A Royal Priesthood

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9, 1 Peter 2:1-3, Hebrews 4:12
Date: 04/15/2017 
Lesson: 3
"A holy nation? A royal priesthood? Applied to ourselves, what should terms like this mean in regard to the kind of lives we live, both as individuals and as a community?"
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Pastor Ross: Good morning friends! Welcome to Sabbath school study hour coming to you from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist church in Sacramento California. I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to our friends joining us online, to our online members and also our friends watching on the various television networks, very warm welcome to you, we’re glad you chose to study with us today.

I'd also like to welcome the members and the visitors right here at the Granite Bay church always nice to see you week after week.

We have a free offer that we'd like to let everybody watching know about it. It's a book written by Joe Crews entitled, Is It Possible To Live Without Sinning? If you'd like to receive it, call us on how a resource phone number that's (866)788-3966 and you can ask for offer number one eighty-seven. You can also read it for free online at the amazing facts website (amazingfacts.org) and you can download the book and you can read it right there.

Now we started a new lesson quarterly not too long ago dealing with the first and the second book of Peter. A lesson quarterly titled: Feed My Sheep. Now I know many of you here in our audience you have the lesson quarterly so you're able to study during the week and then you come prepared to study here at church but for our friends watching online if you don't have a copy of the lesson quarterly you can get one probably at an Adventist church nearby or you can go to the amazing facts website (amazingfacts.org). Download lesson number three (3) talking about the royal priesthood and that's going to be the theme that we'll be looking at today. Well before we get to our lesson study will always like to begin by lifting our voices in song, I’d like to invite our song leaders to come and join me on stage.

Song Leaders: Thank you Pastor Ross and it's always a privilege to sing with you every week. We look forward to it, don't we ladies? It's just the ladies today. Now it's that time and we're going to pull out our hymnals and we're going to praise the Lord in song. Two eighty-two: I Hear Thy Welcome Voice. Beautiful song, we will do the first, second and fourth stanzas.

Pastor Ross: Thank you so much for joining with us and at this time Pastor Ross is going to have our opening prayer. Let's bow our heads for prayer.

Dear Father in heaven, what a privilege to be able to gather together and open up Your Word and study. As we've started this study series dealing with the books of first and second Peter. We pray Lord that your Spirit come and guide our hearts and our minds for there is such important information for us, that we need to understand for this time in which we are living. So Lord bless our time together for we ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Pastor Ross: Well our lesson this morning is going to be brought to us by Pastor Marshall McKenzie. He is the Publishing Director at Amazing Facts. He has taught lessons several times here at the Granite Bay Church. Thank you Marshall, turn the time over to you.

Pastor Marshall: It's a powerful lesson, lesson number three (3) in our study Feed My Sheep first and second Peter. We're going to get into a royal priesthood this morning, I thought it was so appropriate the last song that we sang in relationship to Christ and His shed blood and what He did on Calvary so that we could be part of this royal priesthood, that He is continuing to develop throughout the world. The gospel is going forward and people are making decisions and they're becoming part of this fold.

I want to look at the memory text this morning, it's kind of the central text and the central theme for our study this morning in a second or first Peter chapter. Our memory verse and I’m just going to read it right out of our lesson quarterly, it says: You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. That he's called us out of what, he's calling us out of darkness and he's brought us in to this marvellous light.

It's that same light that really covered our first parents, Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall. That same role of light is what God is calling us into through Christ and he's calling us out of darkness and he gives us this privilege, in this opportunity when we come out to be part of this royal priesthood. Now, what's interesting is that throughout this lesson there's several points, that are brought out in relationship to this royal priesthood. A few that I’d like to bring to your attention. We may not be able to cover them all but I want to just bring to your attention these five points that the lesson covers as we dive into first Peter chapter two.

The first point deals with a Christian life, living as Christians.

The second point is Christ the cornerstone, so in other words if we're going to live as Christians, if we're going to live Christ-like lives then we need to be leaning on who; we leaning on Jesus, who Peter describes as the chief cornerstone and we're going to get into that a little bit more.

