Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Author and Pastor David Helm said that what we do with Jesus will mean everything to our standing and identity before God. Christ is the cornerstone. You cannot be indifferent about Jesus Christ. You will eventually stumble over Him or, in submitting to Him, find the foundation on which to build your life. In this message titled Proclaiming His Goodness, Rich unpacks 1 Peter 2, 4-10. Today is the second part of this sermon, first preached on September 11, 2022.
He is the fulcrum of reality. So if I ignore Him, if you ignore Him, you will ultimately fail at life. Strong statement, isn't it?
I say it with as much compassion as I can muster. It's true. If you ignore Jesus and you stumble over Him, you will fail at life.
But wait, Rich, I know so many people who are very well off and they have three cars and a 5,000 square foot house. That's not the measure of success, because all of that will be taken away. Jesus said, what is the profit of man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? If you stumble over Jesus, you will fail at life. David Helms said this, what you and I do with Jesus will mean everything to our standing and identity before God. And so he says, whoever believes will not be put to shame.
That's the good news. Jesus Christ has been rejected by many, many people in world history and even today. He has been rejected. They will stumble over Him. They will be judged by Him. Because the Bible tells us very clearly that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every what? Tongue will confess that what? How many are left out of that?
None. That is universal. Some will confess, some will bow and confess in defeat. The roughest of us will bow and confess with great joy and satisfaction.
But everyone will bow and confess. Whoever believes will not be put to shame, he says at the end of verse six. And so we've looked now at who Peter is unpacking. Who is Christ Jesus? And now he comes into who we are in Christ Jesus. We who have surrendered ourselves in faith to Christ, now we are in Christ.
This is New Testament doctrine. We are in Christ. We are identified with Him.
Four points. Who we are in Christ? Number one, we are chosen and precious. Chosen and precious.
That's what he says. The honor is for you, verse seven, so the honor is for you who believe. What is that honor?
We are chosen and precious. If you were to take, because I remember seeing this when our kids were in school, you take a picture of the whole school, right? I have this from 1975. The boarding school that I grew up in in Venezuela.
I grew up as a missionary kid in Colombia with the boarding school in Venezuela for four years. And there is a picture on the grounds of all the students in the school. We're all sitting there on the grass, me, my three brothers.
I'm sitting on the lap, my oldest brother's lap. And we look at this whole picture and I show the picture. Let's say I take the picture and I show it to my mom. I show it to my dad. They know who's in the picture. They see the whole picture.
When they look at that photo, where's the first place their eyes go? Right here. Why? Because to them, I am chosen and precious. I'm theirs. I'm special. I mean that. I really am.
They arrived at number four and they arrived at perfection and no more. No, I'm just... Okay, I digress.
But that's the idea here, okay? What is God's perspective of all humanity, of all humanity ever? From all history through all history, God sees everyone. When?
Right now. He is infinite. He is transcendent.
He's not bound by time. God doesn't look through history. He sees it all right here, right now. And that photo of all people, He's got His eye on me and you if you are in Christ. Ephesians 1.4, we are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. You have been the object of His loving concern from eternity.
It's mind-blowing. But that's our God that we worship and serve. That's Jesus Christ. So we are in Christ. We are chosen and precious.
The honor is for you to believe. It says in verse seven, if we are in Christ, it means we're united with Him, which means this. He is chosen and precious. Therefore, in Him, you are chosen and precious.
That's how it works. Chosen, we are a chosen generation, He calls us in verse nine. Colossians 3.12, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved.
There it is again. Holy and beloved. Set apart, special. Holy and beloved. And then I quoted Ephesians 1.4 earlier. We have been the object of God's loving concern from eternity. And so, because we are chosen and precious, He upholds us. And we are the ones in whom His soul delights. Now that, listen, that's not because we're so special.
You with me on this? What is our specialness? It is that we are in Christ. And we have His righteousness. That requires surrendered faith.
It doesn't come short of that. So, in Christ, we are chosen and precious. Also, in Christ, number two, we are living stones. He says this in verse five. You yourselves, like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood. Now, he's using a simile here. He uses the word like. And he says living stones, as opposed to, you know, this building right here, the brick out front.
What is that? That's cold, dead, brick and mortar. He's not talking about a brick and mortar building. He's talking about us as living stones. We are that which builds up this spiritual house.
It is a family of people. People are God's sacred space. We study the Old Testament and that temple, and that represented God's presence and God's glory would come into the temple.
And that was a place that was erected, okay? But in the New Testament, Christ having come and having been the perfect sacrifice, now people are God's sacred space. This, listen to me, this building is not the church.
You with me? You and I are the church. People are God's sacred space. We are living stones.
We are a family. We are a people as the dwelling place of God. The existence of the church is the incarnation of the gospel and the representation of God's power at work.
God's power at work. Each of us is a building block. If you are in Christ, you are a member of his body. You are a building block of his spiritual building.
Individually, corporately, globally, the church. And if you are not in Christ this morning, then you are invited to be in Christ through surrendered trust. Because he alone is your righteousness. Thirdly, who we are in Christ. Number one, we are chosen and precious.
Number two, we are living stones. Number three, we are a holy and royal priesthood. A holy and royal priesthood. Verse five, a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. And then again in verse nine, he says very specifically, a royal priesthood. It's who we are. This is how God describes the people who are his.
What does this mean? What does a priest do? A priest would go before God for the sake of the people. We, the church, are a royal priesthood. You know what that means? We are insiders with God.
I don't mean that, there's no pride in that. We only have that through Jesus Christ. You and I have direct access to God. We enter his throne room. We are invited to enter his throne room.
The writer of Hebrews makes this very clear. Let us come before him with boldness. Let us draw near, he says, for worship and for service. Now he's saying this, remember, to scattered exiles of the New Testament believers. He says, I want you to be at home with me. I want you to be practicing my presence. Stop there for just a minute. Does that describe you if you are in Christ? Are you at home with him? Are you practicing his presence?
We have the full freedom to do that. The freedom and the joy and the high delight and calling to do so. So as Peter is writing to this people that are elect exiles, he says, you are at the very heart and center of God's activity in the world. This is a very important thing to understand here, that he's bringing this out in describing us as a holy royal priesthood. Your sociology, what is your sociology?
It's your horizontal relations, your interactions with people. Your sociology is an outflow of your theology, your vertical relation. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-10 14:22:47 / 2023-04-10 14:27:17 / 5