October 7th, 2018
Main Idea: The Word of God is both the source and the strength to our growth together as the church.
I. THE SOURCE OF THE CHURCH (1:22-25)
Christians are called to love all people, but they are especially called to love their brothers and sisters in the church. Jesus indicates (John 13:34-35) that our love for one another will bear witness to him.
It is only possible to love one another earnestly from a pure heart because we have been born again by the imperishable seed of the gospel as contained in the Word of God. We draw from the same source of the Word of God to cultivate this love.
We cannot drive a wedge between God and His Word; they share the characteristics of being imperishable, living, and active. It reminds us that we love because God first loved us (cf. 1 John 4:19)
II. THE STRENGTH OF THE CHURCH (2:1-3)
We are called in the church to “put away” (like taking off clothes) sinful attitudes and desires that will poison our community.
The metaphor of longing for milk speaks to both our dependance and our enjoyment of the Word of God.
The Word of God is our strength as we “grow up into salvation,” as we continually taste and see the goodness of the Lord to us in Christ.
Visit many good books, but live in the Bible - Charles Spurgeon
III. THE IDENTITY OF THE CHURCH (2:4-8)
The Church is rejected by the world but chosen by God, following the pattern of Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone of the body of Christ.
Jesus Christ is the “living stone” because of his resurrection; we too are made into “living stones” in the new spiritual temple of God.
The church is not only built up as a spiritual house, but we are also a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices through Jesus Christ, our great high priest (cf. Heb. 4:14-16).
Peter emphasizes God’s sovereignty over the enemy in order to encourage these persecuted Christians. God is sovereign and in control over all things, even over those who oppose his people.