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June 3, 2001 PM


1 Pet 2:9a

INTRO: There has been afoot among humanity in our time something called the identity crisis. Although there are many ramifications to that problem, it simply implies that people really do not know who they are. Oh, they know their names and family ties. But identity goes further to ask, What am I? What is my purpose? How do I fit in? And the problem of identity faces Christians, too. O.K. ... Im a Christian. But what does that mean? Who am I really? And the portion of the verse we have read goes directly to that issue. What a great and simple statement! Who are we, then?


A. A covenant people whom God has approached

1. see Ex 19:5,6 and Isa 43:20,21

2. He offered to make them a very special people

3. He refers to them as my people - Deut 7:6

B. Now, the church is that chosen, covenant people

1. it - and it alone - has this special relationship

2. note Eph 1:3 in Christ all spiritual blessings

3. or Acts 2:47 the saved in the church

C. Chosen for:

1. privilege - of an intimate relationship with God (Jno 15:15 and Rom 8:15)

2. obedience - whole relationship depends on obedience (see

Ex 19:5a) ... chosen to become obedient children of God (1 Pet 1:14) ... to do Gods will, and not our own

3. service - honored to be His servants (Acts 16:17) ... but service must be hand in hand with obedience (Mt 7:21-23)


A. A people with access to God

1. in Old Testament priests stood between man and God

2. but we are each priests of God needing only the advocacy of Jesus

3. Mt 6:9 Our father ...

B. A people to worship God

1. priest brings to mind worship Jno 4:24

2. but priest also brings sacrifice to mind - Rom 12:1

3. we are a special people worshiping God

C. A priesthood of kings! (royal priesthood)

1. Rev 1:6

2. this is our true identity

3. but so often we neither live like priests nor kings - we do not behave royally


A. A people who are different from all others

1. this was Israels position

2. different in morality, ethics, religion ... prospect

3. Israel was simply holy different

B. Christians are different - must be

1. he is dedicated to Gods service, Gods will

2. no one should contemplate becoming a Christian without realizing it calls for his being different

3. Phil 2:15 a different nation of people living within, among the nations of men


A. A people who are Gods own property

1. thats what the original for peculiar means

2. ones own property

3. 1 Cor 6:20 sure enough!

B. A people, though, of great value to the owner

1. note, Mal 3:17 His jewels!

2. often a thing has value because of who has owned it so, we put a presidents things in a museum or seek to own a famous persons trinkets

3. our value is in part because we belong to God! a very ordinary person gains new dignity, value and greatness when he becomes a Christian and in that he belongs to God

CLOSE: Would you like to belong to God? You can. When you repent of sins and self-will and are baptized, you are place into Christ (Gal 3:27). You then belong to God and have a new and grand identity.

Cecil A. Hutson

03 June 2001

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)