Sermon: Home With Jesus 1 Peter 2:1-10

Home With Jesus

1 Peter 2:1-10

Truth Taught – Jesus is the Cornerstone of God’s spiritual house.

 

Introduction

In our passage today, the Apostle Peter presents two images that represent Jesus Christ.  We see Christ as pure spiritual milk and Christ as the Cornerstone of God’s spiritual house.  The movement through these images goes like this:  Once we taste/experience Jesus, we see Him as precious and come to Him by faith as the Cornerstone of God’s spiritual house and are also placed as living stones into the structure.

Keeping with the Stone Structure metaphor, Peter also shows us that there are two building projects: there is the spiritual house in which Christ is the Cornerstone and Man’s building project that rejects the Cornerstone.  In this metaphor, rejecting the Cornerstone is rejecting the Gospel message.

Prayer

1 Peter 2:1–10 (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.

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. For it stands in Scripture:

       “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,

a cornerstone chosen and precious,

       and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

       “The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone,”

and

       “A stone of stumbling,

and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

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.

  1. Tasting That the Lord is Good

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.

Remember all of man’s attempts at meaning and significance in this world fall short. We must see them for what they are, like grass and flowers.  Because God has had the good news preached to us and has saved us through imperishable seed, namely, His eternal life-giving Word, now we have work to do.

As God’s people, some of the work is that we are engaged in putting away sin.  These sins specifically mentioned are sins of manipulation and sins to make ourselves look good.  Beloved, do you see that when we are growing as Christians, that seeking to magnify ourselves is not important anymore?  Seeking to magnify Christ is very important.

All it takes is a taste of Christ to realize what God has given us in our Lord and Savior.  Once a person experiences salvation through Jesus other things in life begin to fall away and they treasure Christ more and more. As Peter thought about his own experience with Jesus, he thought that the best comparison is the craving a newborn has for his mother’s milk.  For an infant there is nothing like mother’s milk.  It is what causes the baby to grow.  Peter tells us that once we taste Christ, we will crave more just like a baby craves milk.

Once Christ is experienced, the natural response is to want more of Him.  He is good and loves us.

Peter quotes from Psalm 34

Psalm 34:8 (ESV)

   Oh, taste and see that the Lordis good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Peter writes to Christians who have experienced alienation by society because of their faith.  God has a great remedy for cultural alienation, namely, true fellowship with Christ and with His people.  That’s why we must put off those sins that would disrupt genuine Christian fellowship.  This language continues what we learned last time.  Our family and friends are those within the local church.  We must take care of one another and encourage one another and put off all sins that would destroy brotherly love within the local Church.

We’ve tasted that the Lord is good, and the right response is to take refuge in Him.  Peter begins another metaphor.  This one is Jesus Christ as our spiritual house.  We taste and desire more, and we come to Him and are given a home with Him at the center.

  1. At Home with Jesus

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. For it stands in Scripture:

       “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,

a cornerstone chosen and precious,

       and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Once we taste and see that the Lord is good, we will come to Him and see Him as precious even though the world has rejected Him.  Jesus is not only to be tasted but also sought after and followed.  Even if your faith has caused you difficulties in the world and people have rejected you, don’t forget the world has rejected Jesus too. In this image of the house, Peter tells us that Jesus is the Living Stone that the world rejected but to God He is a Precious Stone and chosen.

Notice there are two building projects in the making.  Men are involved in a building project and Jesus just doesn’t fit into their structure. God is also building, and He absolutely has Jesus at the heart of the structure that He is framing.  Not only is Jesus at the heart of God’s structure but also each and every believer has a place in God’s house as well.

Human builders judge Christ unfit for the foundation of their structure.  He doesn’t fit their architectural design.  They’re looking at completing a structure for their glory and recognition.  Jesus just doesn’t fit into their plans.

Jesus is rejected. Human builders also reject his people. The world has no place for us either. We don’t fit their building plans and we too are rejected.  Yet, just like Jesus, we fit perfectly into God’s house.

Peter is writing about salvation in Christ.  Notice what makes the difference.  We either come to Christ as a child longs for milk or we reject Christ.  We either believe or remain in unbelief.  Jesus is either exactly what we’re looking for or He doesn’t figure into our plans at all.

Peter also uses his stone structure metaphor in his sermon found in Acts 4.

Acts 4:11–12 (ESV)

11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Where did Peter get this stone structure imagery?  The stone structure picture comes from the OT.  Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would be a rock of stumbling for all of Israel and Judah.  You see, the God’s Messiah didn’t fit into their building plans either.  They wanted a Messiah to restore riches and power to them. God’s Messiah was very different.

Isaiah 8:14–15 (ESV)

14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”

The Stone Structure imagery appears again in . . .