The third point is this continuity of the Old Testament covenant as it relates to the New Testament .

So what you're going to see in first Peter chapter two is how Peter actually goes back into the Old Testament and then he pulls some principles that were given to the children of Israel and he brings them all the way forward any he applies them to the gentile Christians. It's a powerful point, the fourth point that the lesson brings out is the biblical concept of the royal priesthood or a holy nation, We're going to talk about Christ’s special people, His chosen generation as we're living in the last days of earth's history and finally we can't end it without talking about the proclamation of this message. In the last lesson, Thursday’s lesson we get into the proclamation of praises when we look at all that Christ is done and what Christ is helping us to be a part of, you can't help but tell others. You can't help but share that with other people because you would want them to experience what you're experiencing right? You'd want them to experience the benefits of being part of this royal priesthood that Christ is helping us to be a part of. So I want to just dive right in for the sake of time, we're going to dive right in and we're going to start here with first Peter, chapter two.

If you have your Bibles, I’d love for you to open them up to first Peter chapter two, because this is where we're going to spend most of our time this morning. First Peter, chapter two and we're going to actually start here right away, with verse one. First Peter chapter two- verse one says: Therefore, Peter writes, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking as new-born babies desire the pure mouth of the word, that you may grow there by. If indeed you have tasted that the lord is gracious, you want to notice how Peter starts this chapter, he starts it with a very simple word, that word and I’m reading from the new King James Version, is therefore.

Now it's interesting when I was going through school, I had a teacher, as we were studying the Bible … he would always tell us, when you see the word ‘therefore’ you always ask what's it ‘there for’, which ultimately leads you back before you can move forward. It's kind of like here in California, you know we have these rivers and then we have these mountains and somewhere along these river ways you find that the cliffs get a little shorter and a little shorter and you get to that point where they might be fifteen feet or twenty feet and so sometimes people love to jump off of those right into the water. Now, some of you probably sitting here going, no way even if it were five feet I don't think I would jump.

But I have a lot of friends who like doing that and I’ve done it myself a few times but you'll notice when you go to the edge you don't usually get up there and just go and you run off and you just jump. Personally, I kind of go to the edge and I take a little look and then what, I step back. The purpose for stepping back sometimes is to contemplate what I’m about to do and think about it. That's what Peter's doing when he uses the word therefore, he's actually having a step back for just a minute and then we're going to kind of get a run at first Peter chapter two so when we see therefore and I just want to go back to verse twenty-two. The whole chapter here and first Peter chapter one really is an uplifting Jesus Christ.

As matter fact and first Peter chapter one verse three before we read it, brings out the resurrection of Christ. In first Peter chapter one verse seven and thirteen, Peter talks about the second coming of Christ and then in first Peter chapter one verse eleven, Peter talks about the sufferings of Christ. All of these things by the way are spoken of in the word of God and this is where Peter ends chapter one. I’d like to bring to your attention as we kind of go into first Peter chapter two, notice with me starting with verse twenty-two of first Peter chapter one he says: since you have purified your souls. In obeying the truth through the spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart. Having been born again not of corruptible seed but incorruptible through the word of God, not of corruptible but of incorruptible through the word of God which lives and abides for ever.God’s word never fails, God's word is always true and it's always constant. If you're looking for something constant in your life, if you're looking for something stable in your life, look to the word of God. God never fails any of us.

And so Peter says, this word of God which lives and abides for forever, how many of us want to live and abide forever? I mean that's really what we want, right. I never by the grace of God. I want to see translation, I don't want to die, I want to live forever. Now, it's in the lord's hands but I know there's a resurrection and Peter talks about that in first Peter. But nonetheless the word of God abides and lives forever. Now, notice he says: because all the flesh is as grass and all the glory of man is the flower of the grass. The grass withers and its flowers falls away but the word of the lord endures forever. Then he says: now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you and from that word he continues to build on this concept in relationship to Christ when he begins to say, lay aside all malice. Therefore, lay aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speak and he goes on but I want to draw your attention to this two words, where he says lay aside. Matter of fact you remind me of what the apostle Paul has to write. You read these words and Hebrews chapter twelve verse one, Paul speaking just like Peter says to us, therefore now we don't have time to get into Hebrews chapter eleven even Paul here in Hebrews chapter twelve starts with therefore.

