A People for God’s Own Possession

1 Peter 2:1-3 ESV

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

This message is for Christians and for those professing faith in Christ but whose faith is not genuine faith. This is how we, as Christians, are to live. And this is not optional. We can’t choose to reject this. We can’t go on making these types of things our practice and yet claim Jesus as Savior and Lord and heaven as our eternal destiny. Yes, we are not perfect people, but the Scriptures make it clear that we must walk by faith in obedience to our Lord in accord with God’s Spirit in order to have eternal life with God.

So, if we don’t put these things away, and other sinful practices, and we choose to hold on to our sins and to walk in their ways and not in the ways of God, then we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God regardless of what we have professed with our lips. And these are not my words. This is what Jesus taught and what Paul and the other apostles taught. So, please don’t take this casually or as a mere suggestion or recommendation. Put all sinful practices out of your life, by the grace of God (Titus 2:11-14).

And then long for the pure word of God to fill up your life and to obey it. Now, we don’t have to obey all the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, sacrificial and dietary laws and restrictions. And we don’t have to be circumcised (primarily for males, I believe). But faith in Jesus Christ is not lawless. We still have to obey our Lord’s commands, but the ones under the New Covenant. And his moral laws have remained intact. And this is how we grow up into salvation if indeed we are in Christ by genuine faith in him.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]

1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 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.”

Jesus Christ is God, but he is also the only begotten Son of God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. About 2000 years ago he left his throne in heaven, he humbled himself, he came to earth, and he was born in the likeness of men to a human mother, but he was conceived of the Holy Spirit. So, when Jesus walked this earth he was fully God and fully human. And he then became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross in order to save us humans from slavery to sin.

While he walked this earth he had a small number of close disciples who worked with him in his ministry the last 3 years of his life on earth. And then he had some others who were following him, too, and who were assisting him with his ministry. And he did have large crowds of people follow him for a while because of the miracles he performed. But largely he was despised and rejected by men, and the crowds eventually departed because his messages were too hard to listen to.

Now, the church is not a physical building or a church denomination or a business or a corporation of the state, even though many people have made it into those things. We who believe in Jesus are the church. We are living stones in God’s spiritual building and he is our cornerstone. And if we are following Jesus with our lives we are being built up as a spiritual house (not a physical one) to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. And that is to surrender our lives to Christ.

[Philippians 2:5-11; John 1:1-36; Isaiah 53:1-12; Romans 12:1-2]

1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV

“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. 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.”

Before Jesus Christ died and was resurrected from the dead there were human priests who offered up to God sacrifices once a year for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. These were the high priests and only they were able to go into the Holy of Holies. But in Jesus’ death the veil that stood between us and the Holy of Holies was torn in two and the way was opened for us now to come into the presence of our Holy God through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. So, we are a royal priesthood now.

As a holy nation, which is not a physical nation, but a spiritual nation, we are to live holy lives unto God. This is not just a status. This must be our practice. For we are to be holy in all of our conduct, in all that we do. And to be holy means to be set apart to God and to his service and to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. We are to give our lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, and we are to not be conformed to this world.

And then we are to be proclaiming (all of us) the excellencies of God (of Christ) who called us out of darkness (out of slavery to sin) into his marvelous light (truth, righteousness, holiness, godly living, no longer living in sin but walking in obedience to our Lord by the grace of God). In other words, we are to be sharing the truth of the gospel of our salvation with the people around us, including on social media, and we are to be calling people to repentance and to obedient walks of faith in our Lord Jesus.

[Rom 1:6-7; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-29; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 1:9; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Gal 5:13-21; Eph 1:3-4; Eph 2:10,21; Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Col 3:12; 1 Thess 4:7; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:21; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet 2:5-9,24; 2 Pet 1:3; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

1 Peter 2:11-12 ESV

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

Now, if we are living holy lives, separate from this world because we are becoming like Christ, then we are sojourners, strangers on this earth. This world is not our home. We do not belong to this world but to Christ. And so we are to be those who abstain from the sinful passions of our flesh. We are not to be those who make sin our practice. We are not to be addicted to sexual immorality, to lying, to cheating, to adultery, and to hate, etc. But now we are to be walking in conduct according to God’s Spirit.

And we are to keep our conduct honorable. We are not to be evildoers but we are to be living lives above approach in godliness and holiness and righteousness – as truth tellers, and not as liars, and as those who are faithful to our spouses, and who are not adulterous, and as those who are faithful to God to do his will for our lives and not as those who make sin their practice. For if we choose to continue in habitual sin and to not walk in holiness and righteousness we will not inherit eternal life with God even if we do profess faith in Christ with our lips. So, please take this seriously!

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

A Believer’s Prayer

An Original Work / July 31, 2012

With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.

Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.

Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.

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