Prepare for Lesson
Read 1st Peter 2:8b-12 to prepare for today’s lesson.
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 built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… 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, of His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.1 Peter 2:4-5 & 8b-9 NIV.
You are chosen and precious
Let us never forget that we are not of this world, but we are God’s redeemed people who belong wholly to Him individually and as a people.
We are spiritual beings, but we are social and made for community. We are stones built together into a spiritual house called the Church. Christ is both the cornerstone and the head.
We are a people of the New Covenant.
I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD, and they are My people and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.(Jeremiah 24:7 NIV)
And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and they all be My people. And I will dwell in your midst…(Zech 2:11a NIV)
A Spiritual House
It is true, God desires to be our God and dwell among us.
He has chosen generation after generation of believers to call the entire world to Himself. He uses the Church to make this happen, and He gave us the Great Commission to make disciples of the nations (Matt 28:18-20).
All authority, in heaven and earth, belongs to Christ Jesus, and He promises He will be with us—as individuals and in the community.
Once we were not a people, but now we are His treasured people.
A steady faith and consistent fellowship with God will bring a love relationship. God is faithful to you and the community. This is how Abraham remained standing before the LORD (Gen 18:22) and how the Psalmist could cry out for mercy as he brought his complaints and troubles to the LORD (Psalm 142:1).
So those men who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.(Gal 3:19 NIV).
God’s Own Possession
We, as a community, present ourselves as people of faith.
Your identity comes not from who you are, but who calls you His own. As faithful followers of Christ, you are His possession, His person among the people.
The people of the world stumble because they do not obey the word of God or even know Him. You know God and secure because you are obedient among obedient people.
If we do what is right before God’s eyes, then how can we go wrong?
Behavior As Redeemed People
“The real power of life lies in who we are as redeemed people and how our behavior is caught up in that.”Dallas Willard.
God is watching how we behave in the Church — universal and local. Do we serve Him will all our heart? Do we, with once voice, praise Him? Do the outsiders know us by our love?
These questions cause us to pause.
As we remain in God’s will, we stand shoulder to shoulder with others who are like-minded. Contrary to what some may believe, there are no Lone Ranger Christians. You are being crafted and built together in the fabric of the Church.
Call to Action
So be an ambassador for the Lord. We represent God as His people among the outsiders. We need to live as honorable people.
Now, therefore, if you will obey My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole world is Mine, but you shall be for Me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.Ex 19:5-6 NIV
We are entrusted with the responsibility to live as His treasured possession out of all the people.
Granted, this verse is directed at the Israel Nation. But we are a community of God’s people here and now because the New Covenant fulfills His promise. We are not replacing the Israel Nation, but joining the New Covenant to live as God’s people—nation upon nation belonging alone to God.
We live in this world as strangers and temporary residents, so be watchful in what you do and how you represent the Lord in your behavior. Be good and right, so when they see how well you conduct yourself, then they will see Christ in you and may believe.
Make this a true statement wherever you go, “They will know us by our love.”
Beloved, remember, you don’t belong to this world. You are resident aliens living in exile… live honorably among the outsiders so that, even when some may be inclined to call you criminals, when they see your good works, they might give glory to God when He returns in judgment.1 Peter 2:10 & 12 The Voice
Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone be the glory!
Christine Malkemes is a recognized teaching Pastor with the assemblies of God. Not so much a preacher – a sage on the stage – but a teacher, a guide by your side. Her degree in knowledge of the unchangeable character of God and His undying word is impressive because she’s spent 50 years learning at the feet of the Master.
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Come Before God in Community.