Okay, well welcome. My name is Ben Lander Pastor here at sewer church. Thank you for joining us here either in person or online. Turn with me to 1st Peter chapter two We’ll be working through vs one through 10 today. A few years ago I had the chance to be involved with building house and one of the things we want to do is build a garage. This is the first time that I was involved with building a garage and so I learned a lot. And one of the things I learned is just how important the foundation is when you’re building a structure. And so the foundation, the footings, it had to be, you know, solid, we had to dig down deep so it’s below the frost line. So you know, it wouldn’t be affected by the winter and summer thought and all that kind of stuff. You had to have it solid square, you know, because the pad that your car sits on the structure itself, the wood, all of it is sitting on this foundation. And so if the foundation is bad, then the house is bad. Foundation is good and solid, then you’re good on your garage. And our passage today talks about how when someone comes to christ becomes a disciple of jesus, that jesus makes them into a living stone and he’s a cornerstone, he’s the foundation that this spiritual house is being built upon. And the passage also lays out how we are priests. So this series title is called Real ID. And so there’s two different identities to different aspects of who we are in christ that we’re talking about this morning. One is that we’re living stones and the others that were priests. Okay. And so we’re going to be looking through the passage and looking at what those means. Uh, but before we do, let’s pray and then turn with me to first peter chapter two versus one through 10, Lord jesus. We ask you to speak to us this morning. We ask you to take and make your word living and active in our hearts and our lives encourages challenges, strengthen us, refresh us from your word. And uh we pray that you would speak, enlighten the eyes of our heart. Lord in jesus name Amen. So I’m going to read the passage in its entirety and then we’ll go back and work through the first three verses here to start. Therefore rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy envy and all slander like newborn infants desire the pure milk of the word so that you may grow up into your salvation if you have tasted that the Lord is good as you come to him, A living stone rejected by people but chosen an honor by God. You yourselves as living stones. A spiritual house are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through jesus christ. For it stands in scripture. See I lay a stone in Zion. Had chosen an honored cornerstone and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame. So honor will come to you who believe. But for the unbelieving the stone, the builders rejected this one has become the cornerstone and a stone to stumble over in Iraq. To trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word. They were destined for this. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation of people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises the one who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. Once you are not a people, but now you are God’s people, you have not received mercy. But now you have received mercy. So you have to remember as we read this passage here, that back in the day there was no numbers, no verses and it would be kind of unnatural to just all of a sudden stop at the end of chapter one and to continue on a week later in chapter two. And so this is a series of continual thoughts. And so we have to remember and we have to turn back in starting to look at chapter two verse one. You have to remember. Okay, he says, therefore that’s the first word he starts with. You have to remember. Okay, what do we talked about last week? What design talk about last week because the thought that follows is directly linked and connected to the previous thought. And so the the culmination of the passage last week, it’s kind of building and it’s all based on the Gospel. So he’s peter’s talking about, You weren’t redeemed by things like gold and silver. You can’t buy your way into heaven, You can’t buy your forgiveness, You’ve committed these sins and you are in trouble. The only thing that saved you was the precious blood of jesus christ. And then he brings this this concept too close, he says, and this is the God. The word is the gospel that was proclaimed to you. So because of the gospel, therefore, then he leads with chapter two versus one, because you’ve been redeemed by the precious blood of christ. Therefore get rid of the junk, therefore get rid of malice, deceit, hypocrisy envy and all slander. Therefore, instead of consuming garbage, consume the pure milk of the word. Let’s read this like newborn infants desire the pure milk of the words that you may grow up into your salvation if you tasted that, the Lord is good. So because you’ve been redeemed by his precious blood, therefore get rid of all malice. It has to be linked together. You can’t just try in your own to get rid of that stuff. It’s the gospel, it’s the grace of God that allows you then to get rid of that stuff. What we need is this milk of the Word of God. He’s giving us an illustration, is giving us a word picture that we can see and understand and that word picture has to do with little babies and what babies need is they need milk, their stomachs cannot handle other food. Milk is what sustains them. Milk is what gives them life. Milk is what gives them sustenance that they can grow right? And you know, if you try to feed little babies, something other than milk, they