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Saturday, March 21, 2020

2020.03.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Peter 2:4–10

Questions from the Scripture text: What did men do with Jesus Christ, the living stone (1 Peter 2:4)? What had God done? Who else are living stones (1 Peter 2:5)? What are these stones for building? What are to offer to God?  Through what (Whom!) are our spiritual sacrifices made acceptable? Where had God told about this beforehand (1 Peter 2:6)? Who will by no means be put to shame? To whom is Jesus precious (1 Peter 2:7, cf. 1 Peter 2:4)? What did the disobedient builders do to Him? To what were they disobedient (1 Peter 2:8a)? How did this come about (verse 8b)? What four glorious things does 1 Peter 2:9 call us? For what purpose did God make us into this (1 Peter 2:10)? Whose praises do we proclaim? 
The second time that He cleansed the temple, as the Lord Jesus came to have His body destroyed and then rebuild it in three days, He reminded us that His Father had called the temple, “a house of prayer for all the nations” (cf. Isaiah 56:7; Mark 11:17).

Now in today’s passage, it reminds us that the temple was not just to be Christ’s physical body. When we come to Him, we are not only coming to be forgiven of sins so that we may be blessed. We are coming to be built upon Him, with others, for the purpose of public worship.

Christ is the living stone, chosen by God and precious (1 Peter 2:4). We too are living stones, being built up as a spiritual house, as a place of public worship. We are a holy priesthood, a people of public worship.

And what are we to do in this public worship? Offer bulls and goats and grain offerings and drink offerings? Absolutely not! Christ Himself is the once-for-all sacrifice. But we do offer up spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5b).

That is to say, we offer up to God actions of our inner-self that glorify God and Christ, because they are acceptable only through Jesus Christ (end of verse 5). This offering up of ourselves is called prayer, and is something that is both its own worship action when verbal and to be part of all other worship actions, that they might be truly spiritual sacrifices, and not merely outward rituals.

He is chosen and precious (1 Peter 2:3), elect and precious (1 Peter 2:6, cf. Isaiah 28:16), and believed in and precious (1 Peter 2:7). But we too are chosen by God, set apart royalty, a consecrated nation, a special people. Why has shown us mercy (1 Peter 2:10b) to adopt us (verse 10a)? So that we might proclaim His praises (1 Peter 2:9b) and offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5b). Prayer-saturated public worship is the goal for which God has counted us as precious, and for which God has set us apart, and therefore it ought to be precious to us and the goal of our lives as well.
For each part of public worship, in what way should you be praying during that part?
Suggested songs: ARP62A “My Soul Finds Rest” or TPH402 “Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation”

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