19 April 2009

People for His Own Possession: "Now you are, now you have...now live"

Week 4 of our series on 1st and 2nd Peter.

The Monkey Trap
I have heard it said that you can catch a monkey with a pretty simple trap. The idea is that, if you put a hole in a coconut large enough for the monkey's hand and then place some monkey delicacy in the coconut, the monkey will reach into the coconut and grab it. The trap works because the monkey's fist is too large to get out of the coconut.  Thus the monkey's obsession with his prize keeps him trapped.  

The truth is we all have obsessions that trap us.  Our work, our stuff, our money, our experiences, our hobbies, our romances, our status, and our entertainment (at least we think all these things are ours) can all be things we believe will give us identity and satisfaction. When we hold this belief, we become enslaved like a monkey in a coconut.

Priests Are No Monkeys
With another astounding hammer blow, Peter works to establish the Christian's identity in 1 Peter 2:4-12.  God, through Jesus Christ, has made us a royal priesthood.  For modern Christians that description may not be thrilling but for Peter's audience it would have been unthinkably glorious. This message examines Peter's understanding the high honor of this royal priesthood.  

As God secures this identity in us, we are freed from the coconut trap of finding life in this world and freed to radically live and love as only aliens and strangers can. 

In short, bathe yourself in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Gospel and live.
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 being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood (1Peter 2.4-5)
Additional Resources

So much of this is really an issue of idolatry - for an amazing look at idolatry (and the power of the Gospel to free us from it) check out Tim Keller's message from "Entrusted with the Gospel", the Gospel Coalition Network's annual conference entitled "The Grand Demythologizer: The Gospel and Idolatry" (from Acts 19:21-41).  


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