North Anderson Baptist Church
Living as the Chosen of God
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Peter continues to point out to the believer that we are the Chosen of God. He gives guidelines on how we are to grow up into Christ and then reminds us that Jesus is the One in whom we build our lives upon. He tells his readers that the Old Testament called Christ, the Cornerstone, which was rejected by the Jewish leadership and caused them to stumble in their faith. Peter reminds us that we have been redeemed for a reason and he expands on that so we can see God’s desires for us as His followers.
I have divided these ten verses up into three parts:
1. Growing up in Christ - v. 1-3
2. The Living Stone and stones - v. 4-8
3. But you - v. 9-10
1. Growing up in Christ - v. 1-3

Growing up in Christ really includes getting rid of some things in our lives that are not pleasing to the Lord and detrimental to our Christian life. Notice the emphasis on our “getting rid of things in our lives.” What good can malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy or slander do for the believer? Do we have to explain what these mean? Do we really understand what damage they can do to the life of one who follows Jesus? Can one even be a believer and have those sins in their lives? Yes, why else would Peter mention them and then talk right after that about growing up into your salvation if a Chrstian couldn’t experience those sins? I think though, the true point Peter is making is that you can not be the growing believer, who is maturing in their faith, if one does not actively seek to rid them out of their life.

I really do like what the writer of the commentary on these verses, 2-3, have to say from the Life Application Bible. It says: “One characteristic all children share is that they want to grow up—to be like big brother or sister or like their parents. When we are born again, we become spiritual newborn babies. If we are healthy, we will yearn to grow. How sad it is that some people never grow up. The need for milk is a natural instinct for a baby, and it signals the desire for nourishment that will lead to growth. Once we see our need for God's Word and begin to find nourishment in Christ, our spiritual appetite will increase, and we will start to mature. How strong is your desire for God's Word?”

Have you thought about growing in Christ or have you been satisfied at the point you are now? Growing takes work!

I remember when I was a boy, I would go to my mom and ask her why my legs hurt all the time. She would tell me that they were “growing pains.” I believe every Christian has growing pains when they are in the process of becoming a mature believer. It is hard work and takes a toll at times on our lives to grow, getting rid of sin and adding to our life the things of God, that might be at odds with the “desires of our flesh.” So, Peter clearly reminds us to grow we must get rid of some things in our lives that hinder our growth. Those listed by Peter might not be your sins that need to be eliminated from your life as a Christian seeking to grow up into the Lord Jesus, but there are some and if we are willing to ask God is faithful, by the Holy Spirit, to reveal to us what are our weaknesses and sin.

In growing in Christ we need to “crave” pure spiritual milk, so that we can become a mature Christian. Peter is reminding us that the Christian life is about growing through the Word of God. We must as a little baby want the milk that will help us grow. But babies don’t stay babies and this milk Peter speaks of continues to help us grow into maturity. Here though, unlike the baby they stop craving milk and going onto more mature food, the milk of the Word of God is what Christian will continue to take from to be able to grow and mature.

J. Vernon McGee said in his commentary on this part of Peter the following, “My friend, without a hunger for the Word of God you will not grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. You will not develop as a Christian -- you will always be in your babyhood. We must remember that a little baby and a full-grown man are both human beings, but they are in different stages of growth and development. The little one needs milk so he can grow up to become a man. Now, how does a Christian grow? He grows by studying the Word of God. There is no growth apart from the Word of God.
I receive letters from many pastors who tell me that they are wet nurses for a lot of little babes. As one pastor said, "I spend my time burping spiritual babies!" Those babies should grow up so they wouldn't need a pastor to pat them and burp them all the time. And they would grow if they desired the pure milk of the Word.”
2. The Living Stone and stones - v. 4-8

Who is this “Living Stone?” He is none other than Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior of the world! He is the “Living” Stone designated by the word “Living” because Christ rose from the dead and lives forevermore. Notice as the Living Stone Jesus was:
- Rejected by men
- Chosen by God
- Precious to God

