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2nd November 2014
What does it mean to be God’s people? In 1 Peter 2:4-10, we read Peter’s description of the Church. He starts by reminding us that we come to Jesus, the “living stone”, the “chosen and precious” One, the Rock on whom we are built. He is the foundation we stand on and true life flows from Him.
Peter goes on to describe us – God’s children – as “like living stones” being “built up as a spiritual house”. We were once dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1), but now we are alive in Him and have been made completely new. We are connected to the loving, life-giving power of Jesus. We are meant to be a people in community – God dwells in His Church by His Spirit. God loves individuals, but He redeems a people, a family, collectively, for His glory.
We have been redeemed to be “a holy priesthood”, meaning we are set apart for God, for His possession, belonging to Him. Being holy isn’t primarily about morality (although our behaviour will flow out of it), but is about a position: we’ve been rescued and taken from a place of darkness and transferred into a place of light, in Christ. Our lives are hidden in Him. We’re holy because He’s holy. It means being set apart to give Him our whole lives.
Jesus is the cornerstone of the Church, the Rock on whom we stand, but to those who do not accept Him, the Bible says He is a stumbling stone. Who is He to you: Saviour or stumbling block? He is one or the other to all of us. We can spend our whole lives ‘doing religion’, going to church, doing good – and still totally miss Jesus!
His people are ordinary people who have been chosen by Him and for Him. We have been chosen to be priests, meaning we all have access to God for ourselves, and have responsibilities assigned to us. We represent Jesus to everyone with whom we come into contact. Where we go, He goes with us. When people encounter us, do they encounter something of God?
God’s people are those who have received His mercy. Not one of us deserved it – we were once lost, blinded people, but now we have received His undeserved mercy.
What does the Church mean for you? Is it a place you go to or a people you love, are committed to and belong to? Is your heart fully committed to the Church? Are you connected to others in a meaningful way? Are you an isolated brick or a brick in the wall?
To listen to the sermon on God's people and download the life application notes, click here.
Posted by Santino Hamberis