there will be no sickness, pain, or death, heaven appears to be the realm where everything is privilege and nothing is duty.
j. However, the privileges of heaven will not exclude duty but will combine perfectly with it in an eternity of worshiping, honoring, serving, and exalting the Lord.
k. So spiritual duty and spiritual privilege are not mutually exclusive for believers, either in this life or in the life to come.
l. In this passage, the apostle emphasizes the richness of the privileges believers already have in Christ.
m. Peter continues to show us how privilged we are by talking about us as God's spiritual temple. He begins in v. 4 talking about Jesus as the living cornerstone.
n. What Peter says here of Jesus Christ is fundamental to his understanding not only of Jesus himself, but also of the Christian life.
o. Jesus was rejected by human beings but chosen by God, just as his readers were being rejected by humans (McKnight, The NIV Application Commentary – 1 Peter, 106).
p. How can a stone be living? It cannot.
q. This is simply a picture of how God looks at Christ and His followers: they are like a building that is being built by God Himself.
r. The foundation of God's building is His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Then in v. 5 Peter says, "And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God."
a. Stone (lithos) sometimes refers to a carved precious stone, but usually it means “building stone.”
b. The Old Testament designates God as the only rock, the foundation and strength of His people.
c. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the rock and the stone on which the church rests.