Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 2:9-10
Text: 1 Peter 2:9-10
Title: What’s a Church and What’s It Supposed to do?
Date/Place: LSCC, 8/28/05, AM
A. Opening illustration: Tell about the other night at Gary’s house where we were looking at the different antiques on the wall, and him giving us a guess or two on each one.
B. Background to passage: Peter moves on in his exhortation to these suffering believers, leaving the destiny of those that reject Jesus, and declaring with great passion (“BUT YOU”) and allusion the identity and purpose of the NT church as a whole. This is probably the richest passage in the NT with ties to the OT titles for Israel. Peter identifies the NT church with the OT nation of Israel in its purpose in the economy of God. Exp that God still has a purpose for national Israel, but at present the church has been grafted in as heirs to the promises, seed of Abraham, and priests for the world.
C. Main thought: in the text we will see the definition of the church and its purpose.
A. The Church Is… (v. 9)
1. Jesus uses four titles for the church before giving its purpose:
i. A Chosen Generation: a selected group of people with commonalities of life, in this case, a common allegiance to Christ. God chose the church and the individuals in the church as His vessels to carry out His plans for the world. This choice was based on God’s love and good pleasure for people, for redemption, and ultimately for His own glory.
ii. A Royal Priesthood: because we serve the Royal Priest, who is after the order of Melchizedek, we are priest-kings as well. In this we see the church’s calling to bring a world to Christ to share in this wonderful priesthood. The royal priests have the privilege of serving in the presence of the king when no one else can.
iii. A Holy Nation: this word means to separate or consecrate something or someone, or in this case a group of someones with the same nature. God consecrates us for service after giving us a new nature. He destroys the bondage of sin in our lives, then says for us to go and sin no more.
iv. A Special People: the literal rendering of this verse is something like “a people for His possession.” The word peculiar in the KJV suggest a “special highly-valued property.” Again this idea come right out of the OT, out of God’s plan, and out of God’s love.
2. Isa 43:21, Ex 19:6, Deut 7:6, Titus 2:13-14,
3. Illustration: the carefully selected books on my shelf for the purpose of honoring God through the faithful study of His revelation, how can you get a message to the president?, tell about our installation service; now, imagine having a setting aside service for everyone in the church, tell a story about a celebrity charity auction to raise money for some cause,
4. God looked down through the annuls of time and chose you because He loves you. And because He has a great plan for your life to bring Him glory. We are to minister the saving gospel of Christ to the whole world, then reign with Christ over the world. We are related to the King. We are a people that demonstrates the holiness of God in our lives, and are to be used strictly for His purposes. We have been bought and paid for by the blood of Christ. We are a prized possession of God Almighty. We are no longer our own. We have a new purpose, a new nature, a new calling, all coming from God and this relationship that we have been freely given.
B. Its Purpose Is… (v. 9-10)
1. According to the text our new purpose is to proclaim (to publicly declare, publish, or announce) the praises of God. The Gr word arete’ means much more than “praises.” It is most often translated “excellencies.” It means a divine manifestation of power characterized by excellence. It is a demonstration that God is God, and He is awesome! Peter doesn’t stop there. He goes on to make a reference or two to the great salvation provided by our great God. Salvation is not a man-centered concept, but a God-centered one; that it might exalt His name and person. He speaks of the miracle of God’s marvelous (extraordinary, striking, surprising, remarkable, amazing, spectacular) light shining into our blinded eyes removing the spiritual darkness. He speaks of us not being related to God, then being his prized people. Then he speaks of a people that were the enemies of God, rebellious, unthankful, separated from Him, under God’s judgment and condemnation, having no mercy from Him, obtaining that mercy. Mercy being the act of not giving someone what they deserve, but in God’s case the opposite: because of Christ, giving the ungodly righteousness and eternal reward.