1 Peter 2 v 4 - 10

On a personal note this passage reminds me of one of the churches I preached at during my time at Baptist College. It was a church in South Somerset and they asked me to preach on 1 Peter 2 v 9 as they said that it was their verse for the year and any visiting preacher had been asked to preach on this verse. It was November when I took the service, so possibly half a dozen preachers had been there before me, which made it tricky to think of anything new to declare! However, that is a powerful verse declaring that we are now royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession! I have been reading through the book of Leviticus and it has been reminding me of what the Priests had to do: butchery, cooking, detection of mildew, detection of leprosy and at one point they are called to go into the mass of Israelites and start slaughtering people! They were considered to be totally on God's side, even if that meant opposing their family. We are of those who walk this earth, but are no longer fully of this earth. If the Government was to bring in legislation banning church gatherings (not including in this Covid period), then we may well have to disobey the legislation and risk arrest and imprisonment. Ultimately, our foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ and no other person or object or goal. There are perhaps only a small minority of people who have a similar one-eyed goal for life. Peter brings in some big ideas here: 1. The stone which the builders rejected. This image is taken from Psalm 118 v 22 and is also used by Jesus in telling the Parable of the Tenants (Matthew 21 v 42). The Psalmist would have intended it to be seen as the nation of Israel; Jesus took that picture and applied it to Himself. There are a couple of passages in Isaiah which refer to this symbolic stone- 28 v 16 and 8 v 13,14- and Jesus is a sure foundation to all who accept Him. 2. The nature of the Church. Christianity is community, individual Christians find their true place only when they are built into that structure. Bricks only have any use when joined with others to make a whole. 3. The glory of the Church. When we come to know Jesus, we no longer need to feel our way forward, we receive light to follow Him, for in Jesus is the Light of the knowledge of God. 4. The function of the Church. Remember that Peter is a Jew, a man steeped in the Old Testament and he is reminded of Exodus 19 v 5 and 6 as he writes. The great promises God made to His people Israel are being fulfilled to the Church, the new Israel!

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