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1 Peter: Don’t Be A Culture Vulture

1 Peter 2:1-10 CSB | Trey VanCamp | October 23, 2022

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Although the culture we live in pushes us to create our own individual identities, our brains are wired to find our identity within the context of a group. Naturally, we discern our purpose, discover our belonging, and decide our values based on the communities we find ourselves in.

As followers of Jesus, it is incredibly important to shape our group identity and practices around the humility and confidence given to us through the gospel. In 1 Peter 2, Peter warns us to avoid the common practices of the culture around them: malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander, and encourages us to center our lives on the cornerstone of grace.

Today, we live out this same identity by practicing humility and confidence within our community.


You can take interactive notes here. At the end of the message, you can email the notes to yourself.


Hi all. I’m Lisa and I help out on the welcome team. I’m gonna read tonight’s scripture first Peter two, one through five. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants desire the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow up into your salvation.

If you have tasted that the Lord is. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by people, but chosen and honored by God, you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house are being built to be of holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Amen. Thank you, Lisa.

If you can open your Bibles to that passage. First first Peter, chapter two. Wonder if you’ve ever heard this line. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. You heard that before. Any leaders, any entrepreneurs in the room culture eats strategy for breakfast. This is a line by Peter Drucker and he’s famous for this line, and I wish I believed this line seven years ago when we started Passion Creek Church.

See, I thought I knew culture. I thought I knew what kind of culture we wanted to create. I was able to state. But I didn’t necessarily do the best job instilling it if I have one regret in my leadership journey. So far it’s, I didn’t take it seriously enough when pastors told me, Make sure you guard your culture.

Cause that is what’s gonna give you life, because you may have all the great strategies in the world, which I think we have an incredible strategy here at Passion Creek Church. But if we don’t have the right culture, a gospel culture, none of it matters. Now, what is culture? Culture is the vibe of your tribe, right?

It’s the intangibles. It’s, there’s something here about this. And you call that culture isn’t even necessarily what happens when the leader is present. It’s mainly what happens when the leader is absent in many ways. That’s why some of you are joining basics this afternoon, because there was something you couldn’t really put up.

You couldn’t really exactly detail why, but there was something about this family that you wanted to be a part of. On the other side, culture is a reason why some people don’t come. There was something about the culture that didn’t necessarily grab their attention in older churches. Culture is this phrase, This is just the way we do things around here.

Sometimes that’s really healthy. Other times it’s one of the worst things ever. Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Strategy is the thing that empowers you to read your Bible. Culture is the thing that excuses you from actually doing the. You can read your Bible all day, but if you don’t have the culture of doing it, it doesn’t quite matter does it?

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. And so if I were to go back to my 23 year old self and say, Trey, listen up buddy. Cuz I was 23 when we planted this grace of God, right? I would say, Trey, look. Quit waiting for a better culture. Start creating one. Quit waiting for it. Leaders create culture. They don’t wait for the.

Come, and in many ways this is what Peter is doing here. He’s setting the culture, not just for the churches who were spread out in exile. They, he was setting a culture for our church today. Write this down. This is gonna be a little bit of leadership lesson, especially here at the beginning of this message.

Leadership takes ownership of the fellowship. This is what leaders do, and you’re gonna see Peter doing this, and we want to do this as well as a church and our church leadership. How do we take owner? Of the fellowship, meaning there should never, a healthy leader never says, Our people just don’t do that, this, that, or the other.

No. Instead you say, No, I haven’t led my people to do this, that, or the other. So one of the most terrifying things somebody told me when I started this church, they said, Your church in five years will be a reflection of your leadership. Terrifying. Your. Husbands, I feel specifically led to talk in the room.

Men who you lead is a reflection of you, especially five to 10 years down the road. And if I was honest, our church, I love where we’re at, but there’s also a lot of places where I want us to go. and and I think part of it is taking ownership of the fellowship and speaking into things when I was I, right before planting this church and I’m done talking about planting, but one more story, before planting this church, I got to speak out this church out in North Phoenix and they were possibly going to support our church and it really depended on how good the sermon was.