We have understood these things about Jesus for years; He was rejected by men, the Jewish leadership, the Romans, the religious Jews and all who would not believe the truth. Being the Chosen of God was clear because of all the Scripture that was fulfilled by Jesus in life and death. He was God's only Son who came to redeem the world through a plan that God set up from the foundation of the world. He was precious to God and loved by His Father. Their relationship while Christ was on this earth was of being ONE with one another. Jesus spoke of the oneness of the Father and the Son much in what He told His disciples. He was the precious gift of God to the world that He created. It should be clear to all that Peter never thought “he” was the rock Jesus spoke of when Jesus said,
The living stones, what were they? The living stones are the church, the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter reminded the readers that they too are like living stones. Notice, he says that we are being built into a spiritual house, would that be the church? The church is made up of living followers of the Lord and it is not a physical building but a spiritual house of the Lord. That is what this “church” is, a house of the Lord. Again, notice that Peter says this spiritual house is being built. The house is not complete but still one stone at a time being built. One stone at a time? What does that mean? I believe it means that you and I are tasked to bring others to become living stones so they can be a part of this spiritual house and with each one added then the house grows larger and built stronger for the Lord. We are related to the Living Stone by being living stones, Jesus died for this spiritual house we are a part of and therefore we are to honor Him as this house lives and grows.
We who are a part of this house are “to be” a holy priesthood. What does that mean for you and me? The lives we live ought to be lived with holiness, thinking about the characteristics we spoke of last week. We are to be holy as He is holy, so therefore we should consecrate our lives to be holy unto to God.
Peter says we are to offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. Again, what does that mean? What kind of spiritual sacrifices can we make to God through Jesus? Paul told us that God desires that a reasonable spiritual sacrifice is to be me and you, living and sacrificing ourselves to God and in the service of the Lord. But we have to give our lives, our loyalty and love completely to God because Jesus our Savior died for us. In the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Romans 12:1 says,
Notice, in this translation of the Bible, Paul says that your living sacrifice “is your spiritual service of worship.”
Peter now goes to the Old Testament to prove His thoughts. Using Isaiah and Psalms, he reminds those who knew the OT that Isaiah clearly and prophetically told the people that Jesus would be “the” Stone in Zion, that chosen, precious Cornerstone. Isaiah even reminds them that if someone trusts in the Cornerstone, whom we know is Jesus, that they would never be put to shame. Yes, they may die, be it not to their shame but to the glory of God and the honor of God, to whatever might happen to His followers.
Peter reminds those who would not believe, those who reject this Living Stone, He - Jesus became the “Capstone.” What is a capstone? A capstone is the finishing stone for a project, it generally provides protection for what has been built, for instance the capstone on the great pyramid. This stone finishes the project and is the primary stone. Jesus is the primary Stone of the church and not only did He finish the church, He also started the church. Being the Cornerstone and the Capstone he provides all the church needs. But, isn’t it interesting that this Stone, Jesus, is the Stone the builders, the Children of Israel, rejected. Christ was to come from the “House of God,” the Jewish people and those who were keepers of that house not only didn’t accept him they rejected Him so clearly and publicly. They stumbled over Jesus Christ and that Stone brought them to a great fall. Disobedience causes a person to fall and accordingly that was what God called for in the plan laid out for the Jewish nation.
3. But you - v. 9-10

What a wonderful list Peter gives to describe the Christians and the church.
- A chosen people
- A royal priesthood
- A holy nation
- A people belonging to God

Each of these share some kind of characteristic of the church of Jesus Christ. Speaking of the church, we are these things: we are chosen of God for all that He desires for us. We have become His adopted children to be a part of His family, who belong to God and Him alone. We have become royal, and yet priests. God calls us to be in that relationship to allow us to personally call upon Him, we don’t have to go through anyone else. We are called to bring others to God as well, so they can have that relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
And lastly, we are a holy nation. Christians make up the church and as we have said, God calls us to be holy as He is holy and therefore we are a holy nation being filled by the God who has redeemed us, we could be nothing less. You and I used to be like those who rejected Christ but now we are different because of the Gospel, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and therefore we are to act differently and look like Jesus in all that we do, say and who we are in our heart.
Saying all of that, Peter continues this part of the letter by presenting the purpose of the church. He clearly says we are to “declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” What does that mean? God has called you and me to praise God for what He did for us. We are to tell of His great blessings that He bestowed on us who were once in darkness, death and despair but because of Jesus, we were called into this wonderful light that God has brought to this world where a new life can be possessed by those called of God. We should shout those praises to the highest heaven and to all who will hear the truth of what Jesus Christ has done, not just for us, but for all who would believe.
Peter says that before Jesus we were not people of God but after He saved us, we were the people of God; once we did not receive mercy from God but now because of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus we have received the mercy of God. All we are and all we have as the church of Jesus Christ is because of Jesus, not anything we have done. It is free mercy and grace because of His sacrifice for all mankind at the cross.
Do we not have an obligation to tell others of this mercy and grace to be freely given to them, if they believe by faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God who died for their sins and rose to give eternal life to them?
Today, if you are here or watching by the internet or Facebook, you too can know the light and salvation of Jesus Christ by believing in Him, through faith, trusting in Him even though you might not understand all that He has given you, but just surrender all you have and are to Him and let Him have your heart and life. You have no hope. He is the hope for the hopeless! You need mercy, He can bring you all you need even though you don’t deserve that mercy. Are you wandering around in the darkness, come to the light!
To you today who are living stones, believers, part of the body of Christ and saved, be reminded what our responsibilities are because we are saved. We are to praise God our Savior and Lord for all He has done and who He is and tell of His great Gospel to others who are in the darkness and lost. Have you done that for your ONE?

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com