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June 11, 2021 12:00 am
Walk in the walls just like Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us, and offering a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma towards the self-sacrificing love of Christ was not only a fragrant aroma to God the father, but an example that we should also that sacrifice whatever you sacrifice your will, your interests, you demonstrate selfless love toward another. Your love is actually a fragrant offering God about the Old Testament to God's holiness, sacrifices, lampstands, the priestly attire. Everything was set apart for God's glory.
In the New Testament Peter referred to Christians as living stones that God is building into the church but God doesn't make us like bricks that are all standard and uniform. He crafts each of us differently to fulfill the unique role he has for us in all that uniqueness. We are still set apart for his glory, working to learn more about this today. This is wisdom for the heart. Stephen dating is a message today called the sacred life is cover the next two verses. I want to do it by just simply giving you an outline. If you care to write down these kinds of outlines, but the first point is simply sacred relationship and the second point is a sacred response we left off at chapter 2 and beginning with verse four and coming to him as to a living stone, which is been rejected by man but his choice and precious in the sight of God.
You also, as living stones, are being built as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices. Now it's up there for a minute.
Actually for about 40 minutes okay here we go.
Peter changes illustration from the nursery to a building site. He begins by drawing our attention to the focal architectural pieces of this building program and it is Jesus Christ our cornerstone and I thought we get there. When I got to get there. Will talk more about that in our next discussion. What Peter begins to do here is describe the Lord for those of us who love and those who are considering him any any basically gives our world to reactions that to this day exist when it comes to Jesus Christ here on the one hand, references those who reject him. Notice he writes, he is rejected by man or mankind. Peter is quoting here from Psalm 118 verse 22 where we read the prophetic announcement that the Messiah is the stone the builders rejected. Certainly Israel and and even to our day and beyond, including us. You sure many of you deliver the gospel of all of you have but you deliver the gospel you live long enough by some of us where times where I can actually see their expression cloud over is on delivering the gospel where Jesus moves from becoming a possible attraction to them, to becoming an offense to see in their eyes as they shut down. Notice again verse four.
You have this response rejection the beginning of the mercy of the responsive reception coming to him as a living stone. The verb uses for coming is actually a reference not so much to initial salvation, which would be included in that, but he uses in this original grammar.
The idea of a repeated voluntary habitual coming to Christ for communion and fellowship and strength and hope. In fact he was a believer of arrived today to do just that.
Corporately with the body brothers and sisters so you perceive them is the same verb by the way, the writer of Hebrews used to talk about people believers drawing near to God. Chapter 10 verse 22. That's the same word used here is drawing near, Peter describes Jesus here is a living stone is the only New Testament author to designate Jesus is way and it strikes at first stones are alive stones might be strong or enduring solid but we refer to something stone dead.
Not stone alive. If you reverse the order for Peter eat the stone is living because the stone is a person. It's an implication of the resurrection. He's alive from one author.
In fact, picks up on the uniqueness of this expression by writing these words no other faith can claim a living founder who has passed through death and has risen to a triumph at God the father's right hand, and remains now continually available to the immediate fellowship of each person who trusts in just like he is to you and Peter goes on her verse four pharmacy God the father has measured Jesus is is what he saying he has size him up and he has found him worthy of his election word is choice as Redeemer. He had to Jesus Christ is also precious. That is, he is of the highest value. The expression he gives easy. This is our opinion we we agree with God the father. Jesus is our chosen Redeemer and he is precious and is what the world considers worthless scars. We consider priceless and in him we delight what Peter says next is surprising he uses the same terminology for the Christian that he just used for Jesus. Notice verse five you also, as living stones is another study for you press on your own, but it's interesting of the New Testament. A number of names or titles are given to Jesus in the singular than their attributed to the believer in the plural friends since he is the son of God. We are called sons of God is called the light of the world.
We had other pit places are called lights in the world.
He's the Lamb we are called lambs.
He is now here, the living stone and we are living stones only address this word for it for just about the word Peter uses her for stones isn't just some random collection of rocks lying around on the ground that you might as a kid through you, my friend. The squirrels are other animals that come in your property. You know it he's not referring he's talking about stones in a very unique way.
He's talking about a stone that has been dug up from the quarry and cut and shaped and fashioned for the builders purposes. Great analogy for the Christian. We are stones dog out rescued from the pit of sin and death and then by his grace, shape, and fashioned by the divine builder to suit his divine purpose. No, Mr. fact that we are living stones because we belong to the one who is the way the truth and the life giver of life.