They never supported our church, but it’s fine. So I remember. He was sharing and I was standing right next to him and he was giving me some great wisdom about planning a church right before I was doing it. And I’ll never forget his voice, like singing was terrible. Like it was just horrendous. And yet he was the loudest person in the whole room singing.

and I thought, Bro, you need to sit in the back like you’re right next to the microphones. This is ruining the experience. It would just be like the Manliest way to sing. It’d be like like dwarfs from Lord the Rings, like just singing. I don’t know. I watched Lord of the Rings this week.

I’m feeling inspired, but it was just terrible. But you know what I learned seven years later, just this week, I thought, Oh, I know why he did that cuz he wanted the men to sing in the. And he took ownership of the fellowship and he thought, if there’s a single person in this room, it’s not singing cuz they don’t sound good.

I’m leading the way and if I can sing if pastor can sing that loud and that obnoxious everyone in the room can. That’s leadership. That’s leadership 1 0 1. You want an honor culture in your family, in your house, in your church. Take the time leader to be the one to honor somebody every single day of.

You want a culture of worship, you better be the one singing in front of everybody else. You want to have more peace at your home? Lead the way husband, lead the way, father, lead the way, Whoever, in setting a sabbatical once a week, leaders don’t wait for culture. They create the culture. Adrian Rogers, one of my favorite pastors, he has this line.

I thought I was so good. He says, If you need encouragement, give it. If you need love, give it whatever you. Give it away. Amen. And that’s leadership. I want us to look at the leadership of Peter, and I hope it instills leadership within us here at Passion Creek Church. The title of my message today is Don’t be a culture vulture.

Don’t be a culture vulture. Let’s pray. Father God, we ask you, We invite you in this room. God, we love that you are a God who loves to be invited. And so we invite you, have your. Use this passage of First Peter two to transform us into your image. God, I pray that it would grow our church today, the way that we not only hear the word, but we also do it on our way out.

In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Amen. Leadership takes ownership of the fellowship. So here we have in first Peter two. Peter is taking ownership of the fellowship at a very. Level. Remember Peter, He’s writing to Gentiles. A shout out to Caleb who spoke in the last two Sundays. He described how Peter’s actually write writing to the Gentile people.

Here’s what we have to remember in just context. The Gentiles had a terrible culture. They had no biblical culture at all. The Jews at least had the Old Testament, and they’re able to tweak it and understand the new covenant, but the Gentiles had nothing and so Peter’s trying to instill a brand new.

In a place where they’ve never had any concept of God like we have here in the Bible. And I think this can be an encouragement to you. I love here at our church, there are several of you that I know in the room right now who you are the first person to be a Christian in your family. So this whole Christian culture thing, brand new to you, what a legacy you’re able to.

What a, you have the opportunity to start a new culture, and we want to help you with that. So for Peter here, he’s gonna set the culture, but in order to first set the culture, he has to first address the vultures. Somebody told me the other day, I haven’t rhymed in a while. I’m back. All right. First one, culture vulture.

First one. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all s. . These are characteristics of a culture vulture. You want a bad culture. You allow and encourage and spread people who have malice deceit, hypocrisy in V. And spread all sorts of slander. Let me ex explain what each of those words are.

They’re not really typically something we use in our everyday conversation, and so let me explain them real quick. Malice it simply means a desire to hurt or to harm someone. This can be with your mouth typically, but also with your body. You just, you have this desire, you have malice. You are an angry person.

You don’t like when other people are happy. You also have deceit. Deceit happens in so many different ways. Typically though, in my experience, the people who are deceitful are the ones who are the most insecure, and so they make up lies in order to make themself look like they are better than they really are.

I’ve actually learned when I hear people who are very over who are deceitful, who are very exaggerative, I actually have learned to pray for them because they’re looking for love in all the wrong places. But dec. This need of saying, I’m not enough, so I need to change the story so that you like me more hypocrisy.

This is one we all know and I think most of us label, A lot of us think the church is full of hypocrites. Hypocrites means to be, to pretend, to be somebody you’re not. I just wanna invite you here at this church. You can be wherever you’re at, we have a plan for you, right? We have an agenda for your life, for you to look just like Jesus.

But you can be where you’re at right here in this moment. In fact, you can never. Until you’re honest about where you’re at today, then you have envy. Envy is to resent someone for their gifts. What’s interesting about Envy, I actually learned this from Jordan VanCamp at the Cultivate Women’s Conference, is envy not just means I like that person’s car.

Envy says, Okay, Sean, I want your Corvette. I don’t think you should have that red Corvette. I think it should be my Corvette. So not only should I get your red Corvette, but you should no longer have one that’s. He does have a red Corvette. Make sure you can check it out after service now. And then also you have, Don’t envy it though.

Don’t envy it. Not today. Oh, not today. All right, come next week now. And then you have slander’s back biting. It’s gossip, right? It’s talking bad behind somebody’s back. Now, here’s what I want us to see. Peter’s not being random here, Peter, through the power of the Holy Spirit’s not going, what are some random things I need to make sure they don’t do?

Peter is a pastor. And he is seeing within his congregation a culture of vultures. He’s saying, Hold on. I’m seeing within the life of our church way too much malice. There are people who are carrying the banner of Jesus and their hypocrites. That doesn’t make any sense. So he says, Rid yourself. It’s a violent language.

He said, You’ve gotta stop this. This should be very convicting to the people he’s talking to. Peter’s saying, You gotta be on alert leaders. They are, They take ownership of the fellowship and he’s saying, That’s not gonna fly here anymore. Peter’s constantly saying that, Be alert and of sober mind. It’s a con, constant phrase you have here in first Peter.

He’s saying that the devil, he likes to devour people like a roaring lion, but also the devil likes to deceive people like a slithering serpent. And so many ways, you know how the church divides, it’s not because of the people out there, it’s because of back biting. And Peter’s saying, We’re not having that.

We’re having a discussion. You’re gonna fix that. This is what leaders do. Write this down. Leaders project the culture and protect the culture. Here’s what I wish I knew I did. I feel like I did a decent job projecting what I wanted our culture to look like. You’re gonna hear our cultural values at the very end of this message, so stay tuned.

But I feel like I did a decent job. There is this phrase, whatever is celebrated. Replicate it. Anybody heard that before? So if you wanna see something, you see somebody do that and you say, Okay, that was good. Hey everybody, look what that guy just did. You know how he shows up early every single week?

That’s incredible. And you tell people you honor them and say, We’re gonna celebrate that story. And people subconsciously go, Okay, I’m gonna start doing that as well. That’s rewarded around here. I wanna be rewarded around here. I’m gonna have those similar behaviors. But here’s what I didn’t understand, and this is so hard about leadership and I think this applies as pastors, but as parents, as business owners, whatever you want, Look, whatever celebrated is replicated yes and amen, but just as equal, whatever is tolerated, is replicated.

You allow malice in the house. that’s gonna spread like ganging. The scriptures say you allow gossip, you allow people to talk bad about others, and you entertain those conversations. You are setting forth a culture. Peter saying, We repre, we’re about to see. We represent the presence of God. There is no room.

And so what you have to do is to protect it. The hardest job of a leader is to protect the culture. It means you have tough conversations. It means you connect, but then you correct. You say, Okay, I love you, but we’re not gonna allow that here. There’s grace, but we’re not allowing that here. Let’s work through that.

Let me here’s some a questions to ask yourself. If maybe you’re struggling with some of these sins that he listed, ask yourself this. Maybe. Is there anybody I don’t wish God’s best for? I know I have an answer for that, and I have to repent. I’ve been working with God in that. . Am I acting one way in front of someone and then another behind their back?

Am I envious of other people’s success or their gifts or their relationships? Do I find myself criticizing other people? That answer leads. To more questions, which we’re gonna look at here. Paul Peter is warning us about tolerating these types of sins in our fellowship and hear me sins in your own life.

So he wants us to protect the culture. Now let’s look at verse two. Verse two. He now sets a beautiful picture of what this culture looks like. He says now, like newborn infants desire the pure milk. Of the words so that by it you may grow up into your salvation. I don’t believe Peter’s here making a statement about maturity.

He’s actually talking about the thirst level. So like a baby just needs milk. Or like the psalm that says, like the deer pants for water. You and I are to crave, to desire the word of God. He’s saying this is the healthy culture we need. Step one is to love this book. Amen. To be put your face. To let it talk to you, to let it confront you, to comfort you, to command you.

We are doers of the word. We believe everything written in this book, as long as it’s interpreted in its right context. Amen. Amen. Context is everything. You can use this book to say anything you want, but context has a word. For you. Okay, so now verse three, it says, If you have tasted it, the Lord is good.

He’s referencing here Psalm 34, 1 of my favorite chapters. So when you taste the goodness of God, this book gets much more sweeter. But let’s look at verse four as you come to him. Who is him? Jesus. That’s like always the good answer when I ask who’s whatever. It’s Jesus as you come to him. A living stone rejected by people, but chosen and honored by God.

I love this. I think he’s writing to a group of rejected. . And so Peter’s saying, You know how you feel rejected. Our king was rejected too. It’s okay cuz God loves you. God just is how God loves Jesus his son. Verse five, You yourselves as living stones, a spiritual house are being built to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus.

What does this mean? This imagery here is groundbreaking. I think it’s really normal for us because this is 2000 years later. We have to understand how radical this was. Christianity was the first religion to not need a temple, to not have a altar to where you don’t even have to have a priest to pray to God.

This was groundbreaking. So you have to understand as they’re reading this blows their mind, Oh, I can encounter God here and now where I’m at. Yeah. Because of the gospel, the God’s presence is with you and with me because he dwells inside of us. Amen. When we believe in Jesus, in our Lord and Savior.

Now what also he’s communicating here, that’s not as hard for us to understand. We get that, that the church, is group, but what Peter is saying here is he is painting a picture of what kind of group we are. Write this down. Every culture has a group. So Peter’s here trying to explain to us what is the church like, what is our culture, what is our identity science?

I’ve been into brain science lately, which goes over my head. Get it brain anyways. Okay. But brain science tells us that from birth to childhood, you are spending every moment learning your own individual identity. It’s so fun as a father of a seven year old, a five year old, and four year. It’s totally what they’re doing, right?

They’re trying to learn themselves. Like anytime I compliment one of ’em, they’re like, Okay, what does this mean for me? Like I, I’ve totally declared Trinity my youngest. She’s the class clown. Like she’s gonna be the prankster all the time. Then faith goes, then what am I if she’s the class clown, what am I?

I’m like, You’re the rule follower now. You better keep to it. So we have all the, they’re trying to learn their identity, but here’s what happens at age 12, and this is why parenting teenagers is so hard, right? I wouldn’t know. But I was a youth pastor once at age 12. You now try to learn your group identity, so we actually have it wrong when we tell teenagers you’re just trying to learn your identity.

No, they’ve actually kind of figured that out in one to 12. The problem is now they’re trying to join groups and those groups say, We don’t like you for who you are now you need to change. And they want to be in a group so bad they’re willing to change. Does that make sense? Group identity to be a human is to run after a group identity from 12.

Your whole life, you’re constantly trying to figure out who your group is, because group identity is essential to human flourishing. Brain science proves this. It helps you determine what’s right from wrong. So it’s not just a book, even the Bible, right? This is our right and wrong, but most of us, we don’t believe it until we have a group around us that says, Yes, that’s right, and that’s wrong.

This is why it’s really important for teenagers to be with the right people. It also gives you a sense of. , it knows that you have a community serving your group gives you an enormous sense of purpose, right? So during Jesus’ time here on earth, he came forth and gave us the church a group identity.

Let me give you a few examples of what this identity looks like. Peters again, trying to show this imagery of saying, We’re like a living temple. When they see us, they see the presence of God, and that’s how we live. Here’s a few things that are on your notes. Christ created a people who first of. Take God’s command Seriously.

This is three of these points I’m having from the Sermon on the Mountain. I’m currently trying to memorize the Sermon on the Mountain, and it’s just so rich because you just don’t realize how brilliant Jesus is until you say his phrases over and over again. And one of the things he says towards the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount is man the one who practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom.

You know what he says though? The one who sets aside the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. James says, We’re not just hero as of the word, but doers only a group identity we have at this church. Based on the Sermon on the Mount is we take the Bible seriously.

We take his command seriously. Another thing Christ said when he was on the Sermon on the Mountain, he says, We as a people, we reconcile as quickly as possible. You wanna be part of this group, You better re. we don’t put up with I don’t like that guy over there because he said, No, we’re gonna deal with it.

All right, call him up. Let’s meet cuz we reconcile. Jesus said, Man, you have your gift and you there. Remember a brother or sister has something against you. Leave your gift or at the altar, go quickly reconcile with them, then come back, find that gift and offer it to the Lord. We are a people who re. The next one.

Jesus says, We are careful to obey God in our sexuality, even with our glances and our thoughts. I’m not saying this is easy, but this is who we are and we’ve signed up for this because Jesus is just that good and he gives us the power to do it. One more thing, identity only works in community. Write that down.

Identity only works in community. You don’t really have an. Outside of a community, and so I want us to notice this imagery here of stone upon stone. He’s saying, We are a living stone built on top of each other for the glory of God. Number one, like stones, You and I cannot leave. This is the imagery Peter wants us to see.

We’re stones and we’re stuck there. Baby . Welcome to church. You’re stuck with us. That’s what Peter’s saying. We’re stuck. What does that mean? There are obviously reasons you should leave a church abuse. I think you need to run the other way. Moving locations, I think it’s obvious. You should probably join wherever.

If they’re in California, you’re in Arizona. That’s not gonna work out long term, but I think most of us leave church way too soon. I’ve had the gift of seeing some people in our church have some issues with other people in our. I’m not allowed share those stories because of the law. But it’s beautiful because they’re all, I know some right now, some of y’all are in the room and you once had something against each other.

But you know what I saw when you got over it? When you reconciled, not only was it beautiful to see people reconciled, but both parties grew. They became more loving. They were more patient, whole lot more empathetic. A beautiful thing. I’ve actually come to believe God wants conflict in the. Because he wants us to grow.

And so in order to grow, we have to endure and go through conflict. Let not, This is why we’re talking about basics today. We’re talking about covenanting together to grow. We have to be stuck together and be committed to each other, like a marriage where even though we would just, the culture, the world’s culture says, Just run away.

Do what’s best for you. Do what’s easy. True growth happens when we recognize we are stuck together. Number two, I have to be quick. Like stones, Saints are stacked above and below. This is what’s beautiful. I preached on this a few weeks ago about being a multi-generational church. Those who are above us are actually those who are newer in the faith.

We of in the world, we think those who are above have higher status, but in the kingdom of God, everything is reversed. Those who are above us means we are putting them on our shoulders and we’re holding people. I hope and pray. There are people in this room you pray for and you teach and you love, and you gently show them the power of the scriptures because you’ve lived more life than they have, and it’s your duty to hold them up.

Also, there are some saints in the room that are below. Meaning they’re more mature than you. So when you come into this room, when you are joining a together group, you listen to their advice and you take he to the words they have to say because they are seasoned saints and you need to learn from their wisdom.

I was reading One Kings this week, Solomon’s son had so many dumb decisions. You know why he says that? He took the elder’s advice and ignored it and he asked his fellows, his group, What do you think we should. We are saints stacked above and below, and we’re here for each other. Friends, The church is being built not brick upon brick, but Christian upon c.

It’s a beautiful thing, but Peter goes on, Look at verse six. Verse six says, For it stands in scripture. He’s about to quote Isaiah and Psalms and Isaiah again. He says, See Isaiah Stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame. So Honor will come to you who believe.

But for the unbelieving, the stone that the builders rejected, this one has become the cornerstone and a stone to stumble over and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word. They were destined for this. There is so much here in this passage, but let me just summarize this for you quickly.

