09-11-05-Who We Are-God's Special Treasure
According to American astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, a white dwarf star in the constellation of Centaurus, next to the Southern Cross, has been found to have a 3000-kilometre-wide core of crystallized carbon, or diamond. It weighs 2.27 thousand trillion trillion tons - that's 10 billion trillion trillion carats, or a 1 followed by 34 zeroes. The value of such a diamond is incalculable. The biggest earthly jewel is one of the British crown jewels, the 530-carat Star of Africa. The gem was cut from the largest diamond ever found on Earth, a 3100-carat stone. What would the largest diamond in the world be worth? What kind of security would it require? How would it be treated?
As we continue our study about who we are, today we are going to talk about being God’s Special Treasure. As valuable as the Star of Africa or the Hope diamond may be on this earth, to our Father, we are much more precious. Let’s see how God views us in the scripture:
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Pet 2:9 (NASB) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Pet 2:9 (AMP) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Pet 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an 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 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Pet 2:9 (NLT) But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Pet 2:9 (REW) But you are a chosen people, His royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special treasure, that you may shine forth His goodness and grace to others, because He called you out the dark world into the light of His kingdom
No matter what translation you read it in, this verse clearly says that we are precious to our Father. We are His possession, His special treasure. He chose us—hand picked us—from His treasure chest, so that we could be shine forth His light in the darkness of the world.
When G.G. and I first met, I had a vision that I want to share with you. I saw a huge treasure chest overflowing with jewels and gold. Father God was digging around in it for something. Jesus came up and asked His Father what He was doing. He said, “I am looking for a special gift for my son (me).” As Father continued to dig around in the treasure chest, Jesus reached in and picked up a huge emerald. He said to the Father, “your son will really like this.” Father said, “No, that’s not what I’m looking for.” So Jesus picked up a huge ruby and handed it to the Father saying “this will be a great gift for him.” Again the Father said, “No, that is not what I am looking for.” Then suddenly the Father exclaimed, “Ah Ha, I’ve found it!” and pulled out this huge diamond. He said this is just what my son needs. Now it just so happens that G.G. was born in April and the diamond is her birthstone. This just showed me how precious a gift the Father had given me in my wife.
There are 3 characteristics about believers stated in this passage.
1. Believers are a royal priesthood. This is the second priesthood mentioned in this chapter. In verse 5, believers are described as holy priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices. Now we are said to be royal priests, proclaiming the excellencies of God. As holy priests, we enter the sanctuary of heaven by faith to worship. As royal priests, we go out into the world to witness (for our king).
2. Believers are a holy nation. It was God’s intention that Israel should be a nation distinguished by holiness. But the Israelites stooped to the sinful practices of their Gentile neighbors. So Israel has been set aside temporarily (not replaced as God’s chosen people) and the church is now God’s holy nation.
3. Christians are a people for God’s own possession. We belong to Him in a unique way and are of special value to Him. [i]
As we look at this scripture, we see that it is a quote from the Old Testament. These words are from two Old Testament passages and show that Peter considers that the privileges and responsibilities of Israel in the Old Testament are now being transferred to the church as the people of God in his own day. [ii]
So let’s look at the Old Testament references:
Exodus 19:5-6 (NIV) Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you a will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
Deuteronomy 14:2 (NIV) for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
Deut 14:2 (NASB) For you are aa holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a bpeople for His 1own possession (special treasure) out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Deut 14:2 (Message) You only are a people holy to God, your God; God chose you out of all the people on Earth as his cherished personal treasure
We all know that “diamond’s are a girl’s best friend,” but ladies, what is it that makes them so special? Here are some characteristics of diamonds:
1. They reflect the light that is shined on them. They never create their own light.
2. They have many facets that reflect the light differently
3. They are created by years of pressure and heat—lump of coal without them
4. They are the hardest known jewels on earth and can withstand practically anything—used to cut glass
5. They will last forever (“diamonds are forever”)
6. They are carefully chosen and cost a lot or have a high value—they are purchased at a high price
7. They are carefully guarded and protected because of their value
As the special treasures (diamonds, jewels) of God we have similar characteristics:
1. We only reflect the light of God that we have shined on us by His Word and His Spirit. If we do not allow His light to shine on us, we cannot cause any light to be seen by those who are in the darkness around us. The only way we can reflect His light is to get close to Him. As we get in His presence, His glory will shine through us to those around us. (Shine flashlight on diamond)
2. We are all different in the way we reflect the light. Each facet of a diamond reflects the light in a different way. (Move diamond so it reflects light differently and ask what colors they see). Sometimes it is a bright red, or purple, or green. Each of us shows God’s light to the world in a different way through the gifts and talents God has given us. Each one of us is needed to show a different facet of God’s love to the world.
3. We become more valuable to the kingdom of God as we go through the pressures of life. As new born babies we are precious, but we can’t do a whole lot. As we go through the pressures of life and through time that we spend with God we become more useful for the kingdom. We are able to help others to see the goodness of God.
4. We should be able to stand up to anything the enemy throws at us because we have the strength that comes from being God’s special treasure. We are TOUGH—the toughest thing on earth because we are God’s special treasure. When the enemy starts beating on us, he can’t succeed in destroying us. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Rom 8:35-39)
5. We have eternal life and will live forever as God’s special treasures with Him in His glory. We are not just a temporary being that will cease to exist when we leave this earth. We are eternal creatures that will continue to shine God’s glory throughout the ages as we live with Him for all eternity.
6. We were specifically chosen or called by God into His kingdom. He chose each one of us to be His children. We have been called out of the darkness into His marvelous light. We have been purchased at a very high price—the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:18-19; Acts 20:28).
7. We are carefully guarded and protected by our Father because we are precious to Him. Our Father watches over us each day and protects us in ways that we are not aware of because we are so valuable to Him. Jesus intercedes for us (Heb 7:25) and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Rom 8:27), so we have God constantly watching over us. The Lord fights for us and protects us from our enemies.
Isaiah 54:17 (NIV) no weapon forged (formed-KJV) against you will prevail (prosper-KJV), and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.
Titus 2:14 (NLT) He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right.
Titus 2:14 (NASB) who agave Himself for us bto redeem us from every lawless deed, and to cpurify for Himself a dpeople for His own possession, ezealous for good deeds.
As special as we are to God, we must understand that He desires us to be a holy people. Jesus gave His life so that we might become the special treasure of God. We are His holy possession. Let His glory shine through you this week so that others will see our great God and desire Him.
[i]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (electronic ed.) (1 Pe 2:9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[ii]KJV Bible commentary. 1997, c1994. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
a 5,6 Or possession, for the whole earth is mine. You
a Lev 20:26; Deut 7:6; Rom 12:1
b Ex 19:5; Deut 4:20; 26:18; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet 2:9
1 Or special treasure
a 1 Tim 2:6
b Ps 130:8; 1 Pet 1:18f
c Ezek 37:23; Heb 1:3; 9:14; 1 John 1:7
d Ex 19:5; Deut 4:20; 7:6; 14:2; Eph 1:11; 1 Pet 2:9
e Eph 2:10; Titus 3:8; 1 Pet 3:13