Title: Who Am I? (part 4)
Purpose: To teach Christians who they are so they will fulfill their purpose of serving God alone
1. God does so much for us, and we often take it for granted
2. I Peter starts off reminding us of what has done for us.
3. I Peter 2:4-12, reminds us that we are still growing by coming to Jesus
4. Coming to Jesus we have been given a new identity
I. Living Stones in God's house (v. 4-8)
A. This anology actually makes use of an Old Testament image
1. God's house in the Old Testament was the Temple
a. Built by Solomon, Zerubbabbel and Herod
b. Haggai 2:4-9 - What was glorious about the first temple
- After it was built, the glory (shekinah) of the Lord filled it
- The glory was absent from Zerrubabbel's temple
- v.9 is talking about something else
c. Heb 12:26-28 - We have received a "spritual" kingdom, not earthly
which can be shaken
d. Paul said Acts 17:24 - God not dwell in temples made with hands
- So what glorious building is Haggai talking about?
- It's about US! We are the "nations"
- God dwells in us, the church today.
e. This is the point of the analogy Peter uses
2. We learn several things about ourselves from this house analogy
a. We are only living stones (not dead) when being built up
b. We can only be built up when cemented together
- I Cor 1:10 says we need to be united
- People can steal bricks off a pile, but not from a wall
- Pile of bricks serve no purpose until they are built
c. Each stone is important. The more that is missing the weaker the wall
d. Jesus must be the cornerstone
- All we do proceeds from Him
- We have to line up with his will
- What if we like the builders, reject it and all build own walls?
e. When all this happens, God's glory dwells in us
3. To go along with the house, there needs to be a Priesthood
a. An empty house serves no purpose
b. Where is God's house? It is us! Preisthood? It is us
c. Explanation of Priesthood
- Preists were the ones designated to serve God directly
- They were the ones who performed the acts of worship
- They served as a mediator between men and God
- In Judges, people actually fought over Preists.
They just had to have one
d. In the Old Testament, all Priests were God's people, but not all of
God's people were Priests. That has changed!
e. There is no Clergy Laity in the church. It is not all the preachers job
C. What is the purpose of the spiritual house and Priesthood? - Offer spiritual sacrifices
D. How do you offer up spiritual sacrifices?
1. Heb 13:15 - Through Him, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise
2. Phil 4:18 - Financial gift
3. I John 3:16-18 - Christ laid down life, so should we (cemented bricks)
4. Rom 12:1 - Present your bodies a living sacrifice - Give up your will
5. Cant do it unless Jesus is the cornerstone of your life
II. A People for God's Possession (v.9-10)
A. Description after description of us as God's people
1. Chosen Race
2. A Royal Priesthood
3. A Holy Nation
4. A People for God's own possesion sums it up
B. Taking the language of Isaiah 43:20, this was to emphasize that we are special
1. Paraphrase v.10 - Once you were a nobody, but now you are somebody
a. The value of something is not in itself, but by who owns it
b. ILL: Shoes that used to belong to Elvis, or his white studded shirt
- Many would say that was worth something
- Is it because it is cool?
- It is because of who they belonged to
2. God chose Christians. We are special and valuable What for?
a. Chose us for Mercy
b. To be called out of darkness into light
c. To proclaim his excellencies
3. He chose us for Holiness
a. To by Holy, means to be set apart
b. It means set apart for a specific use, or dedicated
c. Inherent in the word is "use"
C. ILL: Many of us have special dishware, or china
1. This China set apart for special purpose, to serve special guests
2. Like the special China, we have been set apart to serve God
3. Unlike China, which is only taken out periodically, we always serve God
D. Question this morning is are you Holy?
1. Are you dedicated to God and serving him, or do you serve yourself?
2. WOUold you get mad is someone made mud pies with your China?
3. How do you think God feels when you serve yourself instead of Him?
III. Aliens and Strangers in this World (v.11-12)
A. What do you think of when you think of an Alien?
1. Strange green men.
2. We are a new creature in Christ (Col 3)
B. The reason we are called Aliens
1. We are to abstain from fleshly lusts
a. Lust, usually think of something sexual, but it not necessarily that
- Epithumia "desire", could be good or bad, depending on context
- Used in James 4:5 of God's "desire" for us
- Her it is "fleshly" desire, includes desire for wealth or fame
b. The anatomy of Sin
- James 1:14-15 - Sin is a process
- Don't just abstain from sin, but desire which leads to sin
- I Thess 5:22 - Abstain from appearance of Evil (don't even look)
c. Don't even put yourself in a situation where you will be tempted
d. Problem with temptation, is that it involves a living for here are now
2. Our Behavior is different. It is to be "excellent"
a. We are not to be mediocre Christians.
d. We don't want mediocre service, why would we think God would?
3. If people don't see us as very different (aliens), are we being excellent?
a. Don't want to stand out, FIT IN and be COMFORTABLE?
b. That "DESIRE" to fit in, is also a fleshly desire that leads to sin
C. ILL: Rent houses need more maintenance than owned houses
1. Renters don't remodel and make improvements to the house. Why?
2. It doesn't belong to them, they know that they will move on.
3. Is goal of your efforts is - nice house, car, clothes
D. When consider our brethren in third world countries
1. Instead of worrying about what kind of house, they worry about roof over head
2. Instead of worrying about what for dinner, they worry if will be a dinner
3. Instead of worrying about what color car, they worry if shoes will hold out
4. Instead of worrying about brand name clothes, they worry about having clothes
5. Instead of being irrate with a boring sermon, they are worried about whether they will
be arrested for meeting together to worship
6. They know they are Aliens, but we say we are the ones who are blessed
7. Satan is a master strategist
1. He persecutes Christians, they become stronger
2. Why not ease up on them?
3. I can't tell you how many people I have known that began to forget
God when get nice house, car, etc.
1. We must come to grips with our identity if we are going to offer acceptable sacrifices to God
We are living stones in God's building - Stop being individuals
We are God's Holy posession - We are to serve God not ourselves
We are Aliens - We are to be renters who keep ourselves free from selfish desire
3. Are you living up to these descriptions in scripture?
4. When we come to grips with our identity, they we can offer up "acceptable"
spiritual sacrifices and proclaim his excellencies