Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC 

1 Peter 2:1-10

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”
8 and “A stone of stumbling,  and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Growing up on the playground I loved to play anything that included a ball. Basketball, football, baseball, soccer, you name it and I played it on the playground at school. You always begin the game with two team captains who picked teams. Inevitably someone would always get their feelings hurt because they were picked last, and most of the time it had to do more with who was whose buddy and not necessarily because of who could play the game the best. 

Peter tells these Jewish believers (and us) in this passage that we are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.” Somehow, before the foundation of the world Children of God were chosen for salvation, and it had nothing to do with your ability to live the Christian life, to play the game if you will. It had everything to do with the grace of God and his love toward mankind. Now, in chapter 1 of this same book, Peter says we were chosen according to foreknowledge. In other words the Lord foreknew us when he chose us. Paul also told us in Romans 10:13 that whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Charles Spurgeon once stated that nobody in hell will ever be able to say they came to Christ and He rejected them. Somehow God chose us and we choose Him by faith at the same time. I’m not sure how those two go together but they do, so you and I must take them both on faith. 

The bigger point in this passage for me is if we’ve been so gloriously saved, chosen by God to be His representatives on this earth, then we should live like it. On the playground the kids picked first had big shoes to fill. They were expected to make the plays, score the baskets, run the touchdowns, and play good defense. That’s what Peter is writing about it, and he even tells us in detail how to live like we’re chosen. He says first of all to put away sin. In order to play the game of life to glorify God we must overcome temptation through the power of the Spirit of God. Secondly, he says we must build our lives on Christ. Daily we need Jesus, His Word, and His resurrection life to best exemplify the Father. Lastly, we must proclaim His excellence everywhere we go. If we’ve been chosen of God, saved and forgiven for all eternity, then we ought to tell the world of our awesome God! 

Child of God, you’ve been picked to play on God’s team. You’re in the game with Jesus. Play with all your might for the praise of His name. Get in His playbook, the Bible, every morning. Get the plays for the day in prayer. Go out and win some people to Christ! Let’s play today like we’ve been placed on God’s team by His grace! 

Father God, I don’t fully understand how your sovereignty and my free will go together. All I know is how grateful I am for salvation, and I want to now glorify You with all of my life. Help me play the game for Your glory so that others will be won to You today. In Jesus name, amen. 

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence