November 2017  
This Week's Events


Thanksgiving Eve Worship
7:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Bible Search
Last Sunday's Sermon
Pastor: Harry M. Krolus

                                             WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHILD OF GOD
                                                                                     1 PETER 2:9

The artist Paul Gustave Dore, who lived from 1821-1883, lost his passport while traveling in Europe. When he came to a border crossing, he explained what had happened to one of the guards. Giving his name to the official, Dore hoped he would be recognized and allowed to pass. The guard, however, said that  many people attempted to cross the border by claiming to be  persons they were not. Dore insisted that he was the man he claimed to be. "All right," said the official, "we'll give you a test, and if you pass it we'll allow you to go through." Handing him a pencil and a sheet of paper, he told the artist to sketch several peasants who were standing nearby. Dore did it so quickly and skillfully that the guard was convinced he was indeed who he claimed to be. His work confirmed his word!
As we take a look at our lives, one of the questions that we must ask ourselves is this: Do our lives confirm who we say we are? We all say that we are children of God, right? But, what exactly does that mean? Our text today is a good place to begin.
The first thing our text says is that we are a chosen people. It’s nice to be chosen, isn’t it? Well, we have been chosen by God!  We did not choose God.  God, has chosen us. Each of us can look into the mirror every morning and say, God has chosen me.  He has called me to faith and has chosen me to be his child.  
Next it says that we are a royal priesthood, not just me as a pastor, but all of us.  And as we look to the Old Testament, we see that this entails four main responsibilities.  First, it means that we are to reflect the holiness of God in our lives. Second, we are to offer spiritual sacrifices just as the Old Testament priests offered physical sacrifices.  St. Paul helps us with what this means. He says in Romans Rom. 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.”  Living our lives for Christ is our spiritual sacrifice.  Third, we are to intercede on behalf of others.  We are to keep others in our prayers, even our enemies.  And finally, as priests of God it means that we are God’s representatives to the rest of humanity.
Next, we are told that we are a holy nation, a people belonging to God.  These words remind us that we are not our own; that we have been bought at the cost of Jesus’ shed blood at the cross of Calvary. Our Savior has redeemed us with his own precious blood.  His blood has cleansed us of our sin and, through faith, has made us holy.  We are not our own, we are the Lord’s and we are to strive to be holy, to do battle against sin every single day.
The last thing, but certainly not the least, to be mentioned here is a statement of purpose.  The previous five things have described who we are.  Now, in black and white, we see who we are to be. We are to be a people who declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.  As children of God, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to be a people who actively take part in sharing the Good News of Jesus.
This passage tells us what it means to be a child of God. As we let the meaning of these words sink in, again we ask the question; Do our lives confirm who we say we are? As we consider this question, think about our Savior Jesus. He once asked his disciples, as recorded in Matthew 16:13-16, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  
How did the disciples know who Jesus was? There were many who came before Jesus claiming to be the Messiah, and Jesus himself tells us that others will come after him claiming the same. So, how did the disciples know and how do we know that Jesus is the true Messiah of God? Is it just because he claimed to be? No, anyone can claim to be whomever they want to be. Jesus’ life demonstrated that he was who he said he was.
When John the Baptist’s disciples went to Jesus to ask if he was truly the One, Jesus responded by saying, (Matt. 11:4-6) “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
Jesus demonstrated who he was through his words and actions. This is what the transfiguration event was all about. Not only did Jesus allow himself to be seen in his heavenly glory, but with the presence of Moses and Elijah, he also demonstrated that he was the one who would fulfill the law and the prophets. He was demonstrating that yes, he was who he claimed to be, the true Messiah of God.
What would others say about you? Who would they say that you are; a teacher, a nurse, an accountant, a business woman, a bus driver, a homemaker? How long would it take them to mention, that you are a child of God? When you think of the apostle Paul, who would you say he was? Most of us would respond by saying that he was a child of God, one who was bold in sharing the Good News of Jesus. Yes, he was also a tent maker, but how he made his living was not his primary identity. The same should be said of each of us.
Regardless of what we do for a living, or our station in life, our standing, as children of God is to be our primary identity. It is something to be lived. It is something to be observed. It is being the people God has called us to be, as described right here in 1 Peter.
Advanced Business Machines, I think, has a pretty good slogan, “We live and breath this stuff.” Shouldn’t the same be said of us regarding our faith in Jesus? Are we being the priests God has called us to be? Are we striving to be holy as God has called us to be? Are we putting forth our best effort; using our time, talents, and money in making disciples, in sharing the Gospel?
Being a child of God doesn’t mean saying that you are or wearing a hat that says you are. Being a child of God means that we are recipients of the redeeming love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. It means that we are a part of God’s holy family, a family with a purpose; a purpose that merits not a cursory effort, but our very best as God has enabled.