The text reminds me that without the grace of God of us belong here, we wouldn't be here still be in the pit we need to be rescued by the grace God also reminds me Peter doesn't say were bricks manufactured look-alike same dimensions and everything is aligned stones reference to the unique variety in this house of God, little girl. I read about this past week and memorize Matthew 2214, which she then got confused as she quoted the text reads, many are called but few are chosen.
She said it this way many are cold and if you are frozen pretty good, but not all manufactured look-alike were different by faith in Jesus Christ. We are living stones uniquely fashioned by God's delight. For his assignment. So if you are today you don't know Christ store.
Maybe you have an image that you do. But you know in your heart you don't care about them. You don't care about his word. You don't care about his church are here because your parents may become more here because your wife has to do, you're here because you know your business profile is better because you didn't come or whatever but you know in your heart you really don't care about any of care about him. Listen somebody somewhere on the planet is going to be the last living stone. I pray it will be not afraid it might not be for those of us who have believed, by the grace of God as found in Christ our life and and our hope and our strength do we just sit around EE is that all there is to a truly sacred life now know we have a sacred relationship with now something is to take place in the sacred spot show you.
Verse five you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house, no notice for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Now granted below to say to those of your older and the fate is easy you know after 1900 years in this dispensation of the church distorting on your way through that say yes that's great. But for many of Peter's readers who were old enough to have lived in the Old Testament who now live in the New Testament. Imagine the staggering implications of volunteer was one of them we we call this wonderful doctrine is the individual priesthood of the believer.
By the way, 400 years ago people died because they believe that we might going through see in the Old Testament God's people had priesthood in the New Testament God's people are the priesthood that is the staggering distinction I can imagine those early believers living in both believers now have this direct access through Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God the father and mankind. First Timothy chapter 2 and Peter is describing a reply to the stunning prose of the new test believer, you can confess your sins immediately left 2012 Saturday bring your turtle of any music you confess your priest.
You can fellowship with God intimately. You can serve in his presence. Immediately daily.
See here. Here's the here's the implications for the Old Testament believer that that once a year moment with a high priest when to the holy of holies with a little boy to sprinkle it on the mercy seat. They were terrified.
There was no boldness in their approach. They were singing their way through that veil their rope tied around the guys ankle and they have the bells on them is gonna stop jingling.
They assume that God didn't accept it. Instruct the dragons body out. We we go in his presence as if he's he saying you realize as a priest you actually live inside the holy of holies daily, moment by moment. First, we could offer to God. The sacrifice of our bodies politic believers living around offer their bodies a living and holy sacrifice, Paul describes the unbeliever as offering their bodies to do evil and the believer is one who offers his body to do righteousness or right thing is Romans chapter 6 so offering our bodies with every ability and every disability. Secondly, we offer to God. The sacrifice of praise, the writer of Hebrews says this is this is the fruit of lips. The sacrifice of praise to God, giving thanks to his name is Hebrews chapter 13 verse 15 to sacrifice to God.
The third and fourth sacrifices are in the next verse in Hebrews chapter 13 and that's verse 16. Which reason do not neglect doing good and sharing for with such sacrifices God is pleased again borrowing terminology from the Old Testament so these are the sacrifices of doing good deeds and sharing with those in need, for you can offer to God. The sacrifice of financial generosity is interesting that Paul commands the church in Philippi for their sacrificial giving and he again dips into the Old Testament terminology to give them the analogy what their offerings were listed as he writes but I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now, unless you've revived your concern for me. Indeed your concern for you lacked opportunity. You've done well to share with me. No church shared with me in the matter of giving as a missionary.
One supported very well by this church is as I am amply supplied, having received what you have sent. Now notice he says what you said was a fragrant aroma and acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God.
Number six is a sacrifice most often overlooked is the sacrifice of converts reconciled sinners who come to faith in Christ who are forgiven and reconciled with God you delivered the gospel to them and they believe have you ever offered that sacrifice to God. Have you ever delivered the gospel to someone. If you have seen them you have been with them as they prayed to believe the gospel and receive Christ. I can tell you there's no sacrifice offered to God like that. Number seven is the sacrifice of love, sacrificial love forward to the Ephesians that we should imitate Christ and his sacrificial love. The road we should walk in love, the love just like Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God is a fragrant aroma. In other words, the self-sacrificing love of Christ for us was not only a fragrant aroma to God the father, but an example that we should also offer that sacrifice sacrificial love. So whatever you sacrifice your will, your interests, your needs, your desires and you demonstrate selfless love toward another. Your love is actually a fragrant aromatic offering to God by the way God may be the only one who notices or appreciates, but in the end he's going to be the one you're going to be thrilled to hear commendation from for having offered.