We also since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses he says let us lay aside every weight just like Paul, just like Peter says as he begins chapter two. He says lay aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy and all evil speaking. Paul and Hebrew says lay aside every weight that so easily be sets us or the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, you know some years ago I started running. I remember in high school, the coaches when I was in track, they would always tell me you're not a long distance runner. You’re kind of built for those short distances but in my mind I wanted to run long distances. I wasn't so concerned about what they told me but they never gave me the opportunity. So I always run the hundred meters and then the two hundred (200) and then we do a four hundred (400) relay and so forth. Several years ago when I was in Wisconsin and I was there Pastoring and I really took it to myself, I wanted to run and I wanted to learn how to run and I had this goal that I was going to run a marathon. So I set out and I started training and I lost some weight and my times were getting faster and I was running longer to the point where I could run four hours without stopping. I had gone down to about one hundred sixty-two (162) pounds and I was enjoying it so I ran. So two marathons in a four-month period and then I ran a couple half marathons but then afterwards I thought to myself, I’ve accomplished all that. I just need to sit down and relax and where I was living at the time we had a lot of dairy queens around and I thought I’m doing all right I can start this process and so I had one and then I had another and pretty soon, I gained fifty (50) pounds. It happened that fast and I thought, this is what Paul is telling us here and what Peter is telling us, it makes a difference when you lay that aside. What you can accomplish and what you can do and how you can live, make so much more difference when we lay aside every weight or like Peter says here in the first Peter chapter two he says laying aside all malice, all deceit. All hypocrisy, and envy and all evil speaking, if we would just lay that aside.

How different life would be, wouldn’t it? What a difference our life would make, not only for ourselves but to the people around us. If we would just do here, what Peter's talking about. He doesn't stop there, notice with verse two, as we read he says laying this is side and then he says as new-born babies desire the poor milk of the word that you may grow there by. Now, I want to draw your attention, he says as new-born babes. What do new-born babies love to do? Well, we know they like to sleep? Maybe some aren't sleepers at first but they all are eaters, whether we like it or not. I remember when we had our first, feeding every two hours and that went on for day after day after day. My wife was just tired but here Peter gives us this illustration and he says like new-born babies. We are to be hungering and thirsting and we are to being eating the word if we could every two hours, every three hours, every minute of the day and this reminded me of what Jesus said when he was talking in the beatitudes and Matthew chapter five or six. Jesus said, blessed, are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, just like Peter is describing as new-born babies. He said, blessed, are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, why? You know, when a baby is hungry and gets fed that baby is full and they're happy. You see the look on their face change and Jesus says those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, they shall be filled. It’s one thing when you're filled, isn't it? You're hungry, you're irritable but when you get some food in your system and all of a sudden it's a different story altogether.

Matter of fact, in job chapter twenty-three verse twelve, job says: I have not departed from the commandment of his lips. I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. In other words, job says: listen I value the word of God more than my necessary food and this is what Peter is talking about when he says his new-born babies we need to hunger and we need to thirst and we need to desire the pure milk of the word. Why does he say we need to do this? We lay aside malice and the envy, the evil speaking and then as new-born babies we thirst and we hunger over the word of God and then Peter says that you may grow thereby. That you may grow, we eat to live, right? It helps us to grow. Ephesians chapter four verse fourteen and fifteen, Paul also talks about this growing. He says: That we should no longer be children tossed to and fro or carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men in the cunning of craftiness or the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love. He says, we may grow up in all things into him. So Paul gives us the same picture as Peter does, that the Christian life, that living as a Christian is all about continuing to grow.

