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November 23, 2020 9:00 am
Today on Summit life with Jenny Greer, the Bible is not just a book of knowledge of doctrine of theological truths itself. It's a living, breathing, voice of God in Scripture is not just about learning ancient truths, it is that everything in it is truth.
All the word of God but the Scripture is it it is about God speaking to you in real time.
I'm only minutes for joining us this week.
Our study of first Peter called together we endure.
As always, if you missed any of the previous messages in this timely series, you can catch firstname.lastname@example.org right now jump into a simple command that God gives in first Peter grow up me in our spiritual lives. It can sometimes be hard to judge whether or not were actually growing up today. Pastor JD provides a very practical list of what it looks like to be a mature believer.
Whether you're new or seasoned follower of Christ, you want to keep listening. So grab your Bible and turn to the first today first 10 verses of chapter 2 on the command that Peter gives to us and then he gives us an explanation for how to accomplish that command what the command was very simple. The command is grow up. Look at chapter 2 verse one. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit and hypocrisy in the at all slender like newborn infants desire the pure milk of the word so that by you may bear those words grow up into your salvation. Now Peter does not phrase this is an imperative year but but this is clearly his desire for these believers is concerned because some of these believers don't appear to have gotten past that that the baby stage, the infant stage in Jesus and he fears that if they remain a spiritual toddlers there are not to be able to endure the persecution of the ups and downs that that Peter believes are coming their way could I just ask your you a little bit like that you got a person who is spiritually caught on fire for God one day, but then I think old the next. Peter says if that's true, it's because you haven't grown up yet always thought Peter's analogy here with young children, with infants is really helpful I think for a minute about young children young children can be unstable in their emotions right young children can go from there. From the heights of exultation to the depths of despair in a matter of seconds. When my kids were younger. Somebody took a toy from them or mom left the room, they would go into travail of soul, but if you go over to him he gave him a lollipop or you put them in the tell me they just are giggling, they go from one extreme to the other, really, really fast. Sometimes emotions are even mixed together there laughing and crying at the same time like you like. I'm not even sure you laughing or crying.
Which one is that we'll see a lot of Christians alike that also they can be on top of the world spiritually overflowing with the love of God and then the slightest thing and just come on a dime alone. A little financial trouble relational breakdown, a spiritual setback. It upsets them and makes them question everything. Most adults are like that adults are a more steady in their emotional stamina kids. Kids can sometimes be insecure. Kids need constant reassurance that their parents care about them and that they are going anywhere. Christians can be like that there insecure about the goodness and the promises of God's of the bad happens in the why God, why have you forsaken me. Where are you, how about this one. Sometimes young kids can be gullible excessively gullible gives a believe. Much anything when I was young get my dad used to tell me that he had a button in his car, they could control the the red light green light. What he'd learned to do is just watch the know that the light going the other direction the crossroad when it turned yellow. He knew he had about four seconds of it always see that it's okay we 0321 the presses button in the light would turn and I will my dad is the most powerful man in the world right kids tend to be a little bit gullible. The apostle Paul says a lot of baby Christians alike that also in Ephesians 414, Paul says to the Ephesians. For example, he's like you're like children get blown about by every different wind of doctrine. A lot of Christians, a lot of young Christians are suckers for a powerful speaker, a miracle story or the latest best-selling book you believe just about any teacher with slick production and a good worship band. Here's one more. Kids can be possessive right. Every parent knows that one more declaration that defines arguments between young siblings. It's intended to settle disagreements by by fiat what that word one word. My I hold tightly to what I want because my happiness depends on possessing that holy not think we see immature Christians can be like that.
And when they when there like that. That leads us to the to the list that Peter open the chapter with chapter 2 verse one Peter tells us to rid ourselves of malice and deceit and hypocrisy in Indian slander those things come from a from a childish and insecure. A possessive way of looking at the world that that isn't content with the promises of God. It needs things in it stands right now Peter just tells him you need to grow up.
Now why is that so important well because because living in a harsh world requires grown up hope not. Warm fuzzies are the constant need for a stream of signs and wonders in back eating warm fuzzies and meeting constant miracles is not a sign of spiritual hunger. It's a sign of spiritual immaturity you have grown up unwavering faith that is built on the solid rock hope of the empty two okay that's the command when next he tells you how to obey the command.
One thing I love about the apostle Peter is that he didn't smack you upside the head.
He gives you you practical ways to abate is to give you four prodigal ways that you can grow up here they are. It's in Bible word establish your foundation. Embrace your identity in the number four excel at your purpose. Let's take those one. The time number one he says imbibe the word verse two like newborn infants desire. He says the pure milk of the word so that I it you may grow up into your salvation. And in that word he says. If you have tasted indeed that the Lord is good. A quote from Psalm 34. Eight babies. Of course grow by drinking milk.