Finally, liberate is the sacrifice of intercession or prayer.
Prayer is often overlooked and undervalued as a spiritual sacrifice, often viewed as something less than good deeds are big on the front line or being a public I can't tell you how much I appreciate the prayers of a committed wife how much I appreciate the prayers of people gathered today at 8 o'clock in the morning and prayed over me and then pray to the hour much I appreciate gathering with some of our layover teammates for the last hour to pray, we frankly the older I get, the more mystery becomes. We have no idea how God hears and records and depreciates and rewards and orchestrates and orders and designs and responds to our prayers, but it's interesting to me is John the apostle writes his last letter we call it the book of Revelation he sees before the throne of God the prayers of believers taking physical shape is at work ascending to God the father like incense as priests, we offer the sacrificial incense of intercession, knowing it is heard and received by her heavenly father chooses to respond according to his purpose. The Washington Post carried the story of a woman also wrapping things up with this. She died a few years ago. Her name was Emma Daniel Gray every night. She had the night shift and she would clean in fact for 24 years. She clean the White House. She took pride in pursuing excellence of her work, she was diligent. Her official title was a charwoman and that title goes back to the 1600s, char is been in a morphed into our word.
Sure she was was one of the custodians primary custodians or housemaids is a charwoman she travel everyday by public transportation.
She would serve behind the scenes in the White House from 1943 until her retirement in 1979 when she died a couple years ago the age of 95. Her pastor eulogized that she not only responded to her environment. She set the tone sort of set the tone. Your commitment what made her life compelling to me was just that she was a hard-working producer read surprisingly out of a Washington Post article Miss Emma as she was called, was a committed believer. She was a hard worker offering her work as a sacrifice to her Lord. The Washington Post article actually included this this telling you this is wrong. Try to get whatever miss Emma cleaned the oval office by yourself every night she would pause cleaning materials in one hand and with her other hand resting on the presidents chair in the solitude of that office. She prayed for those who knew her and her family knew that she did this and she was praying that God would give the president wisdom and safety that his leadership would lead to the blessing of God on his family and our nation.
She would serve and do that for six presidents of these United States until she retired in the 1970s, and we been going downhill ever since. I would say miss Emma Daniel Gray got she understood she was a priest standing between God and man bringing people as it were, to the attention of God and offering through her sacrifice of prayer client unknown faithful intercession in this case for the president and I couldn't help but think who knows well W.
Who knows when God orchestrated and accomplished through the presidents of the past and current presidents because of people like her who have the boldness and audacity and courage as she there and that oval office to represent the president to God as you move through this coming week view life as a priest signed the sacred duty no matter where you are, no matter what you been assigned at the moment baby talk over lunch or write some things down about ways that you can offer your body, your gratitude, your good deeds sharing with others in need financial gifts, self-sacrificing love prayer to the truth is 11 will never know until much later. What got orchestrates and arranges accomplishments and accomplishes as a result of his church made up of priests who understand they have a sacred relationship with the Lord who rescued us from the quarry of sin and emptiness and hopelessness and death and judgment. Who shapes us and fashions us and fits us into his assignment for this week. This is that our sacred response the privilege of perpetually living a life as an offering of all these sacrifices to our living Lord, knowing that at some point the building will be finished in the meantime we understand that this is what it really to live a deeply spiritual holy, sacred life. It's exciting and encouraging to be reminded that God did more than save us from the penalty of our sin is wonderful is that is God also involves us in his mission and gives us all a role to play were only truly satisfied when were obediently involved in what God has for us to do. I hope you've discovered that we sure are glad you joined us today if you joined us late. You've tuned into wisdom for the hearts the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey, today's lesson as well as all of the lessons Stevens taught are available email@example.com you can also follow along using the wisdom international at for your smart phone download that today from the iTunes or Google play store.
I'm Scott Wiley and I thank you for listening Stephen will continue through this series from first Peter, next time. Join us for that here on wisdom