choke. I mean, they don’t know how to eat food, They need milk. And little babies would suffer tremendously and in fact, they would die if they only drank something like Kool Aid. Um you know, uh Kool Aid is great. It’s sugar water essentially with some artificial flavoring, right? But but can a baby surviving kool Aid? Absolutely not. And when babies are hungry, they crave the milk. In fact, if there’s a hungry baby right here right now in this auditorium, everyone would know it, right? They start letting everybody know I want some milk and if you wait a little bit longer, then they’re like, I want some milk now and they start screaming and they start hollering and they they will not stop screaming. In fact, they start screaming so hard, they’re turning red in the face and they’re just really mad. It’s like give me food now I need that milk. And so peter is using this illustration of a little baby craving this milk to show us. Not only do you need to get rid of the mouse, get rid of the N. B. Get rid of the slander. You know, not only have this, you know, pushing those things away, but you need to instead be replenishing, be focusing on filling yourself with the word craving the milk of the Word of God craving this destiny since only God provides. Because if you don’t you’re only temporarily kind of saving your hunger with something like Kool Aid. The thing about cool. It is it tastes great, but it only temporarily kind of numbs that hunger for just a little bit right? And uh and it and it tastes amazing. I like cooling, but but it’s just a little bit of sugar. And I don’t know if you’ve done this before, but you know, like if if you have kool Aid, like an hour before you’re supposed to eat lunch. You know, you’re like hungry. You have kool Aid. Well, then all of sudden you’re no longer hungry. You don’t feel hungry. It just kind of numbs that hunger pain through quick bursts of sugar and carbs, right? But what you really need is you really need sustenance. What we really need is we really need the milk of the word. And kind of in this illustration, kool Aid is the other things, other things that we don’t need. But we kind of like the kind of tastes good entertainment, sin, the pleasures of the world, the pursuit of money. Or depending upon your own strength, trying to live rightly through your own strength, or depending upon the law two DUIs and don’t you know, trying to find meaning and purpose in those things and it only those things, the partying whatever. It only temporarily Seitz what you really want and what you really need, which is the milk of the Word of God. Only God and his word can cause us to grow those other things do not cause you to grow, he’s the only one that can bring about transformation growth and to be like christ and to live like christ, it only comes through him and sometimes we can just kind of try to focus on getting into the junk. But these are interconnected thoughts. Not only do you need to avoid the bad stuff, you need to be actively pursuing and consuming and craving the milk of the word. Just a quick question to you, what is your attitude towards the milk of the word? Are you craving that or have you numbed yourself on other things? You kind of temporarily sated your hunger but you’re starving to death psalm 34 8 is the verse that’s referenced here in verse three. If you taste that the Lord is good and peter is bringing in the old testament passage to that says taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him when you when you really get a dose of what you want, what you really need, it is so good taste and see that the Lord is good. His word is so good and it’s what we need To move to verse four as you come to him a living stone rejected by people but chosen and honored by God. This whole thought here starts out with as you come to him and everything that follows after this is dependent upon that phrase. And so for those of you listening today, either online or here in person, have you come to him? That’s the question. Because everything else as you come to him, you have to come to him, you have to connect with him. You have to yield yourself to him. You have to be humble and say, okay Lord, I come to you, I need you. I admit that I need you. He’s the living stone. He’s the foundation, the cornerstone. You have to come to him to taste and see that he’s good. You have to come to him as he has the living stone. The cornerstone, you have to admit that you’re correct that your losses, you desperately need him and that there’s no way that you can be good even though you’ve tried to be, you need to say jesus, I need you, save me for myself and my sins. Nothing else that follows in the rest of this passage is applicable unless you can unless you’ve come to jesus unless you’ve come to him. Now there’s this phrase Livingstone, I think that’s interesting because Peter here is the author and when Peter’s very name was given to him by jesus, he says, your name will be Peter, which means rock. And he and jesus says, and upon this rock, I will build this church. And so Peter as the author of what he’s saying right here, he’s saying, jesus is this Livingstone is cornerstone. And Peter starts talking about this house of stones by talking about jesus, first and foremost as the foundation as the cornerstone. He doesn’t mention anything about how he’s involved, about how Peter’s involved. And so he puts the focus and the emphasis on Christ 1st and foreign most for what the house, the churches being built upon. And so I think Peter’s saying, make no mistake, make no mistake christian. I am just a stone built on christ as well. He’s the cornerstone, he’s