Day 28: The LORD’s chosen.
‘‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.’’ 1 Pet. 2: 9
Additional reading: Deut. 4: 20; 10: 15; Isa. 62: 12; Act. 26: 18; Rev. 5: 10
I said this yesterday: though Gentiles were so far away and separated from God, we have been drawn near and made to become citizens with God’s holy people. In fact, Gentiles are no more Gentiles — people without God, but are now members of God’s family and together with the Jews that believe are now His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets with Jesus Christ Himself as the Chief Cornerstone. And guess what that house is? That house is the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ — both Jews and Gentiles are now part of His dwelling place — the Church where God lives by His Spirit.
Apostle Peter in his first epistle to the ‘‘Dispersed,’’ i.e. strangers (predominantly Gentile Christians) scattered throughout the Roman province of Asia Minor on account of persecution they faced said: ‘‘All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.’’ (I Pet. 1: 3 – 4 NLT).
Because we have been born again — reconciled to God through the death of Jesus Christ, we have become citizens of God’s Kingdom and partakers of all God’s promises on earth and in heaven. For this reason, we live with great expectation because we have a priceless inheritance in heaven — pure and undefiled — incorruptible — beyond the reach of change and decay. I want to remind you again and again that we were once no bodies. But presently, our identity has changed.
I would again stress exactly what Paul pointed out earlier on but from Peter’s words: ‘‘Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.’’ (I Pet. 2: 10 NLT).
Do you see the connection here? Once we had no identity as a people because we were without God and His mercy. But when we became born again having received the mercies of God through Jesus Christ, we became citizens of God’s Kingdom — now we are God’s people — with an identity.
Exactly what kind of people are we? What is our identity? Now read this: ‘‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.’’ This is our new identity.
What the bible is saying is that by our faith, we are not like the unbelieving Jews that rejected Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Verses 5 – 8 give a picture of the attitude of the Jews towards the Gospel. Most rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, the Gospel was widely accepted amongst the Gentiles.
I would like to zero in on the word ‘chosen.’ Chosen is derived from the Greek word eklektos meaning out of, to pick, gather. Therefore, it denotes one picked out from amongst many others — people, nations, etc for a particular or special assignment. This explains why after Apostle Peter had outlined our new identity — chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people…; he ended the verse by outlining our assignment — ‘‘that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.’’
If you look carefully, you will observe a punctuation mark at the end of the first part of verse 9, and that is a semi colon — it was used to separate the two parts of that verse to establish the relationship between them. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people — with an assignment.
Clearly sir, this chosen generation, royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people is the Church that has been given an assignment. What is that assignment? ‘‘…God has brought you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things he has done.’’ (CEV). The assignment God has given this new generation of people — the Church — Christians is soul winning — preaching the Gospel to the ends of the earth and testifying of our salvation experiences that once we had no identity as a people; now we are God’s people. Once we received no mercy; now we have received God’s mercy. Our assignment as the Church of Jesus Christ is to enforce and maintain His victory over the forces of darkness by testifying His goodness and exercising the heavenly authority handed down the Church.
This was the very assignment God purposed to give His first nation, but they failed Him. Will the Church bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ fail God too?
Meditation: So my new identity came with an assignment!
Prayer: Though I never knew that my new identity came with an assignment, I ask for an understanding of my role in this assignment.
Questions: (1) What is our new identity? (2) What is the assignment? (3) What role can you play towards achieving this assignment?