ROOTED | Living Scattered, Not Shattered | 1 Peter PART IV | ROOTED People | 1 Peter 2:4-12

March 20, 2022 Speaker: Christopher Rich Series: ROOTED: Living Scattered, Not Shattered | 1 Peter

Topic: New Testament Passage: 1 Peter 2:4–12

Our recent lives and cultural moments have been characterized by personal trials, political unrest, cultural upheaval, health concerns, relational turmoil, economic uncertainty, and varying degrees of individual and corporate trauma. This has caused us to be highly reactive, often discouraged, and at times experiencing crushing despair. Many of us are realizing our roots are too shallow and weak to sustain us in the storms of life. We need to be rooted in something deeper and more life giving than ourselves and our circumstances. We need to be rooted in a life that flows from the life giver, we need a real living hope beyond what we see and have now. We need good news greater than our current events. We need to be rooted in what is real, true, and eternal.
When we are rooted in the transcendent, we are not reactive to the temporary.
Recap – Who are we? We are Living as Elect Exiles. ROOTED Identity, as elect exiles, loved, empowered, led by the trinity) We have looked at who we are IN Christ, where we ae going with Christ. When are we in the story? When we are rooted in a living hope it gives us real joy and greater endurance in all situations. Peter has also helped the people of God (who have understand where they are in the story of God (ROOTED Hope) He started with the end (destination) in mind, to inform how the engage with their present, while being encouraged by God’s past Faithfulness. How do we grow and change? growing by the grace of the Living Word of God. Few of us are satisfied with who we are, all of us want to see positive changes in our lives. We know old, ineffective ways of being will not birth what we need to become. Good news for eternity should be good news for today. Our conduct matters to God, but it is a result of the transformation Christ has begun in us. Call to grow, change, holiness comes AFTER the
Good News of the Gospel. Holiness is a word we don’t use often but growth is one we
understand. Healthy growth is Holiness. Holiness is not passionless it is passion properly
directed. A grace filled heart, and a truth filled mind, can produce a transformed life. The
result of being ROOTED is fruitfulness. The fruit of being rooted is growth in Holiness. Holiness
is purity. It is experiencing the presences of God. It is living out the purposes of God with the
passion of God. To grow in Holiness is to grow in the purity, presence, power, purposes,
and passion of God found in Jesus.
How are we significant? We can often wonder what makes us valuable or gives us purpose in
a world where meaning and importance seem fleeting. We all crave significance and that is ok
because we were all created to be significant. Our problems come when we try to find our
significances in ways that do not ultimately satisfy. We seek significances in ways that are
unhealthy and often destructive. When we look to other people for our sense of worth, we
experience shame when we are met with rejection rather than received with honor and
affirmation. Individual dignity is essential for flourishing, but our significance is exponentially

greater when our identity is also part of a ROOTED People. To have faith in Jesus is to be
part of his people.
PART I | Living Stone(s) | 1 Peter 2:4-6
1 Peter 2:4-6 | 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.”
Draw near to Jesus the Rock – To “come to him” means coming into a throne room to hear
from your king. It is a posture of listening and place of presence. Jesus is the Living Stone.
Jesus was rejected by humanity experienced persecution was seen as insignificant by many
and worthy of insult by others, but who he is not defined by others eyes but God’s eyes. He
perfect and precious, He is strong and stable like a rock. We are scattered rocks, rejected by the
world who has rejected God. We are gathered and chosen because of the value God has
placed on us. This is an interesting metaphor because we think of Rocks are dead, they do not
produce life. Ezekiel 36:26 says God will take out our hearts of stone (dead) and replace them
with a heart of flesh (living). When Jesus rolls into Jerusalem the Pharisees tell him to calm his
people down about the Messiah talk and Jesus responds “if they are quiet the Rocks would cry
out in worship” (living stones)
We are Living Stones – Verse 5 is not individual but communal. We think too individualistically
(narcissism at worst) We think, “Yeah, I’m a living stone like Jesus “Chosen and Precious”” so
we think God is refining and changing us to then display us individually. Look at that one
amazing rock. While we are scattered in the world God has made us, and is making us, living
stones chosen and precious AND gathered us together to building us into something amazing.
He is building us up into a holy temple. You cannot build with one rock. You are not a living
stone, WE are living stones. We’ve been redeemed by Jesus and are being refined by the
Holy Spirit. We are a ROOTED People not just a rooted person. You are needed and necessary
and we as a church, and the church, are needed and necessary. One of God’s purposes in
saving you is to make you part of His church one which is always reforming and being refined as
redeemed individuals are refined.
Real change is possible individually and in the context of the community of the Church.
My daughter has a rock tumbler. So when we’re out she finds a rock she see something in and
then she puts it into this tumbler that just grinds away at it and what comes out is smooth nice
and polished. We are living stones but our lives are like a rock tumbler chipping away at us for
the purpose of making us more like what the Creator designed us to be. I am convinced part of
that tumbling is all of us put together chipping away at one another. Reforming can look like a
tearing down at times. Look back at verse 3. The outworking of growth is putting away
what causes corporate destruction. Repentance can be, and look, like deconstruction.
We put away what hinders and harms as we receive what is healthy and helpful. We fast from
what hinders, and we feast on what is good. Deconstruction is profitable when it for the purpose
of building something that is more functional, beautiful, and enduring. Jesus said I am going to

