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The Joyful Sojourners [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright
The Truth Network Radio
October 17, 2022 6:00 am

The Joyful Sojourners [Part 1]

Alan Wright Ministries / Alan Wright

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Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.

We have been reckoned as the righteousness of Jesus, loved to the fullest extent that is possible in perfect love by God, and empowered by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, and given an eternal destiny that cannot be changed. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, The Elect Exiles, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. Now, if you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It could be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.

So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program, but right now, let's get started with today's teaching.

Here is Alan Wright. Sometimes, you know, in the church bulletin where you don't have enough room, so you try to squeeze in, you know, in the space that you have, but using abbreviations can send the wrong message like this one. The ladies' Bible study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the fellowship hall after the BS is done. The use of one wrong word can end up changing the whole meaning like this one.

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church. There's one little word mess up there. Sometimes, you know, you'd write something, you're just not paying attention to the potential irony of it all like this one. Due to the pastor's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice. A tiny two-letter word that's wrong can mess it all up like this one. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

Or if you leave out a letter, that can really be a big difference like this one. You don't have to be an experienced vocalist to join the choir. Anyone who enjoys sinning is welcome to join the choir. And my favorite typo ever in a church bulletin, wrong letter and one word, and it can really mess up the whole reputation of your church staff, pastors on vacation, massages can be given to the church are you ready for some good news?

You're not a church bulletin blooper. Body of Christ, you are a chosen race. You are a royal priesthood and a holy nation. As Peter said in the opening line of his first epistle, you are elect.

Everything that goes with that, the co-heirs of Christ Himself. That's who you are. But also, he says, you're exiles. And we're going to see in a text again today, sojourners, pilgrims, aliens, strangers, whatever you might want to call it, is to say don't ever forget who you are and whose you are and yet don't forget where you are. You're in a world that's not your ultimate home.

So you're passing through. And so we're learning from 1 Peter in this series we call Elect Exiles. We're learning from 1 Peter about how we live as both in these strange times in America. And today we come to 1 Peter chapter 2, verse 9. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you're God's people. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you, as sojourners and exiles, to abstain from the passions of the flesh which war against your soul.

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. I began this series by saying it's sort of like you're a superhero. And so let me flesh that out a little bit like you are like Spider-Man who is actually Peter Parker, an orphaned teenager who gets bitten by a radioactive spider. And because of it, he develops spider superpowers. And he becomes strong and super fast. And he is able to shoot web and he's able to just stick to things and climb buildings. And he's got this spidey sense that he can sense something that's coming and dodge bullets and everything else. He's Spider-Man. And yet he's also Peter Parker who rides the school bus to school and has a bully named Flash that picks on him. And so much of the drama for a superhero is what will he do with his superpowers?

Will he use them for selfish purposes or to help save the world? And so at first Peter Parker, Spider-Man, he's in at least the first movie, he's immature about this. And so the first thing he does is he wants to buy a car so he can impress Mary Jane. And so he goes and he joins up in some professional wrestling and fighting thing and makes some money because nobody can beat Spider-Man.

And you're watching the drama unfold. What will he do with his superpowers? And his Uncle Ben told him, said with great power comes great responsibility. Will he ever understand that? And how will you live in this tension? And when you watch it as the viewer of the movie, you're kind of like sometimes you're like I wish you just would tell everybody you're Spider-Man.

Quit letting them pick on you like that. And yet the deeper part of you knows, no, you've got a higher calling than that. So we had a text today that begins with Peter saying, here's who you are. And the more I walk with the Lord, the more I'm in the Word, the more I come to realize how much further my very imagination must be strained to even come close to believing what the Word says about who we actually are in Christ. We are a people that have been so set apart to God and so thoroughly forgiven, as we'll explore further in this text, that we have been reckoned as the righteousness of Jesus loved to the fullest extent that is possible in perfect love by God and empowered by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and given an eternal destiny that cannot be changed.

That's the part I'm saying you're a superhero. There's nothing, if you're a Christian, there is nothing ordinary about you except this. You're also a sojourner and like a stranger in this world because you're also in this world. And what I want you to see simply in this text today is that if you're looking for a way to live in this world as both elect and exile, as both the royal priesthood and as strangers and sojourners who are often misunderstood, the key is to remember who you are, to remember whose you are, but remember where you are and where you're going. Who you are, whose you are, where you are, and where you're going. That helps me.

I think it'll help you. We start with who you are and this is one of the greatest statements ever about who we really are and it is rooted in two verses, really many more in the Old Testament, but two that I highlight for you. The first is Exodus 19, the Mosaic Covenant. Exodus 19 five, therefore, if you will, Lord said, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples for all the earth is mine and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

There's Peter's language right there. And rooted in prophecies like this from Isaiah, Isaiah 43 verse 20, I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself, that they might declare my praise. So in the Old Covenant and all throughout the narrative of the Old Testament, the story is of God choosing out one man, Abram, the Ur of the Chaldees, and declaring to him, you're going to be the father of a nation.

And through a miracle, giving him and Sarah a son in their old age who would become the seed of a whole people of God. So they weren't a people at all and God made them into his people. And so that's why this people becomes known as a nation of Israel or known as the chosen people. It's what it means when he says you are like a kingdom of priests because the king had his priests. And so all of this language is now adopted by Peter in the New Covenant. And what he's saying is that all of the promises that were made in the Old Covenant about who the people of God are, people of my own possession, people who are mine forever, people who were chosen, who are a unique race, people unto myself, who have royalty and a priesthood and who are holy and set apart unto me as a nation. All of those promises that were made through the Mosaic Covenant, what Peter is saying is now for the Christian, they are all fulfilled, but in a bigger and better way than you ever could have imagined. Sometimes God will make a promise and fulfill it in a better way than what you could have imagined when he first made the promise to you.