The whole Bible points to one. And his name is Jesus. Amen. Without Jesus, you and I are nothing. Without Jesus, your life will fall apart. Without Jesus, we actually believe your life will end in destruction and death and punishment. But Peter, he’s saying, Here’s the good news. If you take Christ as your cornerstone, at least life in abundance, but if you don’t take crisis cornerstone, there will be consequences.

Here’s the options Peter’s giving us. I may be giving you today cornerstone or grave. Here’s our options. What is Cornerstone mean? Cornerstone is the foundation of a strong house. Peter’s using this imagery to say, Okay, this cornerstone sets the foundation of everything else. So if your cornerstone is incorrect, the rest of the house will be wobbly.

The rest of the house just will not work. So the question is, what is your foundation? What is your ultimate hope? Hope? Who do you look to for meaning and purpose and reason to live? He’s saying if it’s not Christ, Your life will be crushed. And this means several things. I think for those who have never believed in Jesus.

This is saying, Look, your life is a gravestone. Everything you’re doing is just gonna lead to death. It’s just gonna lead to disappointment. It’s gonna lead to suffering. Now here’s the thing, if you’re a Christian, you’ll still have death. You’ll still have disappointment. You’ll still have suffering, but there will be a cornerstone to hold you up and there will be a.

That is beyond the grave, but without Christ, you’re crushed. Peter doesn’t want that for you and neither do I. Let me give you some examples. What does it look like for a life that’s built on the cornerstone of Christ? What does it look like for a life built on the gravestone of something else? Write this down.

In Christ, here’s the cornerstone. We take God’s command serious. When you make that the cornerstone of your life, it does lead to a life filled with abundance and joy. It’s not always perfect, but man, it’s so good. But the gravestone version of that is when you take the culture vultures believe what they have to say and they say No.

God’s commands are just God’s suggestions. And so you pick and choose what to follow, and consequently you have a faith that’s fake and hollow. It won’t. What about more as a cornerstone in Christ, we reconcile as quickly as possible. The gravestone version of that, the culture vulture version. The what the world says.

No, I don’t need reconciliation. I need revenge. Scriptures are pretty clear. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord, right? But the world will say, That’s fine. He hurts. don’t misinterpret me. If you’re being abused by someone, you need to get out and we would we believe calling authorities and all that, but some of us, you don’t need revenge, you just need reconciliation.

But the gospel is the foundation by which we can do that last one, Cornerstone. In Christ, we’re careful to obey God in our sexuality. This is a cornerstone that we have to teach all of us. I’m so tired of people saying just the young people. No, it’s all of. Have to take this invitation and this invitation lasts through our lifetime.

The gravestone version of that we’re hearing every day, and we have so much mercy and grace for, and we wanna walk through with you because you’ve been hearing this your whole life. I deserve to explore and indulge my sexuality. The reality is that sounds amazing. But Peter’s saying that’s not putting your life on Christ, the cornerstone.

It actually leads to despair and destruction and division, and your soul is disintegrated. We need to put on Christ. We need to make him the cornerstone. So what is our identity? What does it look like? Verse nine and 10. He answers that and I think it’s so good and we’ll be done. He says, But you are a chosen race.

A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession. He’s clearly not Baptist cuz there was a four point sermon right there. Not three, but it’s fine. I forgive him. A people for his own possession. Only two of you got that and I’m actually very grateful for that. Not so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Once you were not a people, but now you are a god’s. You had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy if you make Christ the cornerstone. These two phrases here are actually, these four phrases, excuse me, are pretty fascinating. I wanna focus on that as we land this plane. Write this down. A gospel culture is overflowing with humility and confidence.

Amen. What do I mean by that? Look at the first two phrases, A chosen race and a royal. Chosen race. This is a humble term. This is full of humility. Chosen means. Here’s the thing, you’re not that brilliant. It’s not that you chose God. It’s in fact that God chose you. Amen. That’s amazing. You know why that’s so good?

Because it had nothing to do with how great you are, has everything to do, how great he is. He chose you and so therefore he can’t lose you. That’s humbling. He didn’t choose me because. My good looks, Jordan. That’s not why he chose me. He just chose me. And that man that’s, that gives you a sense of humility, but only that he says, We are a royal priesthood.