the foundation, he’s the one that this house is built upon, he’s the one who is living, he’s a living stone. And he uses his phrase Livingstone, it’s not a stone of this earth, right? I don’t know about you, but all the stones that I’ve ever seen, they’re not living, they’re dead right there, inanimate objects, they’re just stones and you drop them, they’re not living. But he calls jesus a living stone, he is living not dead. And then he says, you yourselves as living stones, a spiritual house are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through jesus christ. So then he calls us as well, you and I who have yielded ourselves soon, you and I who have come to him, we then to become living stones because this livingstone, this cornerstone then makes us alive, we are living because he is living and because we have come into contact with the living cornerstone, he makes us alive notice again here it says are being built to be holy priesthood. Christ is the one doing the building throughout this passage. It’s always pointing back to jean, is always pointing back to christ. He’s the one doing the work. He’s the one that provides the sustenance, he’s the one that has saved us, He’s the one who makes us alive. He’s the one who’s building our lives into this spiritual temple. This household christ is the builder and he fits us into place in his plan perfectly. We as living stones are also here then described as priests are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through jesus christ. So both here and in verse nine as we read verse nine a little bit ago, the church is called a priesthood. Do you see yourself as a priest? You know, sometimes we can kind of get this this concept in our mind uh maybe from interacting with different face or interacting with with different um churches. There’s this concept, it’s kind of, it’s kind of scary concept of being a priest, but we’re going to look at some of what it means to be a priest this morning and some of the duties, what are the duties of a priest, you know? Okay, think of yourself as a priest because you are a priest, if you’ve come to him and he’s made you alive, then he’s building us into this household and you are a priest. And the very next verse gives us an answer. One of the duties of the priest is to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. But once again, the spiritual sacrifices are acceptable with God through jesus christ. There again, it’s through christ that these sacrifices become pleasing to God. So we’re going to talk a little bit. I want to take a little bit of a teacher to look through other scripture, to see what does this mean to does it look like to offer living sacrifices? Because Peter doesn’t describe what this means very much. He describes it a little bit, But he doesn’t describe it. So, we’re gonna look at some other verses. What are these spiritual sacrifices? 1st 1 is our bodies. Okay, Romans. Chapter 12 verse one says, offer your bodies as living sacrifices. This is your spiritual act of worship. And what that means is that everything we do with our body should be done as an act of worship. So when you eat, when you drink, when you work, when you drive, when you cook, when you entertain, when you train your Children where everything that you do, everything that you do, you’re offering your body is a living sacrificing and it’s done so that it’s an act of worship to the Lord and what that is so cool as priests. We offer these living sacrifice. We offer our bodies. It brings meaning and purpose and glory to God. In everyday little things. You can sweep the floor for the glory of God as an act of worship. You can sit down at work and do data entry for the glory of God and it brings him praise and glory. It’s so good you can be building and constructing and doing whatever it is you do, taking out the garbage for the glory about everything has meaning and purpose and glory as you’re offering your body as a living sacrifice is you’re bringing him worship and glory in the things that you do. First Corinthians 1031, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. And so our job as priests is to offer living sacrifices. And one of that ways to do it is just everything you do. You give him glory secondly, praise hebrews 13 15 it says therefore let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God. And so when we praise him it’s a sacrifice. And the way that I try to do this is I just try throughout the day just all the time. Just little little things just to say thank you Lord just to acknowledge and recognize and praise God for that, you know. So it’s like, you know the things that I eat or I walk outside on my deck and I feel that some warm sunshine, it’s like, oh that’s nice. Hey, thank you Lord. Just those little things, little steps of progress, little things that I’m blessed by all the time. I’m just thanking Lord. I’m offering him praise. Later in verse nine, we’re going to talk about this more but says that you may proclaim the praises the one who brought you out of darkness when we offer praise. It is a sacrifice. The next verse Hebrews 13 16. Don’t neglect doing good and sharing for with such sacrifices. God is pleased when again through christ you do good for other people. It’s a sacrifice and God is pleased when you act in faith through christ our Lord, jesus, help me to serve this other person. I’m gonna do this thing for my neighbor just to do good. God looks down, he’s like, yes, that is good. I’m pleased with that as a priest, that’s a sacrifice. And then lastly generosity. There’s other things too. But I want to highlight these main ones. Whole book of