Sermon for 05.07.23 “God’s newborn, chosen, priestly people”

Easter 5, May 7, 2023
Text: 1 Peter 2:2–10
Theme: God’s newborn, chosen, priestly people
Other Lessons: Acts 6:1–9; 7:2a, 51–60; Psalm 146; John 14:1–14

A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.

B. The Epistle lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.

C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:

LSB 573:1-2 Lord, ’Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee

Lord, ’tis not that I did choose Thee;
That, I know, could never be;
For this heart would still refuse Thee
Had Thy grace not chosen me.
Thou hast from the sin that stained me
Washed and cleansed and set me free
And unto this end ordained me,
That I ever live to Thee.

It was grace in Christ that called me,
Taught my darkened heart and mind;
Else the world had yet enthralled me,
To Thy heav’nly glories blind.
Now I worship none above Thee;
For Thy grace alone I thirst,
Knowing well that, if I love Thee,
Thou, O Lord, didst love me first.


A. A nursing infant gazes at her mother’s smiling face while that mother
ponders the wonder she cradles in her arms.

A. She marvels at the tiny little life that the Lord has knitted together
in her womb.
Psalm 139:13 (NASB95)
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.

B. Her heart bursts with love for her little child, and she ponders with
hope her baby’s future, praying it will be filled with meaning and purpose.

B. In so many ways, this little child is you, the Church of Jesus, for you
in Baptism have been:
1 Peter 1:3 (NASB95)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to
His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
A. For this new life, God is nourishing you:
1 Peter 2:2 (NASB95)
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you
may grow in respect to salvation,

B. Joined to Christ, you are chosen and precious to God. And he has
purposeful work in store for you as:
1 Peter 2:5 (NASB95)
you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a
holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through
Jesus Christ.

C. Today, the living Word of The Living Savior Exalts Your Status as God’s
Newborn, Chosen, Priestly People.

A. Joined to the resurrected Christ by baptismal grace, you are a newborn

A. Baptized into the risen Christ, his people are:

1 Peter 2:2 (NASB95)
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you
may grow in respect to salvation,
A. Life is pure gift.
a. We can give ourselves neither physical nor spiritual life.
B. God, our Father in Christ:
1 Peter 1:3 (NASB95)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to
His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

B. We are growing up into salvation (verse 2).

A. This is not growing toward a salvation we do not yet possess,
B. but growing into a salvation fully bestowed upon us in Christ.
C. For this growth, we need and receive the nourishment of “pure spiritual
milk,” that is, the Word of God.
a. God’s Law warns us against the empty calories of idolatry, which simply
is this:
Isaiah 55:2 (NASB95)
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does
not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight
yourself in abundance.
B. God’s Gospel offers the nourishment God has lavishly supplied in the
life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
D. Here:
a. we have tasted that the Lord is good (verse 3, Psalm 34:8),
b. calling to mind God’s Means of Grace.
1. The written and spoken Word of God (Gospel)
2. Holy Baptism
3. Holy Communion
c. Faith craves that Word over the empty and harmful food the world offers
in its word and wisdom.
d. A healthy newborn does not find nursing a chore.
e. The child lives for it.
f. When Jesus told his disciples they must become like little children
(Matthew 18:2–3), he spoke of this absolute dependence on his grace.
E. To grow, we also need and receive nurture.

C. Illustration
a. A newborn is nearsighted and cannot see very far away.
b. But the distance from the mother’s breast to the baby’s face is just the
right distance for the newborn to gaze upon the mother’s loving face.
c. In a similar way, as the Church is nourished by “pure spiritual milk,”
she is able to look upon the loving face of God in Christ.

B. From that nurturing love, the infant children of God learn their
identity as chosen people.

A. Granted, the Church is not chosen or precious in the world’s eyes.
a. In the world’s eyes, her Lord was
1. “rejected by men” (verse 4; Isaiah 53:3),
2. seen in his Passion and death.
b. She shares in that rejection, as exemplified in Stephen (Acts 7:51–60).
c. This rejection tempts her to doubt her status as chosen.

B. But she is chosen and precious in God’s eyes.
a. Her Lord Jesus is chosen and precious, the living cornerstone upon which
God builds his Church
1 Peter 2:6–7 (NASB95)
6For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE,
7This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who
CORNER stone,”
Psalm 118:22 (NASB95)
22The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
Isaiah 28:16 (NASB95)
16Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a
tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He
who believes in it will not be disturbed.

B. As she feeds on God’s pure spiritual milk, the Church is reassured:
a. First, there is no reason to envy the world, which (apart from
repentance) can only face separation from God
1 Peter 2:8 (NASB95)
and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because
they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

B. Second, her true status in God’s eyes is an exalted one.
a. Once lost in sin, she was “Not My People,” but grace has made her the
people of God.
b. Once, her name was “No Mercy,” but now she has received mercy
1 Peter 2:10 (NASB95)
for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had
C. In Christ, she is the Father’s beloved, infant child.

C. Living in Christ and sharing his status, you also share in his priestly

A. Joined to Christ, the Christian becomes a living stone (verse 5), and is
being built up:
a. Into a spiritual house:
1. the dwelling place of the living God,
b. For a holy priesthood:
1. qualified by grace to serve in God’s presence,
c. To offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

B. Her spiritual sacrifices are in no way atoning sacrifices for her own
a. That work belonged uniquely to Jesus
Hebrews 7:26–27 (NASB95)
26For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent,
undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;
27who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices,
first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He
did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Hebrews 10:10 (NASB95)
10By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all.
B. And “it is finished” (John 19:30), something his resurrection has

C. Rather, the Church shares in his priestly work of glorifying the Father.
a. This includes sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise
1 Peter 2:9 (NASB95)
God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who
has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
B. It also includes the work of intercession,
a. praying for others:
1. including our enemies (as did Stephen, Acts 7:60).
C. It finally includes our witness:
a. in word and deed,
b. to God’s love for all in Christ.

D. Illustration
a. We have all heard the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
a time or two.
b. On the one hand, you may think some abstract work of art is ugly or even
offensive, even though art experts somewhere have valued it at hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
c. Meanwhile, stuck to your refrigerator door with a magnet is a simple
drawing from your little grandchild, which leaves much to be desired in
terms of technique and would mean nothing to anyone else, but to you, and
yes, it is a treasure.
d. God treasures us.
1. This is not due to some special beauty or quality in us.
2. In fact, our sin had earned us the names:
1. “No Mercy” and “Not My People” as declared by the Lord to the Hosea.
(Hosea 1:6, 9).
3. Yet God in his redeeming love has joined us to Christ through Holy
4. Although the world sees no beauty in God’s people, they are connected to
Christ and therefore, chosen and precious in God’s eyes
1 Peter 2:4 (NASB95)
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but
is choice and precious in the sight of God,


A. As “aliens”, the term Peter uses at the beginning of his first letter,
the Church will not enjoy an exalted status in the world’s eyes.
a. But joined by baptismal grace to your resurrected Lord, you, his Church,
have become his newborn, chosen, priestly people who glorify God and
witness to his love for the world.
b. Joining in his priestly work, you intercede for the world and bear
witness in word and deed to your risen Lord, whose love is working through
his Church’s ministry, inviting the world to become with you his newborn,
chosen, priestly people.
c. Amen.

B. Let us pray:
LSB 573:3Lord, ’Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee

Praise the God of all creation;
Praise the Father’s boundless love.
Praise the Lamb, our expiation,
Priest and King enthroned above.
Praise the Spirit of salvation,
Him by whom our spirits live.
Undivided adoration
To the great Jehovah give.
Text: Public domain

C. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

D. In the Name of the Father…Amen.