Here’s the thing about being a priest. It’s not being a king. What does a priest do? Read the Old Testament. The priest doesn’t even own land. They just. Amen. They’re not there to be served. They’re there to serve. He’s saying, You’re royal, but you still gotta serve. That’s humbling. This is who we are. We’re living temple, and we served the least of these because we are the least of these.

That oughta give you humility that oughta give you no. To look down on any other people group to make fun of somebody else. No. We are a people and say, Look, God chose me. It’s nothing I did, and maybe God chose you. Let me show you about Jesus the cornerstone, but also gives us confidence. Some of us gotta get our step back.

Look, confidence is this next thing he says, But you are also, You’re not just a chosen race, a royal priesthood. You are a holy nation. Holy means we’re set apart. We are exclusive. We are a nation of people and there’s nobody like us, and we’re gonna last for eternity. That ought to give you some confidence.

Not only that, we are a people for his own possession. Other translations say, God treasures us man. If God can be for me, who can be against me? To quote show Baracka from a song I walk with the confidence of 10. Only because my confidence is in him. We walk with confidence. So I want to ask you, I, I’m thinking through as a church, a group identity, but also in your own family, in your own life.

Are you taking the invitation to walk in humility? Do you need some humbling or are you walking in confidence? Maybe you need greater vision for your life. Here’s an easy litmus test. Here’s how you can know. How well does verse one describe your. How well does malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander?

Describe your life right now. The answer to that is an invitation to look to God more because you are looking to someone else that only Christ can give. I know for me, mine is slander, and that’s usually not me. I have no interest in slandering people. I think it does nothing for the gospel. But I was talking to a mentor on the phone this a couple weeks.

And I, we were talking about basketball and I, there’s a group of friends that we know, and for some reason I talk bad about all of those guys. In other words we got ’em, like they’re not gonna win. But I went a step too far. And so this friend, he was one of the first people to ever call me outta my sin.

It was in college and we met and I was having the greatest time, and he called me out and for the next week, you can ask, Jordan and I were like, I didn’t wanna talk to anybody. I was so embarrassed. It was so transformative for my life. It was the first time I had a mentor call me. Because he was protecting the culture.

But anyways, so I said something bad about this group and I know him and I said hey, before you even say anything, let me do this first. What I said was wrong. I should not have said this about that group over there, and I’m just embarrassed that I did that yada. And then he doesn’t answer back.

He is completely silent. And I’m thinking, Oh no, we’re not friends anymore. It was one sin too far. He finally goes, Hey man, I totally missed like the last five minutes of what you said. What’s going on? So I was like, Oh, don’t worry about it. Let’s just move on. I didn’t have to even go eat into ear nothing.

But that invitation for me was, okay, why did I, It was such a throwaway line, but why did I slander them? Okay, Am I’m not walking in humility. If I’m not walking, humility, I, there’s something that I need to give to Christ. I am not remembering who I am in. I’m not walking in the grace and love that only Jesus can give, and there’s an invitation I want you to practice together this week.

I want us to look at as a church group, what are the invitations here to stop being a culture vulture and to step into the love and grace of Jesus. We have two practices this week to go through with your groups. If you can’t be at group this week, just do it on your own. Number one is practice humility.

I’ll be quick, but at our church, we have five values that shape the life of our church. The first two are never stop learning and never compare. That is a life of humility. We never stop learning. We aren’t above anyone. I love it. Somebody in my group this week said, people ask, How come I go to that guy’s church?

He’s younger than you. He said, I don’t know. I. Because we never stop learning. There’s nobody above us, nobody below us. We’re just learners. Amen. This is what we do at our church and we never compare. Tim Keller has such a great line. He says, The way the normal human ego tries to fill its emptiness and deal with this discomfort is by comparing itself to other people all the time.

To compare yourself as to live a life of. To live a life of pride means you have a life of emptiness and friends. Only Jesus can help you. Friends, I’m here to say the love of Jesus can give you what the admiration of people can never give you. Practice humility, speak of others more than you speak of yourself, and that is evidence that the grace of Jesus has taken a hold of your life.

