Sermon Notes: 11/15/2015
1 Peter 2:9-10
(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.
OUR PURPOSE: Proclaim the Excellencies of Him Who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
OUR IDENTITY: God’s People by God’s Mercy by God’s Design
GOD’S DESIGN: A Chosen Race of People for His Own Possession and A Holy Nation of Royal Priests
In the wilderness, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, God commanded Moses to speak these words to the people:
You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” (Exodus 19:4-6)
God then goes on to prescribe to the people of Israel what it would look like to be a HOLY NATION unto the Lord.
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:2-17)
He would then go on to prescribe the roles of priests… as mediators, as sacrifice makers. These priests would never serve as KINGS, though. God would be their king.
These laws were not just random musings of God. These laws were designed by God to SET APART His people from the world. He brought them out of slavery to be His.
This Kingdom of Priests and Holy Nation would be set apart in their…
WORSHIP– Worshiping the ONE TRUE GOD. No idols. No exchanging His glory for the glory of lesser things. Serving Him alone. Giving His Name the honor it deserves. Setting apart rest and worship to focus on Him alone. Because the people of God are a POSSESSED people, they belong to Him.
This Kingdom of Priests and Holy Nation would be set apart in their…
RELATIONSHIPS– Honoring one another. Selflessness over selfishness. Pursuing peace with others and not strife. Honoring Life. Honoring truth. Trusting God to provide for our needs.
Douglas Stuart, in his commentary on Exodus, gives us a great outline of how this Kingdom of Priests and Holy Nation should have played out in the people of Israel in order to proclaim the greatness and excellencies of God to each other and to the nations.
- Live (Incarnate) – Israel would be an example to the people of other nations, who would see its holy beliefs and actions and be impressed enough to want to know personally the same God the Israelites knew.
- Proclaim (Invite) – Israel would proclaim the truth of God and invite people from other nations to accept him in faith as shown by confession of belief in him and acceptance of his covenant.
- Intercede – Israel would intercede for the rest of the world by offering acceptable offerings to God (both sacrifices and right behavior) and thus ameliorate the general distance between God and humankind.
- Preserve (Inscribe) – Israel would keep the promises of God, preserving his word already spoken and recording his word as it was revealed to them so that once the fullness of time had come, anyone in the whole world could promptly benefit from that great body of divinely revealed truth, that is, the Scriptures.
HERE IS WHERE THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL ENTERS THE PICTURE FOR US.
Israel could not keep this law. They did not keep this law. They were not set apart and holy. They did not worship God as He deserves. They did not pursue peace and justice. They pursued selfishness. They did not want God as their king… they wanted earthly kings.
AND WE ARE LIKE THEM. All we have gone astray. We were all dead in our trespasses and sins. We were all in the darkness of slavery to SIN. We all wanted to be King.
- Sent Jesus… the Word made flesh… the King of Kings… AND the true High Priest. He would unite the roles of Priest and King in one person. Perfectly ruling and reigning and perfectly mediating God’s grace. He would rule the Kingdom and draw God’s people into the presence of God.
- Sent Jesus… fully fulfilling the law we could not keep. And by His death, resurrection and His Spirit, uniting us to Himself… giving us life out of death. “He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin…”
- Made us alive together with Christ. And made us a holy nation… giving us the righteousness of Christ…set apart… for His purposes… for His glory.
- Made us not just a Kingdom of Priests… but a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD. In the same what the roles of KING and PRIEST are united in Jesus… we, as His people, by His blood, begotten of the Father by grace through Faith and by His Spirit… with new spiritual DNA… are heirs of the Kingdom… both PRIESTS and KINGS.
APPLICATION: What does this look like?
- We will be like Jesus by living AMONG the people we have been called to minister to. We will be DIFFERENT… SET APART… to proclaim the excellencies of the one who has called us out of the darkness into light. As KINGS, we are set apart. As PRIESTS we find our purpose.
- We will be like Jesus by Proclaiming the Kingdom and the glory of God. We will invite others into the Kingdom and therefore into the Presence of God. As a holy nation we will proclaim to ALL NATIONS that Jesus is King. As KINGS we proclaim as those who belong to the Kingdom. As PRIESTS, we proclaim as those who are AMBASSADORS of the Kingdom.
- We will be like Jesus in PRAYING for the nations. Our desire is to intercede as a PRIEST for those who do not know the KING OF KINGS. We will offer our lives as sacrifices by right worship and right action to display the greatness of JESUS… As PRIESTS we will WORSHP properly and PRAY passionately. As KINGS, we will live as “more than conquerors,” knowing that our inheritance is not here… but is stored in heaven for us.
BELIEVERS: We are a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD… a PRIESTLY KINGDOM… we are God’s plan to reach a dying world. We are God’s plan to be ambassadors and take the message of reconciliation to the world. We are God’s plan to intercede for those who have never heard… and to proclaim the excellencies of Jesus who is their only hope to be part of the Kingdom.
NON-BELIEVERS: The Kingdom of God is made up of those who are holy… set apart… and holiness is only possible through the sacrifice of the holy Son of God… the true PRIEST KING. He has made sacrifice for your sins… place your faith in Him today.