tear down the old temple (system of sacrifice) with not one stone left unturned and will rebuild it
in three days. You’re talking a lot of stones were used and crafted to make the temple. God is
using us as living stones; building us a new temple scattered across the world:
People of Worship – The Temple was a place of worship and God’s presence people would
come to. We are a people that are not to be drawn to a place, but a person and that person is
Jesus. God is building us up in the presence of Jesus.
People of Purity & Reconciliation – The Holy Priesthood were mediators between God and
the people. They would purify themselves to then enter the presence of God in the Holy of
Holies. We have been purified by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (God’s presence) to then live
out God’s Purpose (reconciliation) God is building us up in purity and reconciling us to Him and
to one another.
People of Sacrifice – Because Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for us on the cross that He said His work
is “finished” we do not sacrifice to pay for or atone for our sin but we live lives of sacrifice and
service to God and His people. We willingly, cheerfully, offer over our time, talent and treasure
to the Lord knowing it is acceptable in Christ and will be effective for God’s purpose and design
in the world. God is building us up for sacrifice. The church is always in a state of “work in
progress” it’s perpetual construction zone until that day when it is
complete/whole/perfect. So deconstruct where there is sin, repent where there is sin reform
from what is harmful to what is healthy. But know God’s greatest work is the church is not in
deconstruction but in reconstruction. We are being built up to more fully embody Christ in the
world. Jesus as the cornerstone is a reference to Isaiah 26:18, and it contrasts what humanity
builds verse what God is building. The context is religion that is false. Based on lies (or a bit
of truth but then distorted) Leaders were building for themselves NOT based on God
building in them for Him. It is easy to trash the church at times because it is made up of
imperfect people, even leaders, who are in process. We are all people in need of grace and
recipients of grace. We are in a new family now, one that is not perfect but is united and
purchased by our Perfect God the Father.
“Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian
community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal
intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial. God hates this wishful dreaming
because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idolized
community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others and by themselves. They enter the
community of Christians with their demands set up by their own law, and judge one another and
God accordingly. It is not we who build. Christ builds the church.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jesus is THE cornerstone which means He is THE strength, THE guide, the foundation for all
that God is doing and building in the world and through His people. Jesus is the cornerstone,
so we do not need to be unsettled when leaders fail or people fall away, because He is

