1 Peter 2:1-10 (Living Stones)


In today’s message, Guest Speaker, Dr. Aaron Glover, contrasts Old Testament practices and beliefs with the reality of Christ’s teachings and the Christian faith, emphasizing that believers enjoy a direct and personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. He emphasizes that Jesus is the cornerstone of God’s spiritual house and that believers are made into living stones, built up in Christ as His Church. As Jesus works in us and through us, He uses us to declare his praises as the One who called us out of darkness and into His wonderful light!




Sermon Transcript
I thank you. Pastor, Jason, thank you. Thank you. It is a privilege and to share and to speak. If you'll give me a moment, I'm going to get all my technology and all this fun stuff set up. How many of you like all your technology and gadgets as much as I do. I mean, I love my iPad, I love my iPhone, I love all the stuff. Some people are shaking their heads. Some people shaking their heads, no. You know, it's funny.They mentioned earlier years, I can't imagine being any place for 38 years because I've not even been alive.Some of you can relate to that. That's a blessing. Jerry. God has blessed Jerry. That's, you know, it's incredible. But you know, when you think about how different things were 38 years ago, I mean, let's even go back 10 or 15 years ago. I mentioned, I love all the smartphones and the iPad and everything. I love to preach from the iPad. I love to have my notes 1015, years ago, things were very different, right in the 90s, and we remember what it was like not to even have a cell phone. Anybody remember what it's like not to have a cell phone? Some of you had pagers before that. I'll tell you what I remember when my mom got one of those bag phones in the car. Man, I thought that was the coolest thing in the world, right? But before you had cell phones and the antenna phones, or what some of us millennials will even call the big Zack Morris brick phone, before that, if you want to make a phone call you to someone's house or somewhere, there was you could go find a pay phone, right? Pay phones, you quarter in, after a while, money in, but the way you got around that is you could make a collect call, right? Who's ever made a collect call? Yeah, you made some collect calls. I'm telling you what one of my favorite commercials growing up was actually a GEICO commercial where they were making fun of collect calls. And in this commercial, there's this guy, clearly at a hospital. You can tell he's been and he gets the he gets on the phone and he says, Hey, hello, collect call, please. First Name, Bob, last name, we auto baby eats a boy, and then the screen cuts and it goes to this older woman, you know, sitting down in their home, and they're just relaxing, ring, ring. The guy answers phone. He goes, hello, and the operator says, Hello. You have a collect call from Bob. We auto baby eats a boy, and the guy goes, wrong number. He hangs up his wife, sitting across the room, goes, who is that, dear? And he goes, they had a baby. It's a boy. That was the way to get around the collect call. Says, I thought that was just the funniest thing in the world, but, but that's how we had to do it. Right now, if I want to call somebody my friend, I can just no matter where I am. And hopefully nobody does this while they're driving ever, but I can just pull out. Or, even better, if I want to, I could even pull up face than I can face to face. That's really fun. I'm like holidays and things like that, where the grandparents can see the grandkids and see all the presents. Or on special days, we have an incredible amount of activity nowadays that we didn't have even in our own lifetime just a few short years ago. And likewise, how many of you remember what it was like when you wanted to do research or look something up, you had to go to the library? You remember that? Remember those days you had to go to the library, and when you went in the library, you had to go find these little drawers that had all four to take the card. And you'd have decimal system. You'd have to find where your book was. And then you hoped, when you got to the book that somebody hadn't checked it out already and it wasn't even there, right? That was the only way to get information. Now, I can take my phone. I can have access to all the world's libraries, anything I want. I can look up information as my brain can handle, right? I'm connected like that, 1015, 20, I 20 some of you older folks, and even myself, to go back in time tell your younger self, hey, guess what? There's going to be a time when you have this thing. You have a phone in your pocket that can take you, you can call everybody. You can find all the information. You show it to them. They look at you and go, don't even have buttons on it, right? Could you imagine what it would be like to go back in time and tell people 400 years ago how we live? I think about going back to even the ancient times, going back to Israel, back in the times of the Bible, in the temple. So if we tried to explain how we live and what we enjoy, they would think that we were absolutely nuts, right? They wouldn't believe a word we said. Now, with this truth in the physical, in the world we live in, there's also a spiritual truth that I want to highlight today, in a spiritual sense, when we look back and compare the Jews, how they lived, how they understood God, how they understood meeting with God and communing with him and fellowshipping with Him. If we tried to explain to them what we as Christians enjoy here today, they would not believe us. You know why? Because whenever Jesus Himself came to this news of the gospel, to them, and I want to look at this today, this, this comparison, you know, back in the Old Testament, in the days of the temple, when the Jews wanted to meet with God, right? It wasn't that they couldn't just pull out their wanted to meet with God, they had