February 19: A New Identity (1 Peter 2:4-10)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
Josh Herring will continue a series on spiritual disciplines at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).
1 Peter 2:4-10
4) As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5) you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6) For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7) So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10) Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
After reminding us of the wonder of our salvation, Peter now instructs the church concerning their new identity as the true people of God. These Gentile believers need to know the glorious heritage of belonging to God. Keep in mind that this is set in the context of a people living in exile. This exile is not literal but figurative representing the challenges Christians face as they live in this earth while also being citizens of heaven. Living in exile challenges our identity. Peter does not want the pressure of this world to change, dilute, or confuse who we are in Jesus. So he encourages us by pointing out the blessings associated with being the people of God, by reminding us that we have access to him for all things, by promising to build us up into the people of God, and by highlighting the privilege of proclaiming the glories of God in salvation.
Review and Apply
How does he describe Jesus in verse 4? How is this your experience of him?
How would you identify yourself to another? Upon what have you built an identity?
How do these verses challenge this?
How does he describe the church in verse 4-5? Speak to this in your own words.
What does it mean that 'they stumble because they disobey the word as they were destined to do?' Explain the tension in this verse.
How do these terms in 9 describe your new identity? What needs to change in your life for these terms to be true for you?
How is it evidenced that you are now part of God's people?