Lots of it. That's what Christians need to do. Peter says with a work I imagine if a mother only fed her baby. One day a week what would happen to that baby. Well, if it even survived, it would likely grow up malnourished with perhaps serious growth defects.
The same thing happens with a Christian that is not nourished continually and often on the work on Peter in these verses is going to give you three qualities of the word that explain why the word is so necessary to our lives.
First he says the word is imperishable. That was actually at the end of the last chapter on verse 23 Peter says you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable committee continues all flesh is like grass, and all of its glory like the flower of grass. The breath weathers and the flower fails with the word of the Lord remains forever. Everything else in the world. Peter says a temporary God's word is forever you build your life on anything else. The approval of people that the strength of your family ties the love of your spouse, your financial security. When you constantly feel insecure and continually anxious. Whatever it is whatever you build your life on eventually will fade serve your life is built on that thing fades then you along with that will fade. Also, with the result will be anxiety and constant insecurity. The only way Peter sets up on permanence in your life is to build it on something permanent and that's the imperishable word of God second. Then he says is it is the word is living.
The Bible is not just a book of of knowledge of doctrine of theological truths itself.
It's the living, breathing, voice of God in this book you encounter his very voice the same voice that created the stars that healed lepers to give sight to the blind, raise the dead. Scripture is not just about learning ancient truth. It is that everything in it is true with all the word of God but the Scripture is it it is about God speaking to you in real time with real direction importing that kind of life into your soul without that voice of God in your life, your soul will shrivel and die. Third, Peter says the word gives you confidence about verse three in chapter 2 EEC where he says in the word you have tasted that the Lord is good to give you a little interpretive tip to help you reverse Peter throughout the book of first Peter.
Peter interchanges the word of God in the person of Jesus rather seamlessly. For example the end of chapter 1 Peter talking about building our lives on the word and then in chapter 2 he just shifts to the rock we build on being Jesus ever Peter the word of Jesus are the same in the word of the gospel you meet Jesus, the person who gives you a taste of the goodness of God and teaches you that in all things you can trust him because in him you you know that the Lord is good. For example, in Jesus you see that your worst moment Jesus still love that pursued you and you know that if he loved you. Then he will never leave or forsake you. Now. So Peter says you got I got a nourished yourself constantly on that imperishable living good gospel work for some of you. I'm sad to say the only Bible that you get is from is for me if I just let me just ask do you do a quiet time to a daily time that you pour the word into you.
If not, I can guarantee you that you are shriveling up spiritually care how long you been a Christian. Many thought, you know I'm able to read or what it if you're not hearing the voice of God on a regular basis to his word. Your soul shriveling you need the constant intake of the imperishable, life-giving word of God at less than 10% of everything Jesus is recorded. The same in the Bible was a quotation of previous Scripture 10% saturated in Scripture just flowed out of them. Is that true, you also you looking for something to celebrate these days see right here. You got rights right on your nightstand. This good news is even better than anything that John Krasinski from the office can bring to you so imbibe the word listen before going to number two was the real talk just a minute if you just don't feel it but you said the right now as I want to crave the word but but but I don't I don't desire the way newborn infant desires, milk, and here's a little prayer I learned from John Piper that I found helpful when I feel like that that's true. Sometimes he calls it, praying the IOUs. These phrases are all taken directly from the Psalms and in the great things to pray when you feel dry spiritually.
I incline my heart to your understanding.
Oh, open my eyes that I may see wonderful things out of your word. You unite my heart to fear your name S satisfy me this morning with your unfailing love to number two after we imbibe the word Peter tells us establish your foundation talk about on Jesus verse five and six.
You yourselves, he says yourselves as living stones, a spiritual house to be built to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture.
See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone of the one who believes in him will never be put to shame. A quote from Isaiah 28 part of imbibing the word is establishing your foundation foundation. Of course, is what you build the rest of your life on a keyword underline of these verses is that word cornerstone. Now I'm not a builder.
I will freely admit that, but I do know this. The cornerstone is the most important stone. The foundation stone and all building. The cornerstone holds together all the other stones. All of them eventually tie back into that cornerstone and if the cornerstone is stable than the rest of the building is going to be okay that Martin Luther commenting on this passage said that for each of us our lives have a cornerstone your cornerstone he said is whatever you build the rest of your life on it. Your anger at your foundation. It's what you turned back to win when other parts of life, crumble around you. In other words, when life falls apart for you, what you retreat in. She wears your heart go to to tell yourself that things are going to be okay in the future. I define yourself.
