1 Pet 2:9b
INTRO: The idea that Christians should be hermits or live lives of isolation in monasteries is a very warped and mistaken view! Truly, it is a selfish view. Christians are called out of the world (or worldliness) to live in the world as a constant influence for good. And we cannot serve or influence by building a wall around ourselves. Peter asks - in effect - in the verse we have read, Dont you know why God has made you His covenant people, His priesthood, His holy nation, His own possession? Why, its to tell the world about Him that He has chosen you!
I. OUR PURPOSE SHOW FORTH (Isa 43:21)
A. Literally to proclaim, to publish abroad
1. there is no hint of isolation here
2. rather, theres reinforcement of Mk 16:15 and Mt 28:19
3. that wasnt just a limited commandment for apostles!
B. First century church took this seriously
1. Phil 2:15,16 with 4:15,16
2. 1 Thes 1:6-9
3. Rom 1:8
C. Now, how do we do this showing forth?
1. the four facts of identity may give us some clues
2. chosen covenant idea positively implies obedience
3. priesthood showing forth in worship ... unashamed gathering with Gods people to praise Him
4. holy nations consecration and service
5. peculiar people as Gods possessing, we show forth through joy (in His owning us) and loyalty
D. Or, take this direction for showing forth
1. by our example 2 Pet 3:11 by being the kind of person God wants us to beour exampleis unmistakable
2. by our attitudes Phil 2:5 we should really have no attitudes but Christs!
3. by our teaching 1Pet 3:15 (Rev 12:11)
II. OUR MESSAGE THE EXCELLENCIES OF GOD
A. Praises literally virtues, eminent qualities
1. in Old Testament was constantly reminded of the excellencies of God
2.Deut 15:15; 32:7 and 1 Chron 16:11-13
3. in effect remember what God has done for you
B. Now, what are excellencies we should proclaim?
1. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence?
2. His love, grace, mercy, long suffering?
3. certainly, these are eminent qualities of God, but is this really what Peter had in mind?
C. What about who hath called you out of darkness ...?
1. should we give emphasis to this great act of God and His willingness to do it for others?
2. an example 1 Tim 1:12-16
3. this, then, is a message of the gospel what the gospel did for me ... and what it will do for you!
D. Out of ... into (comment)
1. called ... by the gospel 2 Thes 2:14 (no mysterious or outlandish experience to be expected)
2. out of darkness Col 1:12,13a (here is the condition of a person who is lost, hopeless and helpless) darkness is a Biblical term for a state of spiritual hopelessness and destitution
3. into His light this is the status of sonship, of salvation, of knowledge ... the status of comfort, joy and hope the status we need to be sharing!
CLOSE: It is profoundly true that most people in this world get their notion of God in the main from those who claim to be Gods people. Peter, thus, lays it out for us ... tell the world what wonderful things God has done ... and how they can share in those marvelous blessings. Listen: Col 1:9-12.
Cecil A. Hutson
17 June 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
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
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
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)
You Must Be Baptized
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!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
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)