Isaiah 28:16 (ESV)

16    therefore thus says the Lord God,

       “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,

a stone, a tested stone,

       a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:

‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’

Here Isaiah calls Jesus a tested, precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.

Are you building your life on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ?

David also tells us . . .

Psalm 118:22 (ESV)

22    The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.

Then we see in the Gospels that Jesus identifies with the Stone the builders rejected.

Matthew 21:42 (ESV)

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

       “‘The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;

       this was the Lord’s doing,

and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

 

If we trust in God’s foundation/corner stone, we will never be sorry.  We will find that we have been included in His structure; we will be at home with Jesus.  So, never forget that if the world rejects you, they also rejected Jesus before you.  The remedy is found in the truth that God has set His Corner Stone, and we too are being placed as living stones into His spiritual house.  Beloved, we have a home with Christ.

  1. The Cornerstone is Either Honored or Rejected

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

       “The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone,”

and

       “A stone of stumbling,

and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

Peter is caring for Jesus’ sheep as our Lord has commanded him to do.  Peter is showing us there is a divine reversal in honor and shame. The passage from Isaiah told us that to trust in the Cornerstone would never bring us shame.  However, we are often shamed by the world.  We may even be persecuted for our faith.  Look what God says.  Basically, we are reminded that while the world may shame us, God will highly honor us as His people in Christ.  Christ was shamed and now highly honored.  So too we may be shamed in this world, but we are highly honored by God.

The twist comes when those whom the world honors but reject Jesus will be greatly shamed in judgment.  So, Peter wants us to know that we may be rejected by the world, but God will honor us with a place in His home.

Verse 8 is clear that those who reject the Word (word in both meanings), reject the Word of God written and the Word of God, the Lord Jesus will be judged.  God will judge all unbelievers for their unbelief, rejection of Jesus, their hatred of God, and their sin.

Then Peter tells us that unbelievers were destined for this judgment.  The word destined comes from the Greek word etethesan, which means destined or appointed.

This word is used in our text concerning Jesus. He was appointed (chosen) as the Cornerstone.

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

So, when God chose the means of salvation, namely, Jesus Christ, then all who reject Him will stumble over Him naturally. They are destined or appointed to stumble because God set up the Rock of offense and all people left to their natural state will inevitably stumble and fall over Jesus.  They are destined to stumble because Christ is chosen as the means of salvation.  Unless God brings the sinner spiritual life, he will always reject Christ simply because Jesus doesn’t fit into his plans.

We see this truth of election or appointed as Peter now shifts to all who come to Christ in salvation.

  1. But You are Chosen Race

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 craving Jesus and our coming to Jesus go full circle so that now we proclaim His worth.

Christians in Peter’s day were considered another class of people.  They were not Romans any longer because they refused to obey Rome’s mandates to worship Caesar.  Punishment was inflicted on Christians as a class or even as a race of people.  Here Peter reminds us all that we may be rejected by the world and treated as lower class citizens but that’s not how God sees us.

We are God’s chosen, called-out ones.

Christians may find themselves mistreated by the world, but God calls us a royal class of priests who now can offer acceptable sacrifices because we do so through Jesus Christ.  The world may treat us as noncitizens, but God says we are a holy nation.

Peter then tells us why God called us.  We are chosen by God in order to proclaim to the world all the excellent things concerning Jesus and salvation.  We are set apart in order to proclaim the good news that Jesus is Savior for all who believe.  Come to Christ and be saved from your sin and from the wrath of God.

Don’t stumble over the only Remedy to your sinful hopeless state.  Come to Jesus and God becomes not a Judge of wrath but a Father of adoption.  He will welcome you home with open arms.

God tells us that at one time we were not His people and at one time we did not receive His mercy.  Now, God tells us that in Christ we are His people and have received His mercy.

Summary

Today, we’ve seen that God is sovereign over all things.  He is the One doing everything here in our passage.  He chose Christ to be our Savior.  He is building His spiritual house.  He set Christ as the cornerstone.  He is setting us as His people stone by stone to complete this spiritual house.  He has chosen us and set us apart as His people.  This is God’s world, His plan, His house.  We either submit to His rule and believe or we resist and stumble all our life and stumble right into hell and judgment.

Is Christ precious to you or are you offended by Jesus?  For those what are believers remember God chose you so that His excellencies would be proclaimed to the world.  Are you proclaiming God’s excellencies?

If you’re here today and know you’re lost, perhaps God is working in you to see Christ not as the Rock of offense but as the precious foundation.  Come home to Christ, and you will not be put to shame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Resources Used:

Teaching 1 Peter by Angus MaCleay

1 Peter by Karen Jobes

1 Peter by David Helm

1 Peter by John MacArthur

1 Peter by Peter Davids

1 Peter by Wayne Grudem

1 Peter by Edmond Clowney

 

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