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The People of God

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The Church is more than just a building or a meeting. The Bible describes the church as the People of God. In this message by Pastor Mason Phillips discover how special God's people are to Him.

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The People of God

Series Introduction

Illustration: American Express commercial: “Membership has its privileges.”
One of things that we as Christians take for granted is the special calling that we have as the Church.
There are at least three ways that the Church reflects God’s nature:
As the People of God
As the Body of Christ
As the Temple of the Holy Spirit
The Church is a living witness to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It testifies to the world about the character and ways of God so that they might find Him and enter into His kingdom.
These metaphors used by the authors of Scripture about the church not only point to our testimony in the world, but to the unique blessings that come with being a part of the church.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to look at these things and see how “membership” has its privileges.

Called Out and Chosen

There was a point in time where humanity had fallen from Eden and eventually began to walk away from God. When Abram turned to God in faith, God made a covenant with Him. Through this covenant and his seed the nations would be blessed.
Later, his descendants would find themselves in Egypt as slaves and burden-bearers.
Exodus 6:2–8 NKJV
2 And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them. 4 I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.’ ”
This moment in Israel’s history is where things changed. The descendants of the promise given to Abraham had found themselves in Egypt and in bondage. And God heard their groaning and remembered them. He remembered His promise and sent a deliverer with a message : “I will rescue you and take you as My people. I will be your God and I will give you the promises that I have made with your fathers.”
This began a special relationship between God and Israel. They were taken out of Egypt and eventually brought into the Promised Land. The Scripture refers to Egypt as a symbol of the world system, sin, and its bondage. God calls His people out of the world, sin, and their bondage and brings them into a special relationship with Himself and into inheritance and blessing.
In the same way that Israel was called out of their circumstances and chosen and selected as the people of God, we find the same story in the New Testament with other groups who respond to God in faith.
1 Peter 2:9–10 NKJV
9 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; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
The church, above all other things, is God’s people.

What Does It Mean to Be God’s People?

Remember when Ruth was with her mother-in-law and was at a crossroads after her husband died? Naomi was returning home to Israel and told her to go back to her people the Moabites. And Ruth responds by saying, “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).
What did she mean by saying, “My people?”
Deuteronomy 14:2 NKJV
For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
God is chose us to be “My people.”
What does it mean to be one of God’s people?

God’s People Are Chosen and Distinct

Illustration: Cliques in schools - recognized by the subculture they are a part of. They have their own language, dress, activities, etc.
Jeremiah 7:23 NKJV
But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’
Being God’s people makes us identifiable to others because we walk in His ways. This makes us distinct. We stand out even. Our customs, behaviors, and speech are clearly different from other groups.
Being God’s people means that we are holy people, a holy nation.
The Greek terms for holy speak of objects of awe, of things being clean, of “shrinking from” something. Later uses of the word would be reserved for sanctuaries and even of gods and religious practices (TDNTA).
In the Old Testament it also carried a personal dimension because God associated it with His name (cf. Amos 4:2, Leviticus 10:3).
Being holy meant to be something sanctified, separated out for special use, off limits to common things. It means to be reserved for divine purpose.
God called you out of darkness and into the glorious kingdom of light, just like He brought Israel out of Egypt to bring them into the Promised Land (1 Peter 2:9, Deuteronomy 6:23). You are meant to represent Him and show the world His ways. And when you do, it will be well with you.

God’s People are His Representatives

As His people, we are called a Royal Priesthood. The priests were God’s intermediaries who interceded for the people and spoke to them on behalf of God. They made sure that proper worship was practiced and they helped maintain the spiritual health of God’s people. They administered God’s blessings to the people.
When God called Abram, He made him a powerful promise.
Genesis 12:1–3 NKJV
1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
He blessed Abram to be a blessing. Through God’s blessing on his life would pour out blessing upon others, ultimately touching the world. Anyone who blessed Abram, who honored and respected and connected with him were blessed because of their association.
Because Abram had the blessing of God, he was in position to bless others. Later, Aaron, who was the chief priest would pronounce God’s blessing.
Numbers 6:22–27 NKJV
22 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: 24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ 27 “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
As God’s people you are blessed. In Christ, you are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). And because you are God’s people you are sent to bring that blessing into the world. You are blessed to be a blessing.
Even when things don’t seem like they are working in your favor, remember that you are blessed. Because you are in Christ, things are going to work for your good and God’s glory (cf. Romans 8:28).

God’s People are His Special Treasure

Deuteronomy 14:2 The 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.
The people of God are his cherished personal treasure, part of His personal fortune. The same word also refers to a reserve fund that a person has set aside or saved.
God’s people are His own among all the nations.
Think of the worth that God places on the church. As His people, the church is cherished and treasured. God paid a great price so that He could save from out of the nations a special people.
Titus 2:11–14 NKJV
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.


Being part of the church is so much more than a meeting. To God, the Father, it means that you were chosen and selected and saved to be His special treasure.
To be a part of the church means that you have a relationship with God your Heavenly Father.
It means that you are blessed beyond measure.
It means that He has chosen you to represent Him to the world. You demonstrate His ways before the world. You pray for the nations and bless them with God’s blessing.
This is the church, the people of God, His special treasure and something wonderful to be a part of.
Altar: Christ gave Himself for us, so that we could be redeemed, made holy, and reserved as His special treasure. Because He loves you.
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