That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. With so much worry about yesterday's failures and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks, sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most right now. In a hurried worried season, God invites you into the present.

Modern day life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness living in the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment in the moment every day of your life. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. As one commentator said, it's sort of like if at the turn of last century, a father had told his son, when you come of age, I'm going to get you the best horse and buggy that money can buy. But in the interim, Henry Ford invented an automobile and instead when the son was old enough, the father gave him a car. You wouldn't say the father broke his promise. You'd say the father fulfilled his promise, but in a better way than what he could have described at the time. So all of the promises that were made in the old covenant to this people about being God's treasure and possession and being a holy nation, all of these, what Peter's saying, are fulfilled as every single Christian is engrafted into what is this holy people.

And we are the recipients in spiritual ways. So Israel had geographic borders as a literal nation. Well, to be in the kingdom of God is not to be in a literal geographic kingdom is to be in something bigger than that that spans all time and all geography and transcends it all, you see.

The priests in the old covenant would minister at a physical temple according to prescribed regulations. But you as the people of God are the priests of God in a spiritual way with no limit to your priestly ministry. Your chosen race, that's the first thing that is mentioned here. And what essentially that means is that if you trace grace to its original source, to its deepest level, then the way that you can know that you belong to God and that your life with God is not dependent on any of your own merit is that you eventually have to go, God did it. He brought light into the darkness. He came to me when I didn't know how to come to him. This is love, not that I first loved God.

He first loved me. That's what it means to be a chosen race and to be a race is not an ethnic literal sense. Right. What he's saying is something that is spiritual here. He's speaking of a whole new category of humanity, much like Paul did in Ephesians Chapter two, when he said, Now in Christ Jesus, you once who once were far off had been brought near by the blood of Christ, for he himself, Christ, is our peace, who has made us both one, speaking of Jew and Gentile, and has broken down his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace. There is so much confusion in all of the rhetoric and contention about racial reconciliation, but the Bible is absolutely clear about this. What God has done in Jesus Christ is so remarkable that he has essentially made a new race of humanity. He has made a whole new sort of humanity so that Peter and Paul are both saying, Well, there's both Jew and Gentile.

The amount of hostility between the two of them, you can hardly find a way to express it, he said. But that dividing wall of hostility all comes down. This explains why Paul can say in Christ, there's neither Greek nor Jew, nor male and female, nor slave nor free, that we're a one in him. It's like John Piper says, it's like a new bloodline. The bloodline, he says, of Jesus Christ is deeper than the bloodlines of race. The death and resurrection of the Son of God for sinners is the only sufficient power to bring the bloodlines of race into the single bloodline of the cross. We're just a whole new people. A chosen race.

Wow. So you are. He says you're a royal priesthood. It means literally priest for the king. In order to be a priest in ancient Israel, you had to be born into the priestly family. You're never going to be a priest unless you're born into the Levitical family. If you're born in the wrong tribe, you'll never be a priest in Israel. And then as you were set apart to be a priest, these things would happen. You would be ceremonially washed. You would adorn yourself with the priestly garments which were particular to the priests. You would be anointed with oil and therefore set aside unto the priesthood so that you could handle the holy things, minister in the temple, and that you could mediate between God and people. And the New Testament says of us that we are priests.

Every single Christian is a priest. And it means therefore that what was a shadow in the old has come to reality in the new. You have been born into the family. When you accept Christ, you are born anew into the family of God.

You cannot become a priest of God except by being born into it. We are born again into this living hope, Peter says. And you have been washed, washed by the cleansing, effective blood of Christ who died in your place so that you would be thoroughly, 100%, not 99%, 100% washed clean, so fully forgiven that your sin is not remembered by God anymore. And you are clothed with the righteousness of Christ.

That's the image in the New Testament. You've been clothed with the priest's garments. And anointed by the Holy Spirit, every single Christian has the living presence of the Spirit of Jesus in him or her. And what this means therefore beloved is that as a priest, you are fully qualified to handle the holy things and to mediate between God and people. When you pray for people, pray as one who knows who you are, you are a priest of the Most High God. And you come before the throne of God boldly with confidence as a priest who could go into the Holy of Holies. And you come before God and you lift up those who stand in need because you're a priest.

You're chosen race. You are a holy priesthood, a royal priesthood, and you're a holy nation. I have come to absolutely love, be enthralled by, empowered by the recognition and acceptance of the reality that in Christ, every single one of us is holy.

Look away at pastorallen.org. With so much worry about yesterday's failures, and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks, sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most right now. In a hurried worried season, God invites you into the present.

Modern day life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness, living in the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way. Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment in the moment, every day of your life. The Bible is shared when you give to Allen Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Allen Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860 or come to our website, pastorallen.org. Back here now with Pastor Alan and well, Pastor Alan, some days I don't feel very holy. Well, this is the tension that we live in. We're the elect, but we're also like exiles in the world.

And this text today echoes that with a different image. We're sojourners, which means you're the one that's passing through. And therefore you're, you're in many ways like an outsider, like a misfit, like an alien. And yet the invitation to us is to know who we are as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.

Once not a people, but now his people. So you can see this tension and this dynamic paradox that on the one hand, you are God's chosen people, and yet you're also sojourners. So how do you have joy when you're just a sojourner? You have joy by remembering who's you are and who you are in Christ. And that's what 1 Peter's about. And that's what today's message is all about. You really are a sojourner, but you are the child of God.

And therefore you can have joy no matter what. Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at pastorallen.org or call 877-544-4860.

That's 877-544-4860. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other resources at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-19 18:03:03 / 2023-01-19 18:11:23 / 8

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