Philippians paul, it’s a thank you letter and he kind of wraps up the book and he thanks them for their gift of money. And he says, this is a sacrifice. And so being generous as a way to offer a sacrifice, as a priest, as a priesthood to offer these spiritual sacrifices. And again, though it has to be done through christ, that’s how it becomes pleasing to God. If you’re doing them on your own, you’re just trying to get these things your own strength, whatever. It’s not through christ. That’s not the key. The words we say the actions, we do, the deeds we do. The bodies we offer. We need to do so through christ through his strength, not from ourselves. Mm hmm. We then work. We praise. We do good, We’re generous. We give our bodies through christ by his strength for his glory, for his praise. And it offers that spiritual sacrifice and it’s so good. Let’s go to verse six for standard scripture, cl a stone’s I and a chosen and honored cornerstone. The one who believes in him will never be put to shame. That’s referencing Isaiah 26 18. Mhm So peter begins to again quote other scriptures to build this case for living stones, jesus is the cornerstone. So honor will come to you who believe. But for the unbelieving the stone that the builders rejected, this one has become the cornerstone psalm 1, 18 22 and a stone to stumble over in Iraq to trip over Isaiah 14, they stumble because they disobey the word, they were destined for this, jesus as a living stone. Here is something you either build your life upon or it’s something that you reject and ultimately will stumble over with jesus. There’s a clear choice and it’s a decision that each person has to make. You either have him be your foundation, your cornerstone or you do your own thing and you reject him. There is no other way, there’s one or the other and that decision is before you and some, some in this room have chosen to make christ as your foundation, as your cornerstone, your life and he’s the one in charge. Others of you may be investigating maybe your online and you’re just checking us out, checking out what this christian thing is and you’re trying to figure out what does it mean to make christ the cornerstone? What does it look like? How much does it cost? Am I willing to do that? And I’m here to tell you it does cost everything, cost everything. It requires you to set aside what you wanna do. It requires you be humble and to submit yourself to jesus and say, okay jesus, you are what? I’m going to build my life. Fun. You are the one that’s going to shape me and mold me as a living stone. You give up control and you have to surrender it all to jesus and it cost you everything. I did that. As a young man at age 13, I’ve had many chances throughout my life to reconfirm that and say, Okay Lord, once again, you are God, I am not. I yield myself to you. My life is not my own, it’s yours, jesus and I’m here to tell you it is so worth it. What I have is so much better than any of those other things. Any of the cool aid things so much better than partying. So much better than sleeping around. So much better than having lots of money or power. And I see people all around me chasing after those things, maybe chasing after the sports dream for their kids, chasing after the american dream, whatever that may be. I see people around me working 50 60 hours a week, trying to chase the next promotion, trying to get a lot of money and they’re willing to sacrifice all kinds of things for its sacrifice, their marriage, sacrifice time with their kids. I had someone tell me just the other day, they’re getting ready to retire. And so I went and I’m like, hey, give me some advice, you know, like what have you learned as you worked for many years, What have you learned? And they said this, they said, hey set aside the ego, you know, like I said, I didn’t do that, I wanted to go up the ladder and they regretted it because they missed so much time with their kids. In fact, right now they’re retiring early so that they can actually be a grandparent because there’s so much demands on their time in this position that they’re in, that like it’s just too many hours. I’m not gonna, I didn’t get much time with the kids and now I’m not gonna get any time with our grandkids and they said it’s not worth it, satisfied the ego, enjoy your family, which is which I am doing. I see people around and it’s not worth it. But pursuing the life that christ gives us even though it means that we have to humble ourselves and let him be in control. It is so worth it. Even though there’s difficulty and trial and hardship and suffering and sometimes suffering just because you’re christian, it is so worth it. And it is a life lived well and a life lived with purpose and a life lived with an opportunity to do all the little things for the glory of God. And it’s satisfying and it is so good. It’s a life that builds reward in the eternity. Not now. So you won’t see those now, but you will see them when you get to heaven and we will be blown away utterly astounded when we stand before the Lord and he pours out the reward. And you’ll just be shocked at how those little things means so much to the Lord. And it will instantly you’ll just go, man, that was so worth it. And I wish I had, you know, you need even more. Give up the temporary pleasures of this life, Give up the kool aid and live for christ, surrender yourself to him. You’ll never regret it. Be a living stone, be a priest as part of God’s Holy household and temple move to verse nine. