Sunday School Material - A Chosen People

(I Peter 2:1-10; 11/8/09)

Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that God has chosen His people to live godly lives. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like chosen people of God.

Body:
Read I Peter 2:1-3
I. Growing Strong In The Faith
. Peter urges his readers to lay aside ungodliness (e.g., malice,guile, etc.), in this first section of the Sunday School material. He wants them to desire the milk of God's word and grow in the word. He assumes that they have tasted the grace of the Lord.

Applications –
- Notice in vs. 1 the urging to lay aside ungodliness. In spite of our being saved from the penalty of our sins, by accepting Jesus as our savior by faith, we are yet able to sin. We should fight off malice (i.e., the desire to inflict harm on others).

We should also fight off guile (i.e., the setting of traps for others),hypocrisy (i.e., being two or three or four faced), envy (i.e., wanting what others have), and evil speaking (i.e., slander and gossip).

All ungodliness is sin that will lead to our punishment, instead of our blessings. Let's work on putting aside all ungodliness.

- Notice in vs. 2 the urging to desire the milk of God's word, so we can grow by it. No matter how much preaching and teaching is offered, it will not help a person who doesn't have a mind to receive it and grow by it.

Let's work on hearing and obeying the Word of God. At the core of God's word is our loving Him, ourselves, and others with the assurance of having accepted Jesus as our savior by faith.

Read I Peter 4:-8
II. Being United in Christ
. In this second section of the Sunday School material, Peter talks about Jesus and His people being like living stones. Those who believe in Jesus are not confounded or made ashamed. Those who disobey find Jesus to be a stone of stumbling.

Applications –
- Notice in vs. 4 that the stone that was rejected by people was chosen by God. There are people who may write us off as "rejects." However, God has the last word. We should strive to live a life that is pleasing to God, instead of trying to please people.

God's acceptance overrides the rejection of people. And God's rejection overrides the acceptance of people. Let's focus on God's assessment of us.

- Notice in vs. 5 that the people of God have been chosen by God to offer up spiritual sacrifices. Our sacrifices should start with the giving of our very lives to the Lord (see Rom. 12:1-2).

When we act on our decision to deny and dedicate ourselves to divine directions (i.e., the 4 Ds of discipleship), it will be easier to pay our tithes and give our offerings, easier to serve the Lord by meeting needs with our God given talents, and easier to love even our enemies.

Let's work on offering God the spiritual sacrifices that He expects out of us. By the way, the more we give to Him, the more He gives back to us.

- Notice in vss. 7-8 that Jesus is a stone of stumbling to those who are disobedient. There are some people who reject the Holy Spirit's conviction and urgings. Instead of yielding to the still quiet voice that urges them to obey God, they reject it.

This type of disobedience makes Jesus a stone of stumbling to them, instead of a precious stone. Instead of Jesus being a source of purpose, peace, and joy, He is viewed as a nagging obstacle to a self-centered life.

Let's work on living an obedient life, instead of a disobedient life. Let's also work on remembering, as we minister to others, that if they don't decide to yield to the Lord then all we are doing is planting seeds and praying that the Holy Spirit will provide the increase one day.

Let's remember the relationship between obedience and Jesus being a stumbling or precious stone.

Read I Peter 2:9-10
III. Receiving Great Privileges
. Peter reminds his readers that they were chosen to praise God, in this third section of the Sunday School material. They used to be bad off. But by the grace of God, they have mercy.

Applications –
- Notice in vs. 10 that the people had a testimony. They used to be without group identity and without mercy. But by the grace of God, they have group identity and mercy.

As we look back over our lives, we should be conscious of the testimonies that we have. Things may not be as well as we want them to be; however, things are better than we deserve. Let's work on praising God for how good He has been to us.

Conclusion: Based on this Sunday School material, let's work on living like we are chosen people of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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