to go to his house in the old temple, the old testament to the temple, appointed times. God told them when to gather. He told them how to gather. He told them what to do. Not only had to come at certain times, they had to do certain things, certain offerings and sacrifices, all these little rituals. And then on top of that, when they came in, the women in the temple could only go so far, and the men could only go so much further in the temple. And then even the Levitical priesthood could go so far if you were born into this certain family. But even within the Levites, the tribe of Levi there was a certain family from then, if you were to be the high priest, you had to be from that certain family in a specific year, and you only went into the presence of God once a year after doing everything that was required, they had to go through all of this to commune with God, and yet, still they weren't even connected with him the way we are today. They wouldn't even be able to fathom or understand what we live in, what we Christians enjoy today. They encountered God's presence at certain times, and yet we live in God's presence every single day. God's house was made of earth and stone and precious metals and jewels, but God's spiritual house today is made of living stones and precious people in Christ, Jesus, they had to go to God's house, the temple, and we have become God's house, where his Spirit dwells eternally. They had to go and gather together to meet with God, and we are sent out so that others in this world can meet with God. It's totally different, all these things that they knew and understood and experienced in the Old Testament. There's so much good truth to them, but it was just a shadow of the fullness that would come in Christ Jesus is how Paul explains it. The shadow of those things in the Old Testament leads us back to the truth, the reality and the fullness found in Christ Jesus. So that's what we're going to read about today in First Peter, chapter two, verses one through 10, Peter is going to reference a lot of these Old Testament truths. But he's going to do us a HUGE favor. He's going to interpret the Old Testament for us and show us how it applies to Christians today. He's going to take the shadows and show us the fullness that you and I get to be a part of simply because we have believed in Christ, Jesus. So if you will read with me first, Peter, two, verses one through 10, it's going to be on the screen if you follow or read along in your Bible. Verse one, he says, So, put away all malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn infants long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good as you come to Him, as you receive Him, a living stone, rejected by men, but in the sight of God, chosen and precious, you yourselves, like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through. To Jesus Christ, for it stands in Scripture. Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a Cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame. So the honor is for you who that the builders reject has become the cornerstone and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offensethey stumble, but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people possession that you may proclaim the out of darkness is marvelous light one. You were not a people, but now you are God's people. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. There's so much in that text we could camp out here for weeks on end, but I'm going to highlight a few things that I think are just so necessary and powerful in our lives today. To give you a bit of context about this letter that Peter wrote. Peter wrote this letter to the Gentile believers, Christians in Asia Minor. Now what this would be, this would be people from all different kind of backgrounds and ethnicities and cultures, all these people who had become Christians, believers, but they were going through suffering. They were going through various persecutions. And Peter writes to them. He wants to teach them who they Christ, and he wants to encourage them to be the people that God has called and redeemed and freed them to be. He uses this Old Testament imagery and prophecy that points us to the reality found in Christ, Jesus. So the first thing I want us to put out the in all things is that Jesus Christ is the living stone. That he is stone that God's spiritual house is built upon. Everything is built upon that rock, everything is built upon Him in verse four, a living stone rejected by men. Remember, Jesus was a Jewish man. He came to His people bringing the Good News of the Gospel, telling them that was at hate, and his people rejected him and persecuted him, murdered him, wrongly rejected him. They did not believe and receive and obey the gospel. But it doesn't matter whatGod gets to decide things. And Jesus was not rejected by God. He was accepted by Him. God accepted him as the precious and chosen cornerstone. All throughout this passage, Peter refers to a lot of Old Testament Scriptures found in Isaiah and in the Psalm things he unpacks for us. And Isaiah, this The Lord says that I have laid this as a foundation cornerstone, talking about Jesus, precious and tested. I have done this build his spiritual house on the found of Jesus. Everything built up in him, around him, from him to him, for him, of him, everything about this cornerstone, because of Christ's life, His death and then his resurrection, God was building a new humanity, a new race of people, under sin and death, like our father, Adam, but under grace and life through the second man, the new man, Christ, Jesus, the cornerstone everything we're going to talk about is because of him, all because of him, freely given to every single person who believes. The second thing I want us to see is that he says, You yourselves, in verse five, you yourselves. Remember, he's believer. He. You're a believer. He's talking to you like living stones. He's