We're told that when you enter the school of Christ, you never graduate. You never graduate, there's always something to learn there's always something to know. God has so much to share with us that he wants us to continue to feed so that we can continue to grow. Who wants to stop growing? What young person ever wants to stop growing? I look at my son who's almost taller than I am now, and he's loving it. He just wants to keep growing and he keeps reminding me, one day I’m going to be taller than you and that day's coming. Matter of fact, my wife said not so long ago, she said sometimes I like to kind of stand away from him because he's already almost taller than me. They love to grow and Christians living as a Christian we should love to grow, we should love to learn, we should love to be like Jesus. Peter says, this royal priesthood as he's going to describe later is a priesthood that literally as he says here lays aside malice and be there desiring the word of God and there consistently growing, consistently growing and learning. Then in the ends notice verse three, if indeed you have tasted that the lord is gracious, how many of you this morning has tasted that the lord is gracious? This is experiencing what it is to live as a Christian, we get to taste the lord daily, we get to taste and see as the psalmist says that the lord is good. When we hunger and thirst after righteousness like a new-born baby. When we lay aside the malice and the envy, Peter says we shall taste that the lord is gracious and the psalmist really points that out and brings that to our attention. We need to taste and see that the lord is good, now I want to jump in the lesson. We're going to jump right over to Monday’s lesson, because this kind of leads us along.

First Peter chapter two verses four through eight, now Peter's going to shift for just a minute. He's going to go from his what as Christians we need to be doing and then all of a sudden, he shifts the focus to the living stone. Why is all of this relevant and important? Some of the things we talked about, because now Peter is going to tie it to the living stone. If you'll notice with me, in your Bibles, we're going to read the next four verses. In first Peter chapter two verses four through eight, He says, coming to him, as to a living stone. I want to stop there just a minute, notice how it says coming to him? When we lay aside envy and malice and evil speaking, when we come as new born babies hungering and thirsting over the word of God to be filled as we continue to grow in Christ as we continue to taste and see that the lord is good, Peter says you are coming to him. We're drawing closer and closer and closer to Christ. He says, coming to him as to a living stone rejected indeed by men (which we'll talk about) but chosen by God and precious, Jesus was chosen by God and Jesus is precious, who knows that better than Peter? Think about it, lesson one (1) we talk about the person Peter in this quarterly, who by the way did he deny Christ, three times. As Christ was facing this suffering and this persecution, Peter was there and he denied him. What did God do, God forgave him and Christ said, I’m praying that your faith doesn't fail.

Christ forgives Peter, he experiences that and Peter's a new man, a new man. Peter understands how precious this stone really is, this living stone, this chosen stone. Then verse five says you also as living stones are being built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, verse six it is also contained in the Scripture, behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone elects and precious. He who believes on him will by no means be put to shame and therefore to you who believe, He is what? He is precious. But to those who are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, they stumble being disobedient to the word. Remember that word, we're talking about here in the very beginning, to eat of. He says there are a group of people that are disobedient to that word to which they also were appointed. Now, there are some interesting things that the lesson brings up in talking about this living stone as Peter describes the person of Christ. After telling his readers to seek spiritual nourishment, Peter immediately directs their attention to Jesus Christ the living stone.

Now, it's interesting that Peter in starting to talk about Jesus as the Livingstone switches to the Old Testament and he actually brings out an Old Testament principle in relationship to Christ as he's beginning to draw these two things together. There's three Old Testament passages that Peter is pulling from that highlight the significance of the cornerstone. Which represents the role of Christ in His church among His chosen generations.

I do not want you to miss the significance of what Peter is doing and going back to the Old Testament in reference to this cornerstone. As he's speaking now, to new born babies, he's speaking to Christ’s body, he's speaking to this generation, this chosen generation, this special people. By way he's no different than the apostle Paul, they do the same thing. Notice with me, if you have your Bible turn to Ephesians Chapter two. In Ephesians chapter two, notice with me, we're just going to read verses nineteen.

Ephesians chapter two verse nineteen through twenty-two: Paul here is speaking to gentile Christians and he also is going back to the Old Testament and doing so in speaking to these gentile Christians, verse nineteen. It says, now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ himself being what? The chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building being fitted together grows into a holy temple in the lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the spirit. So here Paul is doing exactly what Peter is doing. He's going back to the Old Testament saying listen to the gentiles you are a part of God's plan. You have always been a part of God's plan, when you give your life to Christ you're no longer strangers and foreigners but you are now part of the household of God. So the prophecy and what God's plan was for Israel was much broader than just Israel. For God so loved the world, the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life, Amen! Whoever, and so Peter is going back to the Old Testament coming forward speaking to the gentiles, Paul’s doing the exact same thing. He's bringing them together helping them realize your part of a bigger picture, your part of a bigger plan, you’re part of a tremendous family. This should give us encouragement; I remember when I became a Christian. I thought to myself, I’m going to lose all my friends. I won't have any friends but I made the decision. Believe me, I have friends all over the world, God family is more than any one class of persons. God loves the whole world and he loves every single individual and so Paul reaching back is helping them to grasp this. He's also helping the Jewish Christians to grasp this concept also, it's bigger than just you and I. It's interesting, Jesus in talking to the chief priests and the scribes goes back to the same Old Testament passages to help them understand this point that the focus is Christ, the focus is Christ, he's the chief cornerstone. If you don't have that cornerstone everything falls apart, if in our lives we don't have that cornerstone we wonder sometimes why our lives, fall apart. Because we don't have the cornerstone just like a building. Jesus talks about this in Luke chapter twenty verse seventeen through nineteen, I’ll read it for you. He says, what then is this that is written, the stone of which the builders rejected, by the way who is he referring to? He is referring to Israel, they were to be builders, they were to build up the household of God. They were to enlarge the tent so to speak, so that everybody would have the opportunity to come under that tent but they rejected the stone. He says, it has become the chief cornerstone, whoever falls on that stone will be broken but on whom ever it falls, it will grind him to powder. The chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on him but they feared the people for they knew he had spoken this parable against them. Jesus going back to these same passages that Peter's taking the church back to, that Paul is taking the church back to. He's is encouraging people that the tent is much broader than what they think it is. The chief cornerstone is precious, the chief cornerstone is vital, the chief cornerstone is very important to those who believe whether Jew or gentile, but to those who are disobedient whether Jew or gentile he is a stone of stumbling and a rock that always seems in the way.

I told you that I became a Christian, I made my decision to follow Christ, before that life was miserable. But I remember my dad going to church and he came back and he was studying his Bible. He was going to church on a regular basis and I remember when I would go visit him he would always have these rules. Marshall, when you come to my house on Sabbath, on Saturday he said, we don't sleep on the couch. We go to church and for the longest time I thought this is just getting in my way because I had not made my own decision. But I remember when I started making my decision to follow Christ, I remember going to visit my dad and all of a sudden what I always thought was getting in the way that it was a rock of stumbling, or a rock of offense, I enjoyed. Matter of fact, I remember being the first one up in the morning, first one dress, first one ready to go. Now that took a couple years but slowly God was making the change, and no longer was the chief cornerstone a rock of stumbling but now he was precious because he was giving me life. He was helping me understand that I was a part of a royal priesthood, I was part of a bigger family and a bigger plan than what I was currently living. It's powerful what Peter's talking about, what Paul’s talking about.

There's a couple things in these verses I want to draw your attention to. In first Peter chapter two there's a couple points that are brought out in relationship to this Livingstone, this chief cornerstone. Notice with me, first Peter chapter two and notice with me verse five. Actually go to verse four and five, notice there's a parallel here that takes place. Coming to him as to a living stone rejected indeed by men but chosen by God and Precious. Verse five says, you also as living stones, you notice that. Just like the Livingstone, his church is to be what? Livingstone’s, plural. We’re to be like Christ, there's this parallel that Peter's making between the stone and the stones or the members that make up the body. This parallel is very important when he begins to talk about this royal priesthood and we're going to get to that in just a minute. Notice this parallel, he is the Livingstone and then he says, you also are Livingstone’s. The Livingstone and God's Livingstone’s spiritual house, holy priesthood just as the Livingstone was chosen. Notice with me, verse four but chosen by God as what? Precious. Now move over to verse nine and you'll notice again in this parallel. First Peter chapter two verse nine. You are a what? Chosen generation just like Christ was the Living Stone and you are to be living stones just like Christ was chosen and precious. His body is what a chosen generation. There's this parallel that's going on between Christ and his body, Christ and his church. There to be together, there to be knit together.

