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|Posted on September 12, 2016 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
Session 3 - 1 Peter 2:10 – Building Our Faith – Day 5
1 Peter 2:10 Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
Reformation Study Bible
Peter draws on the Septuagint of Hos. 1:6, 9, 10; and 2:23. In its original context, this is a prophecy about God’s embracing Israel after He had rejected her. Peter, like Paul (Rom. 9:25, 26), interprets the Hosea passages to include the reception of Gentiles into the people of God.
Romans 9:23-26 (NIV) What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea:
“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”
26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
The Israelites took pride in the fact that they were God’s chosen people, but for a time did not enjoy the benefit of that relationship due to their sin and inability to keep covenant with Him. The Gentiles were outsiders and not a part of the Israelite nation. However, through Jesus Christ, the Gentiles and those Jews who followed Jesus were now all included as God’s people.
How do we, as Gentiles, and really any person, Jew or Gentile, receive God’s mercy? By accepting that Jesus was The Truth and what He taught was truth, and by recognizing Him as the promised Messiah, we have obtained mercy. All people are sinners and do not merit the mercy of God; but by His grace we did not receive the punishment our sins deserved (mercy) and have received the promise of our heavenly hope (grace). We receive this gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins when we surrender our lives to Jesus.
Question: How does the knowledge that God calls us His people increase our faith? How should the mercy He has given us change our attitude toward Him?
Reflect: If you are not certain you belong to God, that you have obtained His mercy, talk to a Sunday School teacher, Pastor, or godly Christian friend. Ask them to explain the gospel, the good news that you can know Jesus personally, to you. We pray that the Holy Spirit will bring you to the point of surrendering your life completely to Jesus so that you may be a part of our forever family and obtain mercy and grace from the Father. You may also ask questions via our Contact/Prayer Request tab, and Susan and Susie will reply ASAP.
|Posted on September 10, 2016 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
Session 3 - 1 Peter 2:4-6 – Building Our Faith – Day 2
1 Peter 2:4 Coming to Him, a living stone—rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God— 5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Reformation Study Bible:
2:4 come to him. “Coming” to Christ includes initial repentance and faith, but the Greek tense implies a continual drawing near as well.
Briefly…how do we come to Christ in the first place? The Holy Spirit convicts us that we are separated from Holy God because of our sin. God is the only One that can properly deal with sin, the only One with the power and authority to do so. A person comes to the realization that God is offering the gift of Himself, of forgiveness, of payment of our debt of sin through the death of Christ on the cross. Then the person surrenders His life completely to Jesus and trusts that since Jesus was raised from the dead, we, too will be raised to walk with Him forever.
How do we continue coming to Christ? Many people would think immediately of the command in Hebrews that we need to worship together:
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NASB) and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
However, this is not the only way to continue coming to Christ. Abiding in the word of God, staying connected to our Source through prayer, through personal devotions, are all ways to draw near to Jesus.
John 15:5 (NASB) I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
John 15:7 (NASB) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Our asking must line up with the Father’s will. His will is made evident to us as we study His word.
John 15:10 (NASB) If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
We continue coming to Christ each day as we keep close to Him through prayer, Bible study, and loving God and other believers.
What does Peter mean when he calls Jesus a “living stone?” We found help for understanding this below:
Reformation Study Bible:
living stone. Christ is this stone (1 Cor. 10:4). The image of “rock” and “stone” is common in the Old Testament (Ps. 118:22; Is. 8:14; 28:16) and is applied by Jesus to Himself (Matt. 21:42). “Living” indicates that Christ is the source and giver of life (John 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:45). Jesus often uses imagery drawn from stonemasonry, a trade He was intimately acquainted with. Carpenters in antiquity worked with stones as well as wood.
Here Jesus is called a “living stone.” We find references to Jesus as the “stone that the builders rejected” in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke:
Matthew 21:42 (VOICE) Jesus: I wonder if any of you has ever opened your own psalter: The stone that the builders rejected has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation. This is the work of the Eternal One, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
Mark 12:10 (VOICE) Haven’t you read the Scriptures? As the psalmist says, The stone that the builders rejected has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation.
Luke 20:17 (VOICE) Jesus: Why then do the Hebrew Scriptures contain these words: The stone that the builders rejected has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation?
The religious leaders of His day, the builders of Judaism, rejected Jesus, the living stone. But God intended Him to be the cornerstone. We will address that further in the next lesson.
How are we living stones and how can we fit together to build a house of worship? We are living stones because we believe what Jesus taught and recognize Him as the Truth. Christianity was not designed to be a solo journey. Paul uses the imagery of the body to explain how we all work together to glorify God:
Romans 12:4-5 (NASB) For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Believers need each other working together in order to glorify God because that is the way He designed it. No one person has all the pieces, but each person has some pieces. God fits our individual gifts and talents together to make a body of believers ready to be His hands and feet in our world.
Priests in the Jewish religion were the ones who offered the animals on the altar as sacrifices as prescribed in the law. Jesus was our final sacrificial Lamb, so what kind of sacrifices do we, as a holy priesthood, need to offer? We lay down our lives, our gifts, our talents for the Lord’s purposes rather than for our own. We become the living sacrifices Paul described:
Romans 12:1 (HCSB) Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
Our sacrifices are the contrite spirit that David described in Psalm 51:
Psalm 51:16-17 (NKJV) For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
Our sacrifice needs to be obedience to all the Lord Jesus taught:
1 Samuel 15:22 (NKJV) So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
Question: Have you ever tried to “do it all yourself?” As believers we are to rely on one another, build each other up, and cooperate together as the body of Christ.
Challenge: Seek ways to connect with members of your local church in order to better serve the Lord. If your church has a Facebook community, join it to connect during the week. Find fellow believers where you work and connect with them. We are not intended to live this life as an island. John Donne had that much right. https://web.cs.dal.ca/~johnston/poetry/island.html
Especially as believers, if one part of the body suffers, the entire body is affected. If one part of the body of Christ is honored, we should all rejoice with him or her.
1 Corinthians 12:25-27 (NASB) …so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.