Occasion: Sunday Worship 23rd February 2014
Introduction: There were two brothers. One was a farmer, the other a shepherd. Both brought sacrifices to God, but only one was accepted. By the end of our story, Cain murdered his brother and will always be remembered as the first murderer in human history. We learn that not all sacrifices are acceptable to God. He does not need our bodies, time, and money. He is completely content and happy in Himself, yet He delights in the properly motivated sacrifices of His children because they are in Christ, and rejects the sacrifices of those outside of Christ, no matter the degree to which the sacrifice comes.
Text: 1 Peter 2:4-8
Purpose: Peter continues to emphasize objects of true value, by presenting the glories every believer has in Christ, so we will cherish Him and live responsibly because of these blessings.
Proposition: God wants me to understand the glory that comes from Christ, so I will cherish Him supremely and live my life as a daily expression of acceptable worship.
Interrogative: How do I cherish Christ correctly, and live my life in this way?
Doctrine 1: God will not accept an unbeliever’s worship.
Illustration: If you give your friend a nice portion of rice served in a dirty bowl, he will not accept it. The dirty bowl makes the gift offensive.
Isaiah 64:6 We are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.
Romans 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Is it possible for you also to do good who are accustomed to doing evil.
Romans 2:4-6 Do you despise the riches of His goodness…not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath.
- God cannot be pleased with us, until His wrath is removed
- Our best works are defiled by our sinfulness
- Our best works are always mixed with human weakness and sinful motives
Doctrine 2: God can now accept the believer’s worship because of Christ.
Question: Why was it important for Christ to die on the cross? God’s justified had to be satisfied!
Ephesians 1:5-8-8 God predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself…He has made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Ephesians 2:12-14 You were without Christ…having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace.
Romans 5:1 We have been justified by faith, and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Christ’s sacrifice removes God’s wrath
- The cross provides the possibility of a pure motivation
- As an expression of His grace, God relates to us as children in a process of sanctification
Psalm 103:8-14 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
Doctrine 3: God only accepts properly motivated sacrifice by His children.
Question: Why do I obey God? What is the ultimate basis for my acceptance with God and His acceptance of our worship?
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
1 Peter 4:10-11 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
With pure motive, let us serve the Lord acceptably!
What things occupy my thinking more than anything else: Present your mind to God!
- Daily worship
- Corporate worship
- Personal study of the Bible
What activities occupy my time more than anything else: Present your bodies to God!
- Work hard
- Be morally pure
- Serve God by serving others
- Daily obedience
- Exercising your spiritual gifts in the church
What I am doing with my portion in this life: Presenting your worldly possessions to Go.
- Be generous with your money
- Be hospitable
Conclusion: God wants me to understand the glory that comes from Christ, so I will cherish Him supremely and live my life as a daily expression of acceptable worship. How will I cherish Christ correctly, and live my life in this way?
- I must realize that outside of Christ, my very best is unacceptable sacrifice.
- I must realize that it is only because of Christ, that my sacrifice acceptable.
- I must realize that God only accepts sacrifice that flows out of a pure motivation.
- May God grant us the grace to walk in light of these truths!