Matter of fact if you turn with me to Matthew chapter sixteen, this is brought out in a conversation that Christ had with Peter and Peter's by the way writing about this in first Peter so it would only make sense that we go back to this situation where Christ and Peter are having a conversation and this point is brought out in this conversation. Matthew chapter sixteen verse fourteen through nineteen and they said, some say john the Baptist, some say Elijah. In other words, they were asking other people had other thoughts about Jesus, who was He? Was he Elijah? Was he just a prophet, etc? And says in others Jeremiah or one of the prophets and he said to them, Jesus speaking now. He says but who do you say that I am? So everybody is out there and they are wondering who is Jesus, but then Jesus says but who do you say that I am, speaking to his disciples. Simon Peter, the first one to respond. Verse sixteen answered and said, you are the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, blessed are you Simon bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my father who is in heaven and I also say to you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

The interesting fact in this passage is how Simon exhibits a faith in Christ and how Jesus then turns to Simon and changes his name to Peter which is a stone. Petraeus or a rock yet Jesus in saying this, brings Peter back to the fact though that he Christ is the rock Petra upon which the whole house is fitly joined together. So even though Peter, he said Peter you're a stone amongst the stones but I am the chief cornerstone. I am the rock that this church is going to be built on and so what Peter is talking about in first Peter, it all goes back to part of what he experienced when he had this conversation with Christ and he realized his place in all of this. Christ is the rock, he's the living stone and we are just living stones. The second thing that this brings out going back to Peter, first Peter chapter two the second point that is made here by Peter. Is this concept of a spiritual house and I want you know this verse five, He says you also as Livingstone are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. He says listen, you're Livingstone’s you're to be a spiritual house now there's a parallel Christ right he's the chief cornerstone he came to set the example for us. And as we live by that example this is how we relate to him we're to be a spiritual house. We're to be a holy priesthood. What did priests do in the old testament, one of the things that they did were offered sacrifices and so Peter going back to the Old Testament points back to this royal priesthood and he's talking about in relationship to sacrifices. What kind of sacrifice exactly are we talking about? What kind of sacrifice do these Livingstone’s offer? Notice with me, romans chapter twelve verse one and two, Paul writes I beseech you therefore brother and by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a what? a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God which is your reasonable service and do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Paul says the sacrifice Peter is talking about, is that we are to be Livingstone’s and we are to offer sacrifices and then Paul turns around and says and by the way this is the sacrifice you are to offer as a royal priesthood, it's your lives. Your lives are to be a living sacrifice; Peter is using the term priesthood to emphasize the need for making a sacrifice. This one of the things the [46:21 unclear] priesthood did and the Old Testament and doing so they were to be as holy examples of Christ to the people. Our sacrifices are today our lives but I want you to notice this, this is what he's talking about with the royal priesthood and this is important to grasp so I want to, I’m going to skip for the sake of time, I’m going to move right over to Wednesday’s lesson. When we deal with the royal priesthood, I’ll make a quick note to this, covenant people because Peter's going back to the Old Testament part of the Old Testament plan was that ultimately they were to be a royal priesthood. they are a covenant people so notice with me there's a couple passages in the very beginning God formed a covenant with this people. The first one is in genesis chapter nine verse nine, I’m going to go through this quickly. It’s Noah, when Noah gets off the ark and he offers a sacrifice there, then God says and I will make a covenant with you. This is the covenant that has always existed and what God is doing is he's renewing in the covenant. Matter fact when you turn to genesis chapter seventeen verses one through four, it's the one we always like to talk about. It's that covenant that God forms with Abraham. Remember he pulled him out of the land of her and he's walking through and he's experiencing what it means to live by Faith, what it means to live for God on a regular basis. God along the way, gets to the point where he says, now this is the covenant that I’m making with you. He’s not making a new covenant He's renewing in the covenant He's always desired with His people and so constantly through Scripture. In exodus chapter two verse twenty-four, God remembered this covenant when he rescued his people from oppression in Egypt and then exodus chapter nineteen God speaking to Moses, reminds them of this covenant just before he gives them the ten commandments. So when we go back to the Old Testament what Peter is doing, when he's talking about a royal priesthood and he's polling that from the Old Testament what he's saying is that God wants a covenant relationship with you gentiles just as he much as he desired to have a covenant relationship with the children of Israel. There's no difference, God shows no partiality or God is not partial. The covenant that he's always desired he will always want and it's interesting in Daniel chapter nine verse twenty-seven, it talks about Christ and at his death he confirms the covenant the very covenant that we consistently see throughout Scripture and this is what it means to be part of this royal priesthood, this holy nation. It means that we all holy people that we are partakers of this covenant relationship. That God has established and that God is going all the way through.

