Sunday, February 3, 2013

1 Peter 2: 4 - 9

1 Peter 2:4   Tells us about a Living Stone who will be rejected by men by who is in God's sight chosen and precious. Later on in verse 6 and 7 it states that this stone that if you belive in it will not be put to shame but will be honored and on the other hand those who do not believe, that stone will be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. That stone is of course, Jesus Christ. The Jewish nation was chosen by God to be the vechicle by which God would show the Lord Jesus Christ, but because the majority did not believe, Christ became a stumbling block, He was actually an offense to the Jewish nation on a whole,because they were looking for a Messiah that was going to judge and be wrathful to those who oppressed them and restore them to power. Although that was a legitimate expectation for the Messiah is going to judge and display wrath and restore the universe under His rightful rule. But He was also going to do acts of mercy and compassion, and He was going to operate accordingly to His sovereign timetable not according to their. So Christ was a stumbling block to the people who had the Tabernacle, the Temple both of which God's Glory Shone (Exodus 40:34-38) was on display, but they missed it.

1 Peter verse5 is an amazing, wonderful truth of our union with Christ - it says that we are living stones - indicating our union with Christ - and just as the Temple in Jerusalem was built up so are we these living stones in Christ are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. The priest in Israel had immediate access to God and he served Him personally. You and I as Christians are priests before God we can come into God's Holy of Holies at anytime. The High Priest in Israel was the only one who could go into the Holy of Holies and he only did that once a year. We can go in everyday. Everyday we can minister to God in His very presence. Every single day!! The reason we can is because we are being made a Holy People, we are of the Body of Christ, we can offer spiritual prayers for one another, for our nation, for our neighbors, for those who dislike us, for those all  over the world. We can offer these prayers up to God at anytime, and God accepts our spiritual sacrifices, and note they are sacrifices, the people in Israel had to bring an animal from their flocks and give it to the High Priest so that the High Priest could offer it up to God on behave of the person who brought it. Our sacrifice is not a animal but our own heart that has been broken, our will that has been humbled, our pride that has been torn down. The incense that the High Priest waves before the Lord rose up to Him, the smell of the sacrificed animal burning rose up to Him when you read through Leviticus as these things rose up to God it says "with a pleasing aroma to the LORD." Our spiritual sacrifices are only pleasing or acceptable to God because of Jesus Christ.

At Church today Pastor Burke spoke about the Church and the love God has for it. His reference was Ephesians 2 but he said to read Ephesians 1 to see all the times the expressions "in Christ," "through Christ," "by Christ," "for Christ," "with Christ."  This is true throughout the New Testament. There is no way you can come away from reading a book in the New Testament and not realize that all that we have we have because of Jesus Christ.

Christ is still a rock of offense, some religions do not give Christ His proper place as God. Some organizations that call themselves Christian do not accord Jesus Christ with His proper place as God.
Jesus Christ is the turning point - He is the fulcrum of history, our abode for all eternity rides on whether you believe Jesus Christ is that Precious Cornerstone or whether has become a Rock of Offense to you. Verse 8 says that those who stumble at Christ do so because they disobey the Word, as they were destined to do.

Peter states that those who do not stumble over Christ are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession so that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. This speak our witness in service to Christ we are called to serve the Body of Christ. The gifts Christ gives us are not for us individually, they are given so that we may share them with the Body of Christ, this mutual sharing of the gifts of Christ brings encouragement and strength to the whole Body of Christ.

Father, Thank you that you have broken down the wall of all the hearts of all Christians and caused them not to stumble over Christ. Thank you Lord Jesus for providing access for us to enter the Holy of Holies at any time, and thank you Holy Spirit for opening our hearts to your Word and leading us onward and upward. Thank you Lord that we can offer to you spiritual sacrifices for one another that are acceptable to you because of  Jesus Christ.

Blessings!     1 Peter 2:10 next time.

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