Here’s a second thing to practice. You probably guessed it. Practice confidence. The other three values of our. Is we never give up. Oh, we’re stubborn. Yeah, we ain’t giving up. We want a building. We still want a building. You know what? I believe we ne, Here’s the thing, here’s how God works. We hear the word of the Lord before we ever see the work of the Lord.

So we’re gonna keep going. This is just how God works. We’re too dumb to give up. We never give up. But also we never hold. We have a God of abundance, which means we walk in confidence. So when God gives us a gift, we also think this gift needs to be gifted to someone else as well. God’s blessings don’t stop with us.

They spread through us. How come I can have that confidence? Because the same God who took care of me today is the same God who will take care of me tomorrow, man, at Passion Creek Church, we’re never alone. We walk into confidence. Here’s what I know. I am confident that y’all got my. I am confident that my group will take me as I am and I’m confident.

Even this Tuesday night I can talk about a struggle and they’re gonna keep it. They’re gonna hold onto it. They’re not gonna use it against me. They’re gonna use it to love me cuz I have that confidence because we are a living temple, being built into the image of God. This is an imitation to a group that maybe you’ve never been a part of.

And what a great day today to stay after. Join our basics and see what God has for you to join our family. Friends, I’m here to tell you life is filled with culture vultures, but Christ can become your cornerstone. It doesn’t have to be your story anymore. You can today through the gospel of Jesus Christ, walk in humility, knowing it’s nothing you did to deserve salvation and hope.

It’s everything what Jesus did on the cross. And you can walk with confidence because the same God who died for you has a purpose for you and you can walk in it.

Group Guide

Looking for community? Join a Together Group!

Meal & Conversation

Open the night with a quick prayer over your time together. As your Group shares a meal, feel free to use the following question to check in with everyone:

What are your highs and lows for the week?


Overview of Teaching

Although the culture we live in pushes us to create our own individual identities, our brains are wired to find our identity within the context of a group. Naturally, we discern our purpose, discover our belonging, and decide our values based on the communities we find ourselves in.

As followers of Jesus, it is incredibly important to shape our group identity and practices around the humility and confidence given to us through the gospel. In 1 Peter 2, Peter warns us to avoid the common practices of the culture around them: malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander, and encourages us to center our lives on the cornerstone of grace.

Today, we live out this same identity by practicing humility and confidence within our community.



  1. Read 1 Peter 2:1. How have you seen the things that Peter names here in the culture around you? How well does this verse describe you personally?
  2. Now read verses 2-5. What do you think is the significance of Peter describing us as living stones?
  3. Now read verses 6-10. How would you describe the group identity that Peter is giving his readers in these verses? How might this group identity contrast with the culture around us today?
  4. Reflecting on your own life, how would you assess your own identity? Which practices, values, and worldviews have you adopted from the world around you, and where do you sense God inviting you to adopt a new identity as described in 1 Peter 2?
  5. Debrief last week’s practice together — how did it go? What did you learn from your time of confession with God and/or with others?


Practice for the Week Ahead

The goal for this week is to practice Humility and Confidence. Read through the 5 church values that define our church’s group identity below:


Practice Humility

Never Stop Learning — We’re never too good to learn from anyone in our community, and we actively seek opportunities to learn from those not like us.

Never Compare — We resist the urge to inflate our egos by comparing ourselves to others, and instead choose to celebrate differences and build others up.


Practice Confidence

Never Give Up — We hear the word of the Lord before we ever see the work of the Lord by following Jesus in obedience even when it seems like it’s leading nowhere.

Never Hold Back — We don’t hold back the blessings we receive, but we freely give to others what has been given to us.


Never Alone — We commit to living in vulnerable proximity to others, even when it’s mundane, uncomfortable, and challenging.


Now discuss the following questions before ending the night.

  1. Which of these values comes easiest to you, and which are more difficult?
  2. Where in your life do you think God might be inviting you to grow in these difficult areas?
  3. What are some practical things you could do to grow in these areas?


Close the night together in prayer.