Matter of fact if you turn to Hebrews with me. If turned Hebrews chapter eight, Paul comes back to this issue of the covenant when he's talking about the Hebrew Christians and Hebrews chapter eight. He says verse seven is where I’ll start, for if the first covenant had been faultless, there was no problem, they would have been sought for a second. He says because finding fault with them, there was no problem with the covenant, there was no problem with God making a covenant with the people. The issue was the people, whether they wanted to continue in the covenant or not but the covenant itself doesn't change and this is why Peter can go back to the Old Testament and apply it when he's talking to the gentiles. You'll notice with me he goes on because finding fault with them, he says behold the days are coming says the lord, when I will make a new covenant and the word there is actually renewal of this covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt because they did not continue in my covenant and I disregarded them says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days as the Lord, I will put my laws in their mind, write them on their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people and so Paul is telling this to the Hebrew Christians but Peter helps us understand that this covenant is much broader. It's not just for literal Israel, there's also a spiritual Israel the Bible speaks about. This transition and this is what Peter is getting into and he's starting to make this transition and helping them understand that they are part of a royal priesthood. They're part of a covenant relationship with God and that is for everybody. Notice with me, verse ten first Peter chapter two. Notice with me, verse ten, we'll go back to nine and ten so you can see it together kind of bringing this all together. He says, but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people that you may proclaim the praises of him, who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light and verse ten he says, who once were not a people but are now the people of God. Who had not obtained a mercy but now have obtained mercy. God here is, talking about a holy nation, he's talking about a royal priesthood that is connected with the chief cornerstone which is Jesus Christ. He's the cornerstone that makes all of this work and I thought it interesting that Peter uses the words royal and priesthood. When you look at Christ the living stone the chief cornerstone, do you realize that Scripture and Paul and Hebrew’s talks about how Christ is a Priest King? He's after the order Melchisedek which was a priest king and so his body if it's connected to him, they would only be a royal priesthood. Notice with the revelation and I’m going to close with this. Notice with the revelation, revelation chapter one verse one. He starts out by saying the revelation of Jesus Christ so we know when we get into the book of revelation our real focus through all of it is Christ but then I want you to notice verse five and verse six, From Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn, from the dead and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To him who loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood and has made us what? Kings and priests to his God and father to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Jesus is the king priest and his body would only be a royal priesthood. He's made us through washing us, through cleansing us from our sin. He's made us to be kings and priests. Matter of fact, when Jesus writes in revelation chapter three to that last church, he says to him that overcome and I will grant for him to sit on my throne. Do you realize Christ wants us to be part of his royal family? But that royal family is also a holy family, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and so Peter puts these all together and he encourages the body that what God meant for the Old Testament he means for everybody. This was for average body to participate in and to become part of and so by the grace of God may we truly proclaim this to the people that we come in contact with. May they see that we are a part of this royal priesthood. I want to encourage you. If you don't have it, our free offer today. It is possible to live without sinning? Its offer number one eighty-seven and you can get it, if you just call (866)788-3966. And you'll be able to get this. Is it possible to live without sinning from a library of sermons? May God bless you this Sabbath day as you participate in his royal priesthood.

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