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy Nation of people for his possession. That you may proclaim the praises the one who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you’re God’s people, you had not received mercy. But now you have received mercy. Again, each of these phrases, Holy priesthood, Royal Nation, Holy Nation. They’re all referencing versus in Deuteronomy, in an exodus Isaiah all over the place. He’s building again. This case that this is who God has. This is part of God’s plan, these living stones, this royal priesthood, this identity that we have in christ. It’s all part of his plan. It has been for a long time. These sacrifices as part of being living stones. They’re done by a priesthood, which is what we’ve already talked about it. It’s us and we’ve talked about some of these duties as priests. It’s for each and every one of us. It’s not just for the pastor’s just for someone who’s paid to be in church on a church staff. You are the priesthood. We are the priesthood and this theological concept, it’s called the priesthood of all believers. It’s one of our core values and mike’s probably talking about it in that other room back there. But why did God choose us to make us priests? Why did he choose us as a holy nation? Why did he choose us as a people? Will? The verse tells us, it’s so that we may proclaim his praises, so we may proclaim him who called us out of darkness and into his wonderful light, marvelous light, glorious light, This new life in christ. And this verse tells us kind of what it looks like to proclaim his praises. What does that look like? It’s simply sharing your story. It’s sharing how God is taking you out of the darkness and brought you into light. He’s sharing how he’s transformed you, How is incredible mercy saved you and brought you into the light into this family believers into this this household of God, this temple share how he’s shaped and formed you as a living stone. That’s what he’s talking about or to proclaim him and in America right now this culture is changing and it’s changing significantly and the country is moving, has moved into a post christian culture, becoming more of an anti christian culture. And that can be difficult, that it can be hard for many years. It was, you know, kind of this, this culture where there was this belief in God, there’s this general, you know, church kind of, you know, people go to church, you know, all of this stuff that’s changing and it’s changing rapidly and in the future. Um it will be very different and and it’s becoming anti christian and so it used to be that if you wanted to uh you know, to quote unquote evangelize, uh it’s kind of an old word, but if you wanted to, to tell people about jesus, you could easily just invite him the church, Hey, come with me and you’ll learn. Um or you could just start up a spiritual conversation with somebody on the street and you talk about God, you talk about jesus and they already had some sort of foundation of understanding about who God was and all that kind of stuff because in general, the culture was this, you know, kind of this christian christian type culture, but that’s changing to a culture that doesn’t have that background, doesn’t necessarily believe in God. And it can be very intimidating for us to go well, how do I, how do I talk to people from that different worlds and we need to learn and we’ll be able to hopefully help equip us as a church, we learn how to do that. But this first is so encouraging because it tells us something that is timeless, tells us something that no matter what the culture is something you and I can do. And that is just to simply share our story. To simply share with somebody else how God has changed and transform your life. It’s so powerful. That’s our responsibility to say here’s how I used to be and then this is how christ is transforming. I used to be in the darkness, I used to be like this and how God’s changing me here. And this is how he’s changed me in the last couple of years. Here’s how he’s changed in the last couple of months. Here’s how he’s changed me in the last couple of weeks, right? All of us can do that and all of us should do that because when we do that, we’re praising him, were proclaiming his praises because he’s called us out of Darkness into his wonderful light. He’s changing, transformed us as priests and it’s so easy to be able to tell people, here’s my story, here’s what he’s doing here is how he’s changed me and it’s very powerful. That’s beyond culture. That’s this is just our story. And so our job as priests is to proclaim him to praise him by sharing how I’ve been transformed by him. Close things up this morning, a couple different application points. Number one, if you are not a priest, if you’re not a living stone, come to jesus, come to him. The living stone, the foundation, the cornerstone yield your life to christ. You’ll never regret it for those of us in the room who have done that and have become living stones who have become priests. We need to offer living sacrifices to him to do everything. Our bodies are our praise, our good deeds or works our generosity to through christ be doing those things to bring him glory. And then lastly to be proclaiming him by sharing your story with others, share how God has saved you out of the darkness and brought you into marvelous, like how he’s changed and transform your life the last couple days, weeks, months, whatever. Let’s pray. We thank you Lord jesus for your precious blood. We thank you for your sacrifice and how this is all based and built upon this. What we do want to do everything that we do for your glory. So we pray and ask for your help to do that this week. Help us Lord today tomorrow to be um sharing our story and to be praising you in jesus name. Amen.