January 26 - Message Update

“The Hope of the Chosen” – 1 Peter 2:1-12 – Pastor Brian

 

Without a plumb, level and secure base, building a structure is costly. Workers will need to spend more time and effort to correct uneven walls, floors, and ceilings when the foundation is weak. If the foundation was secure there would be no need of correction. Jesus is our spiritual foundation who will never need to be fixed, altered or corrected. He is the corner stone in the lives of believers who is solid as a rock. Peter writes encouragement to the dispersed followers of Christ to remain hopeful in Jesus.

 

It’s important to speak a little about the word “chosen” in Peter’s letter. In verses 4 and 6 you’ll read “chosen and precious.” In verse 9 it says, you are a “chosen race.” The teaching about being chosen or elected is known as the doctrine of election. It addresses the question of choice. Does God choose you for salvation or is it your choice to decide you want salvation? This doctrine has been debated since the 4th century. For 1,600 years theologians and biblical scholars have debated, discussed and been divided over this issue so don’t expect a conclusive answer anytime soon. I believe from my study, there is more evidence in Scripture that points to God as the one who chooses salvation. It is from this perspective the take home truth, “The hope of the chosen is unshakable, solid as a rock,” was developed. What is the hope of the chosen?

 

1) The hope of the chosen is God’s SON. Jesus is the hope that will not disappear. He promises to never leave us and will be with us until the end of the age. The hope of God’s chosen is Jesus because He is the eternal, mighty three-in-one, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As seen in 1 Peter 1:1-2, “To those who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”

 

(vv.1-7a) Right away Peter challenges Christians to stop living as those who don’t know Jesus. Instead by metaphors and simile he portrays Jesus as spiritual milk and that the chosen should desire Jesus like newborn babes crave a mother’s milk. If our desire for Jesus was as focused and intense as a baby’s yearning for mom’s milk, can you imagine how your relationship with Jesus would be changed?

 

Jesus is further described as a living stone, the chosen and precious cornerstone. The most important stone of a building. This implies that Jesus is the most important one upon which lives are built. All chosen are like Jesus, living stones, building a spiritual house, which is the church, the body of Christ. Peter wrote this letter to the dispersed Jewish believers to encourage them. They were living in foreign lands, different cultures, unfamiliar surroundings and was reminding them to set their hearts upon Jesus to face the challenges they encountered.

 

Faith in Jesus is the hope of the chosen. He is the unshakable, solid as a rock foundation when life feels out of control.

Verses 7b-8 point out those who do not know Jesus stumble over His teaching, reject He is God’s Son and the forgiveness He offers. These verses are to remind us to be sensitive to those who struggle with disbelief and to pray they would understand that Jesus is the hope of the chosen who for the sake of love, died for our sins. 

 

2) The hope of the chosen is God’s MERCY. God in His mercy chose His people. Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” This is the hope of the chosen. His love and mercy do not end and are new every morning. (vv.9-10) How wonderful and uplifting these two verses are.  God in His mercy, chose people to enjoy His kingdom as a royal priesthood. He has made followers of Jesus holy and set apart for His great works. Psalm 139:17-18 “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.”

 

Because of God’s mercy, His chosen have been brought out of darkness into the light and can look forward to beginning each and every morning brand new. God’s mercy is difficult to define but like grace it’s unearned. It includes God’s unearned love even when we sin. It’s God’s forgiveness, patience, and kindness on the bad days when we treat others wrong, have terrible attitudes, and are ungrateful. Even in failure God’s mercies are new every morning. This means no matter how horribly we blew it today, tomorrow we can look forward to a fresh start with God.

 

3) The hope of the chosen is God’s GLORY. God’s chosen find hope in the glory of God. The first chapter of Ephesians describes the purpose of a Christ-centered life, which is to live “to the praise of His glory.” To live for the glory of God is the hope of the chosen. (vv.11-12)

 

The hope of the chosen is to live for the glory of God that others may too. An example of God’s glory was when in His glory, God spoke to Moses as a flame in a bush. (Ex 3:2) Another time the glory of God appeared in the pillar of cloud and fire to lead the people through the Red sea and the wilderness. (Ex 13:21, 22; Neh. 9:11, 12, 19) At Sinai with Israel camped around the mountain, the glory of God came as a voice in the cloud and fire to speak with Moses. (Ex 19:9, 16–18; 24:15–18). You get a sense of God’s glory from these instances. What is God’s glory? Glory is the power of God that spoke from fire that did not burn the bush. It’s the power of God which parted the Red Sea. It’s the power of God that speaks to Moses in the cloud and fire on Mt. Sinai.

 

The hope of the chosen is God’s Son, God’s Mercy and God’s Glory. The unshakable hope of the chosen is to build a spiritual house with Jesus, filled with God’s MERCY and GLORY. Christ followers should ask, what is my part in building the church of Jesus? Closer to home, what am I doing to help grow SanLo? Am I using my spiritual gift to help grow SanLo? How am I using my time and resources to grow the body of Christ at SanLo? Our Grow SanLo campaign is beyond getting a new facility, it’s each of us growing and maturing in our relationship with Jesus by dedicating our lives to living in the unshakable hope of God’s SON, God’s MERCY and God’s GLORY.

 

Children’s Message:  Pastor Joshua asked what you can make a house out of: Mud, straw, logs, canvas, brick and wood. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:4-5 as we come to believe in Jesus, we are being built up as a spiritual house to live richly in Him to love one another, even the unlovable, because we too were unlovable before we knew Jesus but He still loved us.

 

Praise Songs: Jesus is Better, Good Good Father, In Christ Alone, Doxology.