Example thinking well as for the plenty money so I'll probably okay well that's what you think the money is probably your cornerstone. Do you find your heart thinking. Well, at least I have a strong family and for together we can get do anything well that's the case then marriage and family are likely your cornerstone. Peter tells us that if if your cornerstone is anything else except for Jesus in your life is going to be characterized by instability. It's going to be manifested in all those things Peter listed out in verse one.
Malice and hatred, and in the jealousy of others and deceive lying to make yourself look better.
Hypocrisy, slander, codependency, and many other things.
But look at what he says about verse seven, so honor which means longevity and legacy of success that will come to you who believe and make Jesus your cornerstone for the unbelieving of the stone that the builders rejected Jesus, that one is been made.
The chief cornerstone of quote from Psalm 118, Jesus will be verse eight a stone. You either build your life on the one that that that becomes a stone that you stumble over I want to trip over number three. After you imbibe the word and after you establish your foundation number three you embrace your identity at first nine but you are Peter says this is who you are now your chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession.
Establishing your foundation is gonna lead you to embracing this new identity, I want to talk for just a moment about this massively important concept of identity self identity identity simply defined, is the self-definition you live with who you are, what your value is in the role that you're here to play have always found Clayton King's definition of identity really helpful. Identity says is what the most important person of the most important people in your life. Think about you. The question is who is that for you it was the person or group of people that that what they think about you is your identity.
Most of us live her whole lives plagued with the question, and I enough and I am not for those people and trying to prove to ourselves and and others that we are not them.
I'm man enough, strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough skin enough good enough to live in a culture that seems designed to tell us that were not enough, and then the to make money off of us because we thought were not enough, the boy just about every advertisement that you see on TV is that you're not enough. You're not a good enough mom lets you use this brand do not good enough unless whatever they commit you that you need to buy so that you can you can line their pockets with your money so that they will have enough right whatever it is you're not enough. We hear it all day every day you're not like enough and even if you feel like you are enough right now. You live with the fear that one day you will be at Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of his generation but one day one day he will be surpassed and forgotten.
Michael Phelps was the greatest slammer, but but that's not last forever that my family loves the movie the greatest show minutes. The fictional account of PT Barnum's rise to success. There's this really moving scene where his prospective father-in-law tells him he will never be good enough for his daughter. He says she'll see that when they shall come back to grow tired of the poor miserable life that you're going to give her see that play to a very deep insecurity that PT Barnum had one that one that really we all have, no matter how successful Barnum was. You never really felt satisfied. His wife begged him to realize that he was good enough that he is couldn't shake it, the American College health Association is noted the rising anxiety in this generation of students is entering college, I may say it's it it's because the primary message children receive now is that is that they better be the best at everything. There does not make it.
It's made exponentially worse by social media Instagram because everybody on those platforms creates a fake best version of themselves to compete with everybody else's big version and everybody's afraid to reveal their inadequacies in their insecurities. Peter tells us that we can stop this frantic race to the top is is because Jesus is our foundation. You have a new identity by your chosen race. He says God shows you to be in his family. What greater place of privilege is there than that it is usual to Maurice's you're a royal priesthood in Israel the chosen people. There was a specially chosen line of loyalty the lot of Judah. They were the chosen within the chosen and there was another separate specially chosen line of priesthood that was a lot of Levi Peter says that in Jesus you're actually both of those are the chosen of the chosen of the chosen right you can't get into a higher place of privilege that he continues you're a people for his own possession euro value possession that Jesus purchased with his blood of all the things that he wanted. He shed his blood to get you the King of Kings and set his affection on you when he has a plan for you friend. What more do you need to feel like you are enough you are not enough because you're more remarkable than somebody else because you got to the top faster because your your better your enough because of who loves you because of who stands behind you and because of who is put you into service.
Listen, you will never win enough to feel like you are enough.
The good news is that you will need to Jesus one for you. He values you and promises he has a plan to use you for good and that is enough. Let me show you this required this really help me. You gotta choose where you going to build your identity and maybe it's it's it's it's out here in this external spheres because you're smart enough or pretty enough and strong enough athletic popular ridge righteous enough. Whatever you got something that says I'm enough right. What if that is the case, you're always going to be insecure and fearful of who is more than you on these things, but if you build your identity in here because you are in Christ you will be secure.
