Recording from Selkirk Street Evangelical Church 1993
It’s a wonderful think to be a Christian, don’t you agree? When you think about all that God has given to us, all that God has brought us into, well these things don’t find any comparison anywhere else in the whole of the world.
Do you feel down? world against you? swamped?
The early Christians were nobodies:
- There was no great organisation.
- No wealth, possessions or property.
- They were not quoted.
- They got a bad press.
- They were liable to be persecuted.
Early Christians were despised. They loved all men, and were hated by all men. Peter’s letter has lots to say about suffering. Every chapter contains a reference to suffering – including suffering for being a Christian.
First two verses – we are the temple & priesthood.
Our whole life and position as Christians is grounded on personal fellowship with the Lord. Apart from this there is nothing for us.
- No Christ, no Christian.
- No Christ, no Church.
Everything hinges on this, as you come to him, the Living Stone. The key is not a proposition, it’s not a program, it is a person. THE person. The Living Lord. The Lord of the resurrection faith.
- You are living stones ( AV – lively stones). Your life is in Him. You are united with Him. You share the very life of God in Him.
- These stones are not scattered around here and there, in isolation, in a chaotic jumble.
- You as living stones are being built. There is a plan, there is a purpose. You are incorporated.
The NT doesn’t conceive of a freelance or isolationist Christian. As soon as we are related to the Lord, we are immediately related to all who belong to Him. We belong to the one body. Community runs all through this passage.Church is people, not a building.
You are being built into a great spiritual building.
- not man made
- where God dwells
You are both the temple, the holy place, and the priesthood. A holy priesthood.
OT – priesthood closely guarded minority, exclusive.
NT – not so – priesthood of ALL believers
The function of the priesthood is to bring offerings to God.
- Spiritual Sacrifices – note the Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice.
- Sacrifice of thanksgiving – prayers of the saints as incense
- Sacrifice of praise -present your bodies as sacrifice – whole life offering of prayer & worship
This is acceptable to God through Jesus Christ – the Key is Christ.
A Royal Priesthood – purpose:
- Convey God’s message to the people
- Offer praise to God.
Our function in the world, he says, is to declare or to proclaim something – To proclaim his excellences, the praises, the praise worthy acts of the one who has called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. This is our function – to be a community of people within this world which conveys the good news of God to others.