the foundation everything is built on. This is a progressive growth that continue in churches
until the time the church is all one around Jesus. In Christ, we are a people of honor not a
place of shame.
PART II | Stumbling Stones | 1 Peter 2:7-8
1 Pet 2:7-8 | 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.
Stumbling Stones (2:7-8) – God uses what the world rejects to reflect His Glory. The
references in Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14 are talking about religious leaders who reject what
God is doing. Christ is the stone the builders rejected because the builders were working on
expanding their own kingdom rather than amplifying God’s kingdom. Jesus is clear in Matthew
22:42 to the Pharisees that this is in reference to Him. Here Peter is applying to all who reject
what God is building in Jesus. Not to oversimplify, but there are two categories of people those
who “believe” Jesus is the King we are his people we need His mercy; we have received His
grace. And those who do not “believe” they have rejected Jesus as king, they see no need for
his Mercy or grace. They “stumble” not because God put Jesus out to trip us up. It is a fall
because of a willing rejection and disobedience of who Jesus/God is. The destination and
disposition of each is honor or shame. It’s noteworthy how much time/word/ink given in the NT
and this letter to the affirmation of what identity in Christ looks like in comparison to what
describes the disposition and destination of unbelief. The purpose of that is clear. It is not
motivated with fear “turn or burn” or condemnation but a compassionate call from certain death
TO eternal life. But there is still a call to repentance a call to receive life. God’s deepest desire is
our repentance. God isn’t shutting people out He is calling them to Christ. We are willing
participants in our final destiny. Shameful disobedience defines those who resist Jesus;
honor is reserved for those who rest in Jesus. We should ask ourselves: What are you
building? What are you trying to tear down? What offends you? Is it the truth?
PART III | Possessed People | 1 Peter 2:9-10
1 Peter 2:9-10 | 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.
When and where God builds it is beautiful, true, and life giving. We have great value and
purpose because of who possesses us and where we are positioned. These people like us were
scattered in a pagan empire, marginalized, part of small churches facing opposition from the
government, culture, and other religious people, and wondered if they were known, cared for,
significant, and the answer is one that is both individually encouraging and collectively
empowering. We are rooted in a new identity as part of a Chosen Race; It is alluding to God’s
people being brought out of Egypt into the wilderness and to Mount Sinai where God’s people
were promised, if they followed Him they would be nation of royal priests. But Israel, like us
could not and cannot obey fully. Jesus comes and is perfectly obedient, serves as a royal priest

bringing God and His people together, and He begins a new nation of people born again, from
above into this chosen race who are all part of a royal priesthood. Priesthood isn’t a level up or
varsity, it is all believers. This drawing a straight line from the OT nation of Israel as God’s
chosen people to the NT Church of Jesus (including Jewish insider and gentile outsider
Christians) So this “chosen race/holy Nation” can get real wrong real quick. We get exclusive
where we should be inclusive or we get inclusive where exclusivity is needed. Love isn’t
exclusive it’s inclusive…. The heck it isn’t. It’s both radically inclusive (tribe, tongue, nation,
rich/poor, male/female) and radically exclusive in Jesus (I am the way, the truth the life) The
kingdom of God is beautifully multiethnic AND unified under one name. It is a nation and race
not defined by the bloodline of their fathers, but the shed blood of God’s Son. We are a
people are possessed to proclaim His glory as we revel in received mercy. We are royal, holy
people, because we are possessed by the God who has pulled us out of our own darkness and
into His light. We were dead rocks in darkness now we are living stones reflecting the light of
Christ. God’s people were out of the Darkness of exile in Babylon and now they are being called
out of exile of darkness of sin to be a light scattered in a dark world shining until there is a new
Great Hope in Faithlessness - Hosea, Gomer had two children a son and daughter named
“not my people” and “No mercy” to tell the people of God their faithlessness and infidelity had
broken relationship. Hosea was told to continue to pursue gomer even in her infidelity. God
pursues and wants us to know In Christ “you are now my people” “you have received mercy” so
see, know, and live a life of peace as living stones.
PART IV | Beloved & Conflicted| 1 Peter 2:11-12
1 Peter 2:11-12 | 11  Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of
the flesh, which wage war against your soul.  12  Keep your conduct among the Gentiles
honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds
and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Our eternal identity is beloved, while our internal reality is conflicted. We want to be
significant by settling down and having deep roots in a place and space and that is important,
but we are not at our forever home. We are passing through and we have an eternal impact in
the temporary lives we live. Rooted life includes navigating the realistic challenges of being an
embodied soul. To simplify again, result of being built up together and scattered in the
world is we abstain from evil, and we pursue what is Good. The war in our soul may rage
in the world around us may revile but our response is one of both practicing and
proclaiming peace in, with, from Jesus Christ. Our lives with outsiders are to be honorable
even as we are seen by them as shameful. We are to give them no reason to hate us but what
is true about Jesus and God’s word. This will not be easy. We may feel home is far off, but He is
not far off, and we are not far from one another when we Trust Jesus.