Summary: Living for God and not your circumstances! Living a life holiness in the midst of unimaginable persecution. If this is the message to these Christians who are under unimaginable persecution, then what is the message for us living in a free society; and
The Few the Proud the Chosen
(Read key Center, Verse 2:9)
Christ the Living Stone is Holy!
4 As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
Exegesis: We as believers are in Christ and are His ambassadors for Him. In the mist of an anti-biblical society we are continuously being built up in Him, as we continue to follow after Him. As a result, we are partaker’s of His nature in us. His nature is Holy; therefore we must be Holy, if we are in Him. Christ the living stone is Holy. If we are a part of His house then we must be Holy in order to be His priesthood and be used by Him. The stone laid in Zion is none other but Christ. Under unimaginable persecution Peter encourages these displaced believer that they will have anything to be ashamed of, especially when Christ returns, as longs as we placed trust in Christ.
Illustration: Cave Blackness and a noonday sun! Deep into the heart of the darkest caves it’s so black that you can’t even see your own hand in front of your face. At high noon, you can’t look directly into the sun because it simply too bright for our human eyes to glare into it. Mankind is loose in the cave with the blackness of sin into our hearts and as a result we cannot look at the noonday sun or the holiness of God. We are God house. Building a house takes lots of planning and teamwork. Are you a team member?
Application: (Read and reflect the key Center, Verse 2:9). Power does not mean holiness. One of the distinguishing mark of a genuine Christian life is not about how many people we have prayer for, how people we under our ministry, it not even about how many times God has used us to perform His power through, it about being holy. We need the body the Christ we need each other! There are no long rangers; there is no superman who fights for all. An army does not win a battle with one soldier but with the force of many. The three Musketeer’s motto was all for one and one for all. If we are going to allow God to build us up we are going to manifest it by our holy lifestyle not by how many Bible verse we can quote, not by how many miracles we "perform" it by our holy life. Power of God in our lives is holiness. We need to be Holy and one another to be a complete in the body of Christ. Ultimately the Kingdom of God is about being not by doing. We are His priests and His body together it we allow Him too.
Transition: Now that we understand the nature of Christ is holy and we must be holy, you also must be prepared to understand the ramification of that calling as His ambassadors. (Read key Center, Verse 2:9, out loud)!
Christ the Living Stone Is Offensive!
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone," 8 and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message --which is also what they were destined for.
Exegesis: The truth is offensive to the unsaved because it exposes their deed and bring them direct confrontation with the Holiness of God. Heb. 4:12-13, John 3:19-21 (Read)
Illustration: A holy life will expose and attack the sin in our lives and the lives of those who are in direct relationship with. I was working at Wal-Mart one time (who hasn’t) and I was on my lunch break. There were about 20 of us in the break room and sitting down at the far end of the table I was on was young lady mouthing off about this manager who made her do this and that etc and cursing but a storm because the manger basically was maker her do her job. Everyone in the break room heard her complaining. I as sitting down enjoying my coffee and I noticed she was wearing a WWJD bracelet on. I kindly interrupter her and asked, “that’s a nice looking bracelet you got on there, what does it mean?” She stopped for a moment and responded as everyone was listening, “oh that WWJD that means ‘what would Jesus do?” I then responded, “Oh that sounds like a good idea to me” as I returned to drinking my coffee. You could have heard a pin drop in that Wal-Mart break room. After there was silence for about 30 seconds she got up and announced very loudly, “Well if you going to get spiritual on me I’m leaving!” Then she stormed out of the room.