I Peter 2:9-10
A STUDY OUTLINE:
I. KNOW WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE YOU ARE AS A CHRISTIAN:
A. You are a chosen generation.
B. You are a royal priesthood.
C. You are a holy nation.
D. You are a special people.
II. KNOW WHAT YOUR PURPOSE IS:
A. To show forth His praises.
III. TO KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU IN SALATION:
A. You have become the people of God.
B. You have received mercy from God.
Last week we very briefly began to look at this text and its meanings. However, this is so important that we will address it again. It is vitally important that the Christian knows who he/she is as defined by the Bible.
- The Christian is not someone who stumbles over Christ as indicated of those who are lost. (v. 8)
- You are not a people who questions His claims of deity and refuse to believe in Him.
- You are “living stones,” ones who have accepted Christ as Savior.
- You are a people who are building your lives on the Foundation Stone of God’s Son.
- You are a race of people, different from other races on earth.
- +You are a “chosen generation” (genos eklekton). The Greek word actually means a chosen or elect race.
- +From “all” races on the face of the earth, God is choosing out a special people for Himself. He is building His special spiritual house.
- +This is happening by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is changing people inwardly, not ourwardly. He is not changing facial and skin features.
- +God is changing people within their hearts and minds and lives, changing them where it really matters.
- +God is implanting His divine nature within believers. When a person believes in Jesus Christ, God’s divine nature is immediately implanted into his heart and life.
- You, as a living stone are eternally secure. (I Peter 1:3-5; John 3:16)
The person is born again.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily ,verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [even] of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6 – emphasis added)
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” (I Peter 1:23)
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and every one that loveth Him that begot loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.” (I John 5:1)
“And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit [mind] the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5)
The person becomes a new creature.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision [a religious ritual] availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)
The person becomes a new man.
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)
“And have put on the new man, that is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him.” (Colossians 3:10)
The person becomes a new spirit.
“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of the flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19)
“Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)
“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:6)
(I Peter 2:9) Believers become a royal priesthood. To a person who has never given his life to Christ, God seems far away. A day by day relationship that praises and honors God and brings one’s needs of God, knowing that God will meet one’s needs is missing from the life of a person who has not committed his life to Christ.
IV. THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS
An important principle taught in the New Testament is that of “The Priesthood of ‘all’ believers.”
- Under the Law of Moses there was a distinction made between priests and the common people.
- Even today, many religions professing to be “Christian” have developed a clergy-laity distinction.
- But the New Testament teaches otherwise: “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (cf. Revelation 1:5-6)
- The fact is, in Christ we are ALL ministers. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
- As “a royal priesthood” our responsibilities are described in I Peter 2:5.
- +To offer up spiritual sacrifices.
- + Sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
V. SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES TO BE OFFERED BY BELIEVER PRIESTS;
A. TYPES OF SACRIFICES TO BE OFFERED BY CHRISTIANS
- Our bodies, as “living sacrifices” – Romans 12:1-2.
- A lifestyle characterized by sacrificial love – Ephesians 5:1-2.
- Praise and thanksgiving, which we do in prayer and song. (Ephesians 5:18-20; Hebrews 13:15)
- Doing good and sharing with others – Hebrews 13:16; Ephesians 6:1-10; Philippians 4:-15-19.
- Even in the way we die for the Lord! (Philippians 1:20; 2:17; 2 Timothy 4:6)
- The service of our bodies. Paul exhorts, “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.” (Romans 6:13) As Christians we have no right to sin.
- Love gives, love sacrifices, love serves. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15; I Peter 2:21)
- Our sacrifice is our obedience. (I Samuel 15:22; Psalm 15:17; I Corinthians 6:19-20; I Peter 1:18-19)
- We offer our minds we must put our minds at God’s disposal by studying God’s Word. (Psalm 119; 2 Timothy 2:15)
- We are to sacrifice our tongues for the proper use of glorifying God. (Romans 3:13-14; James 3:5-10; Matthew 12:34)
- The methods of living life should be different than when we were unsaved. (2 Thessalonians 3:10; Ephesians 4:28)
- Our sexuality should be offered to God. (2 Timothy 2:22; I Corinthians 7; Proverbs 5; Song of Solomon)
- Our ability to sin should be offered to God. (Romans 6:1-2; I John 3:3; Matthew 11:30)
- Our bodies should be offered as a sacrifice. Dr. Marty Lloyd-Jones teaches about worship to God with our bodies:
- + Do not sin with your body.
- + Do not view your body as your own private property.
- + Do not pamper your body.
- + Do not live for your body.
- + Do not abuse your body. It is not your body, it is the Lords!
- + Don’t let your body dictate to you; you dictate to the body to do God’s will. “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Command your body to do what is right.
- + Keep your body fit to serve God.
- + Do not live for physical fitness. That is idolatry. Do not parade your body for others to see.
- + We sacrifice to please God. (Colossians 1:15; John 8:28)
B. OUR SACRIFICES MUST BE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD
- It must be the best we have to offer. (Malachi 1:6-8) Otherwise we despise the name of God by offering “defiled food” or less than our best.
- Would we render the same kind of sacrifice [service] to our employers, etc.?
- God would rather have someone be obedient than offer less than our best. (Malachi 1:9-11)
2. It must be offered with sincerity and zeal. (Malachi 1:12-13)
- Lack of zeal is evidence of lack of sincerity.
- Lack of both results in offering “blemished sacrifices”, which brings a curse from Him who deserves proper reverence. (Malachi 1:14-2:9)
- How does this apply to our spiritual sacrifices?
- + Like singing praises.
- + Like doing good to others.
- + Like giving to God of our time, money spiritual gifts.
3. It must be offered in conjunction with righteous lives. (Malachi 2:13-16)
- Priests of Malachi’s day had been quick to divorce their wives.
- Even Peter taught that our treatment of wives would have a bearing on the effectiveness of our prayers. (I Peter 3:7)
- This can be applied to many things as well – cf. Psalm 41:1-3.
- Some in Malachi’s day did not think it was of any value to serve the Lord faithfully – Malachi 3:13-15.
- But others heeded his words, and it is touching to read what was said about them – Malachi 3:16-18.
- Shall we be among those who serve God as believer-priests who love God and want to please and honor Him?
- May we never forget that in the sight of God we are to be “a royal priesthood”, called to offer “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.”
- May God’s believer-priests truly be one of His “Jewels”. But that depends upon recognizing the importance of serving God to complete Isaiah 43:7; Revelation 4:11.