Summary: God works through us for His glory
The Works of God
October 9, 2011
We’re studying through the book of First Peter a chapter at a time. In our last meeting we saw how God gives the rhema (the command) to live, and we closed by comparing it to chapter 37 of Ezekiel with the valley of the dry bones: God has given us life by His command, therefore,
We lay aside wickedness and take up goodness (:1-3)
Wherefore laying aside all malice,
Malice is when you break the law without shame,
and all guile,
That is deceit or lying,
and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
Lay these things aside,
2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
Christians crave the pure word of God like a baby craves milk.
The Greek word for “word” is not logos or rhema. It’s a word that’s only used one other time in Romans 12:1 where it says that offering our bodies is our “reasonable” act of service. The Greek word is logikon which is where we get our English word logical.
that ye may grow thereby: 3If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
The gospel isn’t just a quick outline or a recitation of historical facts: the gospel is at work in every believer even now, changing us and causing us to grow in Christ. Notice how the things we’re to lay aside all have to do with lying or wickedness; lay those things aside and drink in the goodness of the Lord through the pure and undefiled gospel.
This is the fruit of Christ’s work (:4-7)
He’s talking about the Lord, and he says,
4To whom coming, as unto a living stone,
Jesus Christ is the Rock of the church, and He’s alive. He’s,
disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
He was rejected by men who would rather worship God their own way, but God showed His approval on Christ when He said, “This is My beloved Son: hear Him” (Mk. 9:6). He was precious and beloved of God, and we are in Him, so,
5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious:
I love this picture because it shows so much about who we are: we’re a temple built together with Christ as the dwelling place of God, and we’re priests who offer sacrifices to God in the temple! It’s all acceptable to God because it’s all by Christ. This is the fruit of His labor.
The disobedient suffer the wrath of Christ (:7-8)
but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
If I want to build a building the first stone I lay is the most important—the cornerstone. Every stone that comes after this one is set in reference to it. Men hated Him, but “the stone which the builders rejected the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Mt. 21:42). The men hate Christ, but God goes right on with His plan.
8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
These men hear the logos (the spoken word of the gospel) but they hate what they hear; it’s foolishness to them, so they disobey and reject. The word picture is that they trip over the rock being offended at it. But look and see that’s it not by accident—“whereunto also they were appointed.” The plan of God is always fulfilled.
But that’s good news for us:
In mercy God called us out of darkness and into light (:9-10)
9But ye are a chosen generation,
They are appointed to stumble, but we are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood,
What makes us royal? Our Father and our Brother are kings!
an holy nation,
The heathen nations rage against God and even the Jewish nation crucified the Christ, but we’ve been called out by God (the same as Abraham) to hope for a city which He will show us. We are set apart by Him for His own use,
a peculiar people;
By “peculiar” it means something that’s owned specifically by someone else—it’s property. We’re God’s property, His peculiar people,
that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; 10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.