Who We Are
Read v. 1 Peter 2:9-10 What an exciting calling God has given us. We are to declare to others the praises of God. It should be easy to do because we have received the mercy of God. There is a true account of a women who approach the emperor Napoleon with a very urgent request. This mother approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death.
The mother explained, “But I don’t ask for justice, I plead for mercy.”
“But your son does not deserve mercy,” Napoleon replied.
“Sir,” the woman cried, “it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.”
“Well, then,” the emperor said, “I will have mercy.” And he spared the woman’s son.
We are saved by the mercy of God. We no way deserve to be so blessed by God yet He willingly chose to forgive us.
We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a people belonging to God. The purpose of all this is stated at the end of verse 9, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. That praise is explained in verse 10. You have received mercy.
How can we not praise Him for who we are in Christ? You are love by God, unconditionally and eternally. We have received mercy. We were once in darkness but now through faith in Christ are in the glorious light of God. Peter tells us what the mercy of God has done for us. We are not just pardoned, we are changed.
To help us understand God’s mercy in changing us Peter gives a fourfold description of a believer in Christ here in 1 Peter 2:9. The impact of the words hopefully will cause you to give praise to God with thanksgiving from your heart.
If you are a believer in Christ, then these words describe you.
1. A Chosen People
To me this is the most glorious description of believers in Christ in the Bible. God is His mercy chooses you and me to be part of His family. Why? Not because of who we are or anything we have done, but because God chose to love you. Believers in Christ are the most loved people in the world. Why? God loves you eternally. He has shown us how much He loves us by Christ dying on the cross. We are part of His family.
I remember how exciting it was to be chosen by this congregation to serve as your pastor, and it has continued to be exciting. More exciting than that was when Denise chose to be my wife. Yet it doesn’t even come close to being chosen by God. And being loved by Him.
God loves you and me not because of anything we are or have. He loves us because He loves us and will never stop loving us. Don’t let Satan or your feelings allow you to not believe you are loved by God. You are loved by God Himself as His chosen people.
2. A Royal Priesthood
We spoke about being a priest last week, but just let me add that we are here called a royal priesthood. If you are a child of the king, you are royalty. God is king and as His child we are royalty. That’s us in Christ. God has called every true believer to be part of His royal priesthood. We believers are to serve and worship God not by offering up the bodies of animals, but by presenting our own bodies as living sacrifices, available for His purposes.
As priests, we represent His kingdom to the world and can approach the King of kings and Lord of lords at anytime. His throne room is always ready to receive His royal priests as they offer their sacrifices to Him and come with their praises and requests.
3. A Holy Nation
Together believers are the nation of God, but not just any nation. We are a holy nation. That is a nation set apart for God’s specific use and purpose. Israel in the Old Testament was called God’s holy nation. For us the application is first in reference to being holy. By the sacrifice of Christ on the cross we are now declared by God as holy; that is, sanctified by God. Secondly, you are a nation. That being said, you are now under the authority of God as King. He is the One who promises as your King to protect you, provide for you and always do what is in your best interest. Our part is to obey the King and we know the standards of our King -- the Bible. This is our citizenship handbook.
4. A People Belonging to God
Just in case you haven’t seen the blessings of being a child of God, this on should do it. The words “belonging to God” is not the best translation. Literally it is “obtained and/or preserved.” Christians are a special people because God has obtained and preserved them for Himself.
You belong to God. How do you think God will take care of His possessions? God bought you with the blood and death of His Son. You are not your own! You belong to God. Therefore, God is going to do what is best for your life. Even if you don’t understand it all.
Read v. 1 Peter 2:9-10. Let me close with an example. If you found an old pair of glasses at an auction and you were told they use to belong to John Jones who once owned a farm in Eureka you would probably say big deal. And maybe you would pay a dollar for them. Then the auctioneer guy found out they use to belong to Thomas Edison all the sudden what was just about worthless is now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why? It all has to do with ownership.
You now have a new owner. Yes God has purchased you. That makes you far more valuable than any auction article. You are a child of God through faith in Christ therefore you who were once his enemy are now part of the chosen people of God, part of the royal priesthood, part of God’s holy nation, preserved by God.
To God be the Glory - #536 (My Tribute)