1 Peter 2: 5 “You…as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood…”
This promise is for the corporate gathering and worship and it’s an unimaginably great promise!
#1 this promise is corporate.
You might say, “Well, doesn’t the Bible say that if I believe in God, God comes into my heart, the Holy Spirit comes into my heart, and he knows me individually?” Yes, sure, of course.
• But that’s not what this is talking about in these passages of scripture.
• This is saying, and there is no other way to take it, that as God inhabits his people, not just as individuals.
• It’s as we come together and are built together, as we take our membership vows, our covenant, our agreement to loyalty.
• When we come together and become a community and a family that serves God and others, that’s where you access the glory of God in a way that is otherwise not available.
Now, some of this is common sense.
For example, let’s just say, “Well, I believe that I can meet God through the Bible. I read the Bible and I learn. God speaks to me through the Bible, and I learn about God through the Bible.” That’s fine. But, you’re going to understand the Bible, you’re going to go deep into that Bible infinitely faster if you do it with other people and if you do it in the church. It’s common sense to say you’re going to go deeper if you are reading the Bible in community. It’s also true about worship and prayer, as you know. There is a connection that happens in the assembled people of God worshipping and praying together that doesn’t happen in other ways. So just think about this. At home, you can read the transcript. You can listen as you’re walking along or you can listen in your car, and you get the same content as if you’re here, but here’s what you don’t get. When you’re here, you’re in the assembled people of God. You’re in the presence of other people who have worshipped and prayed before the sermon comes. And now, for example, right now, you can see how I’m affected by the truth and I can see how you’re affected by it. You are responding. There’s a communal loop, by the way. I can see you and you can see me. And if I was on a video or if you were just listening to me, that loop is totally broken. That’s simply the common sense part of it.
Spiritually, however, there is a power when you are listening to the sermon in the assembled presence of other people who are assembled in the presence of God, and the experience of it will shape you much more deeply than it will if you just consume it individually.
Why? God inhabits his people as a community, as an assembly in a way he doesn’t any other way. In other words, you have access to God and his glory here in a way you don’t otherwise have. It’s not the only access you have, but it’s a unique access. Do you understand that?
But the other thing about this promise which is remarkable to me and to us is to say that the church is the place of his glory. Where his glory dwells is unimaginably great. What do I mean? Well, for example, Isaiah 6…
Listen to the study as we cover verses 1-10 in 1 Peter 2
1 Peter 2
Our Inheritance Through Christ’s Blood
Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
The Chosen Stone and His Chosen People
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 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. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who [b]are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
9 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 marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.