Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #282 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Peter 2 today and our focus is on how The Church Actually Is a Building, But Not The Way You Think. Plus: WHO Are You – The Surprising Truth Revealed. 😉 We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Most people, even Christians, when they hear the word church, they think of a local church building – probably the whole thing – the people that meet in the building and the building itself. On Sunday mornings in our household, we talk about going to church, and we mean a specific place located at 345 East Alvin Drive, right across the street from the 2100 plus person North Salinas High School. On Saturday night, we work to get the kids to bed earlier than on Friday nights, because we “have church tomorrow.” But, what is the church, exactly? Is it a building? A Sunday morning service? A particular group of people who attend a service held in a building at a particular location? Well, all of these fall short of capturing exactly what a church is. I have said it a million times in a sermon, or at least 27 times, “the church isn’t a building, the church is a people.” Which is true, of course, but today we will read how the church actually is a building – at least of sorts, just not what you think of when you think of a building. Peter is going to help us understand today what a church is, and if we can grasp this, we will be really far into understanding how the Bible describes the church, and this will hopefully dispel any false notions of church we might have – even if we still tell the kids to go to bed at 10:30 on Saturday night because we have, “church” tomorrow. Here’s what Peter says:
4 As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by God— 5 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. 1 Peter 2:4-5
I love this! Jesus is a living stone, says Peter in a metaphorical sense. He is, in fact, the chief cornerstone of the building. What building – the building that is the gathered church – a group of spiritual stones, which is what you and I are, that form a SPIRITUAL HOUSE. That is what a church is – a house – a building…but not a building of cement and wood and stucco, but a building of people, and not just any people, but WE, as the church, are a HOLY PRIESTHOOD. Don’t misunderstand this, because this is an absolutely game-changing, massive truth, and so many of us miss it. The church is not a mixture of priests and lay people – of pastors and pew sitters, or preachers and listeners. NO!! The church – all of the saved people – are a HOLY PRIESTHOOD. Again- not just the pastor. Not just the priest -but EVERYBODY TOGETHER is a holy priesthood. All who are saved by Jesus are priests and all are called into ministry. What does a priest do? Here is an answer to that question from our friends at Gotquestions.org:
The Bible teaches that all Christians are priests; the Christian church is actually a kingdom of priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9; ). Under the Old Covenant, the priests were chosen from the Levitical tribe and separate from the rest of Israel. Exodus 28–29 and Leviticus 8 describe the main priestly duties for the Levites to perform. These priests ministered in the temple, where the Ark of the Covenant rested in a room called the Holy of Holies which was closed off to everyone but the high priest by a large, heavy, ornate curtain. The blood of sacrificial bulls was sprinkled on top of the Ark’s Mercy Seat to atone for the sins of the people. But, when Jesus was crucified, the curtain split from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51), showing that all believers now have direct access to God’s presence. We approach God through faith in His Son’s blood instead of the blood of animals. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body” (Hebrews 10:19–20).The death of Jesus ended the Old Testament priesthood, replacing the endless animal sacrifices with one final, perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Now forgiveness is offered freely to all who believe in the risen Lord Jesus Christ as our sacrifice for sin (John 3:16–17; Romans 3:23–25; 10:9–10). That is the gospel message—the good news—that we Christians share as “priests” of God’s kingdom. Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-a-priest.html
But wait, there’s more: Not only are we who are saved by grace by Jesus priests,but, as Peter goes on to say:
9 But you are a chosen race,a royal priesthood,a holy nation,a people for his possession,so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
We were CHOSEN by God – we are together a HOLY NATION – we are now the PEOPLE OF GOD (not just the Israelites – we are inheritors of the promises of God to Abraham…not just ethnic Jews, but those who have been grafted into God’s people by Jesus.) and we are a ROYAL priesthood – King-priests, because we are co-heirs with THE King-Priest, Jesus. What is our job/duty/calling/joy as a royal priesthood? To proclaim the praises of God – who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. So – never underestimate who you have become in Jesus and what your calling in. Your calling is more important than any politician or business leader or sports star, or Instagram influencer – you are a PRIEST of God, and not just any priest- a ROYAL priest! In fact, as Revelation 1 tells us,we are together a royal priesthood and a KINGDOM of priests.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:6
So: WHO are you? You are a Royal Priest with a high calling, and we are together a kingdom of royal priests, that God is building us, as living stones, into His house. Let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory passage for the month of October: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church A Church in Salinas, California.
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