already said, Jesus is the living stone. He's the cornerstone. And now you, you like other living stones, become that new person in Christ, Jesus, he calls you living stones are being built up.We talk about being God's house. Remember, the Jewish people understood the house of God only to be the temple, only to be the temple. They didn't to be the spiritual house of God, that we, as men and women who believe in Christ, be the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Because of Christ, Jesus came his house, and it calls us a holy priesthood. This refers back to Exodus 19 six, where God says that Israel will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. We become a holy priest, sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ. Now think about this, Jesus Christ has made one has been atoned for by the blood of the lamb when him that are spiritual sacrifices, worship, praise, prayer, inner sin, I go offer these spiritual things to God. And you know what's incredible of Christ, Jesus, because he has fully satisfied the wrath of God, my son, make these sacrifices that are acceptable because of the blood of the Lamb. It's incredible. And then in verses six through eight, he continues, and Peter tells us about these people, he becomes a stumbling block. And some of this imagery is kind of difficult when you read the Bible? Yeah, I'm going to summarize this in a chart. I like simple things, so summarizing this in a chart. The unbelievers are people who reject this is what the Jews did when he became a stumbling block to them. They wouldn't believe his message, not receive the good news that he came, that he brought to them, so they are not built up into God's spiritual house, but everyone who does believe in Jesus receives him. He becomes that cornerstone God's spiritual house, and we are built up in him. We become part of God's spiritual house. We are built up in him simply because we believe. Peter says to the unbelievers, there's all those things that him, but I love this. He says, But you believer, but you all applies to you, if but you are a nation, a people of God's possession. And I want to walk through each one of these things because, oh my goodness, I don't think we realize how incredible of a transformation this is what's happening. Chosen race. Words to use, because Paul or Peter is writing. And normally, whenever the Bible taught people being God's chosen people, in the old referring to Abraham and the people of even the prophets, God says, I chose you from among the nations, talking about Israel, he one of the chosen race of people You had to be born into the lineage the physical.In the physical lineage of Abraham, it's about being born in the spiritual lineage of Christ Jesus. We go from the old into the new, and in Christ Jesus, we become that chosen andthe Bible. Throughout the Bible, you read it talks about Jews and Gentiles. These things point us two types of people in this world, the. Who are born under Adam. Remember Adam in the garden. He was tempted, and he sinned and brought death into this world and put us under a curse and and brought death into the world. So that's the first man, but Jesus, as I mentioned earlier, His resurrection became type of man. He's the firstborn the dead, and in Him, we become a people who are no longer under sin and death. Jesus and raised the dead. He overcame new people as Jesus, precious cornerstone of God's house. We have become precious in him. We have become His people. And secondly, he says that you have become a royal priesthood. Remember, I said that in the Old Testament, the Jews understood the priesthood. You had to be a Levite number one and to be of the the high priest. You have certain family within that as well. But God has done away with all of that in his spiritual house, in the New Covenant, he says that he has made all of us priests. Many of us have the idea that some people are priests, some people are ministers, and some people are not right. We use terms like clergy and lay people. The Bible doesn't say anything about that. The Bible says that every single one of us in Christ Jesus, are priests, and not just any priests, that we are royal priests. We serve the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We serve the Most High God, and not just priests, the Royal priests, we too have become priests. Again. In the Old Testament, only the Levites were priests. The Levitical priesthood was only open to one tribe and one family. But in the New Covenant, just like we have become new people in Christ Jesus, we've also become a part of his priesthood, a priesthood that goes back before the Levitical priesthood. You have to go back in Genesis 14. Read about a man named Melchizedek. He was the king priest of Salem. That's the order of priesthood that Jesus is in. And whenever we become believers in Jesus, become the new chosen people in Him, we become a part of his priesthood, with the Most High Priest representing us before the Father. We are no ordinary priests. We are those who offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, and then he calls us a holy nation. And if you know the word holy simply means to be set apart. Again, the Gentiles at this time, they were from all over the place, in Asia, minor all different kind of people, all different kind of backgrounds, ethnicities, languages, all these differences. And yet, the Bible says that you all are one, set apart, holy nation. At the end of this passage says that you were once not a people. Now you are God's people. You are holy and set apart. In Christ Jesus, you were different from the rest of the world. If you're a believer in Christ Jesus, you're different, and in a lot of ways, number one, those who don't believe they are still guilty in their sin. They are still condemned, but we're not we're forgiven and we're free. They are spiritually dead, but we have become spiritually alive in Jesus, they are still lost. We