Build your identity on the outer circle will always be insecure build on the inner circle and you'll become a rock that can weather any storm and he makes a positive contribution to the world because you become a living stone, built up in his temple, channeling the life and the purposes of God in you and for you. Listen when I say this before we move on to the last point because I think some of you may desperately need to hear this, you need to release yourself from the self-imposed obligation to be enough for others, you're never going to be wife enough to save him ladies man, you can't be husband enough to keep her home at night sometimes you can't be son enough to make your insecure daddy proud ladies you will ever be daughter enough to please your pride filled parents you you can't be their Savior, they need Jesus to fill that insecurity in their lives using to be who God made you to be and fulfill his purpose in your life and let his affirmation and approval be your identity. That'll be enough.
Number four Peter says excel at your purpose. This is at the end of verse nine so that you may.
He says proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. Once you imbibe the word.
Once you establish your foundation and embrace your identity.
When you're ready to live out to excel at your purpose, our job, Peter says, our role is to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us from darkness to light. I love Peter's imagery here in Genesis, God created the world.
The Latin phrase is actually yellow means out of nothing. There was nothing and outspoken created everything nothing everything Peter says that's what happened to you and salvation you were completely unrighteous you are spiritually dead, God spoke and made you righteous and alive.
Just like there was darkness of their became light so you were unrighteous and God made you righteous and alive you are to proclaim that it reminds them in verse 11 is a gorgeous sojourners and exiles.
You're just passing through.
So of course we don't care how many people know our name. What is passing through. We only care about how many people know his name but let me close with Peter's warning here Peter says that this word this hope this new identity is offered you freely in Jesus the cornerstone. If you'll just receive it. He's ready for all who would receive him. But if you don't receive him that cornerstone. Peter warns you.
He turns into the rock that crushes you like CS Lewis used to say there are only two categories of people. There are those who become insanely happy in Jesus than those who find Jesus to be the worst enemy. Here's how Charles Spurgeon said that to his congregation in 1856 and with this I close the who would place himself in front of a fast-moving railway car will be crushed and will be just as foolish as you who are opposing the gospel if the gospel is true. Remember the truth is mighty and must prevail. Who are you to attempt to stand against it. You will be crushed and Lemme tell you when the railway car runs over you the will will not be raised even an inch by your size for what are you attending that a creeping worm which that will will crushed to less than nothing, and not leave you even a name as having ever been an opponent of the gospel, but all the infidels in the world know assuredly that the gospel will win its way, whatever they may do poor creatures.
Their efforts to oppose the gospel are not even worthy of our notice and we need not fear that they can stop the truth like and that he thinks he can quench the son go tiny insect do it if you can.
You only burn your wings and die. Likewise, there may be a fly who thinks they could bring the ocean drive string the ocean. If you can overfly more likely you will sink in it and it will drink you.
Peter says you have a choice.
You come to the rock who is Jesus and he will establish your life and give you eternal happiness forever. You oppose him and he becomes the rock that crushes you. Which category are you in are you in that category of those without security and identity in him are you learning to be insanely happy and him have you made yourself as enemy. You surrendered your life to Christ and his purposes are you one who has found your sick dirty and identity in Christ or have you made yourself his enemy. You surrendered your life to Christ and his purposes. If not, do so right now we'd love to hear from you. If you have any questions about what this means. Be sure to reach out to us email@example.com JD as we come to the end of this year. We all know how it feels for everything in our lives to suddenly become uncertain yet you Molly, for a lot of people Christmases tough, even in normal years. This year, especially having a lot of us feel like almost a sense of uncertainty and effort.
Some describe it is almost like darkness, what's what. What's can happen in the future.
What makes the first Christmas in the promises that go along with that much more relevant. Isaiah said that that Christmas was about the people sitting in darkness seen a great light, and wrote a book called searching for Christmas that tries to get behind the manger scenes behind the holiday stuff and just say I'm God was saying something profound here, something that we instinctively start to know what Christmas of them yearn for that is that sense of fulfillment and peace and family enjoy you and hope we love to give you a couple copies of this book one for you and one for you to give away what a great Christmas resident can make sure somebody the real meaning behind all this.
So if you get a JD grid.com you become a gospel partner with us. I will give you a couple copies of this book and I think you'll find it something that will help you rejoice more in Jesus as is Christmas and maybe help introduce somebody her and help them get to know him better. Also, it would love to have his apartment here in our ministry. Our study this night has certainly give us reason to look back at where we've been this year and also to look ahead at greater things to come in Thanksgiving and Christmas certainly make that less as we remember all that we truly have to be grateful for this year and the ways that were salary history. Pastor Katie knew the title searching for Christmas this rainy resource is our gift today donated for this ministry at the suggested level of $25 and in 19 he said will send you copies when to keep and when to give away after searching for Christmas.
We began by calling 83358665 we can get them requested a phone line, Katie Greer.com I Molly that's inviting you to join us tomorrow.
JD teaches the two crucial changes the perspective I just to resolution