are found. They don't have God, and we have God living within us every single day. We're not like the rest of the world. We are a holy nation set apart for good reason that we're going to get to here in a few moments. But he continues on. And number four, he says that you are a people of God's own possession. You belong to God. As Jason mentioned earlier, I'm the Head of School for King's Academy Christian school, and we've got around 300 kids that attend our school, and I have a general love for all the kids and families that are part of our school. I love them. I want to see them do well. I am for them. But, you know, there's three kids at that school that I love a little bit differently, Mia Carter and Luna, because they're my kids. Those. My kids, because they're my kids. They experience a different relationship with me. They get to experience a different fatherly love that the other kids don't experience. They have a familial fellow with me. They will inherit from me, because they are my kids. And if you're a believer in Christ, you are God's kids. I was actually just remarking with Jason and Robert A few moments ago outside. And you know, we think about it in our homes, pictures of our kids, little faces on the wall. You got the little pictures, especially grandparents. Grandparents have pictures everywhere, right of these kids, man, if, if God put pictures up in the house, you'd be in that frame as a believer. He'd have pictures of your face in there because he loves you. You are His child. Through faith in Christ, Jesus, you belong to God. The best part about that is that being his, he will never leave us. He will never forsake us. Nothing could snatch us out of his hand. He will never let go of us. Such a wonderful thing to belong to him, is great, isn't it, to know these four things are true about you, this is fantastic. But God didn't do all this. He didn't change you and make you new so that you would just sit in a pew and wait for heaven to come one day, he did it for great reason, and it's not a reason so that we get puffed up or become conceited. No, in fact, it's the exact opposite. It humbles us. It shows us His grace and His mercy, these things he didn't have to do, but yet he has done and he did it all of these things so that why? So that in verse nine continuing, so that you remember we're talking about believers, and if you're a believer, this is you, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light, who called you out of darkness. God did. He's called you into His marvelous light. Yes, as a believer, that's where you stand now. He wants you to take that message, that good news, and share it with the world. Every single one of you in here has a story. You have a testimony that nobody else on this planet has or will ever have. And you have the indwelling Holy Spirit as a believer. You have everything you need to go share the Good News of the Gospel. And you might be sitting there saying, No, not me, not me. Yes, you. That's what he's saying. Yes, you. It doesn't matter if you're young or old, male, female, Jew, Gentile, high status, low status. It does not matter, because you are one. In Christ says in this there's no, there's no Jew or Gentile, circumcised, uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free. But Christ is all and in all, you have an important part to play in God's kingdom, in God's work on this earth, you are called to do this every single one of us, every day. It's not just for Pastor Jason. It's not just for Pastor Steve or Pastor Jerry to go and live this out. It's for every single one of us to go proclaim His excellencies. And yes, we do this directly. We tell people about Jesus. Look at Jesus. Look at what he's done. Look how much he loves you. We tell them directly, but then also we proclaim His greatness and we glorify Him through everything we do, whenever you go to your jobs, how you work, how you talk, how you treat people, that testifies to who you are in Christ, the way you live in your homes, the way you love your wife or your husband, you treat your children the way you deal with them testifies to them who you are in Christ and you go out in public, how you walk, how you live, all things you are made new, all these things so that you would proclaim The excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness. Let's remind ourselves of all these things, right? Peter wrote to believers, Christians, brothers and sisters, if you have believed in Christ, if you have tasted and. Seen that the Lord is good. That's what Peter meant when he said that if you have received Christ and believed in Him, then you are living stones that are built up into God's spiritual house. You are the living stones, and you're built upon the chosen and precious cornerstone. You become a part of his chosen race, the new creation in Christ, Jesus, you've become the new person. The old has passed away. All things are made new. You have been made into royal priests. You serve the King of kings, and you offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable through the blood of the Lamb. You've been made into a holy nation. You are set apart from the rest of the world and its ways. You are different. You've been made new, and you are God's very own people. You belong to God. You're part of his family.It's incredible to think about. And so as we close here today, here in a little while, we're going to have an invitation. We'll pray, sing a song as we leave, as you go out into this place, you go to your homes, you go to your jobs. This week, I want you to remember this truth that we are not leaving God's house. We are God's house. We are not when we leave this room, we're not leaving the presence of God. We are taking the presence of God with us everywhere we go to proclaim His greatness. We take him with us. At all times we have been made into this chosen race, this royal priesthood, this holy nation, his very own Amen, let us pray.