1 Peter 2:9-10 (Part 1 of 4)
“But you are a chosen people…” vs. 9a
Lets Make A Deal
Parody if the TV show Let’s Make A Deal. Ron will pick people from the congregation to win prizes trying to avoid a “zonk.”
Round 1 Flowers Kettle Corn Zonk
Round 2 Chocolate Ornaments Zonk
Round 3 Starbucks $5.00 Zonk
In life we have choices. Some are easy, some more difficult and sometimes we have to really consider what we choose. God has choices too. Today, we are going to look at one of the greatest passages of Scripture and in it, God reveals one of his choices. This passage is the first in a four part series. If you are able, please stand as we read 1 Peter 2:9-10.
Read Passage – 1 Peter 2:9-10
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are t he people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Peter is addressing the church in this book and the church is at an interesting point in history. They went from a Jewish identity, both national and religious, to Christian. Really they were struggling to understand who they were, what their lace in the world is and what their place in history is. Who were they and what was that to look like? What was their identity?
We have built within us the desire to belong and to be a part of something. People try to fill that with lots of other things, jobs, hobbies, etc. We call ourselves by our occupation, by our educational status, Dr. etc., by our religious affiliation, by our allegiance to a sports team, a political party, etc. You get the idea. It may help us to quickly review where the Israelite people were and why this was important to them.
• Old Testament
First, let’s go way back in the Old Testament. You recall that the Israelites were not a people but were growing as a people under the Egyptian rule as slaves. They found their identity in their oppression and then God raises Moses to lead them out of slavery and into a Promised Land. They were in slavery for 4000 years and then wandered in the dessert for 40 years before they take over a land God had given them as his chosen people. God said about them in verse 10:
“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” vs. 10
They were an established people because of God and through God. In this time God made covenant with men like Abraham, Moses, and David. As they progress in their history in this new land they have kings that lead them close to God as some points abut mostly away from God. The kingdom splits and eventually both halves fall and are overtaken by other peoples. I would say that this happened because they failed to find their identity in God.
• No Affiliation
A second phase happens after the kingdom falls. While they were a nation God used prophets to give them spiritual direction and correction. Even after wards for a short time. But then we go into a long period of silence. There is no word from God, no prophets, nothing.
It is in this time that they lose their identity. In the 400 years before the time of Christ they are overtaken and ruled by 4 different groups of people. The most significant were the Greeks and then eventually the Romans. Both the Greeks and Romans did everything they could to make them as much like themselves as they could. They were oppressed, ruled, told to speak other languages, worship other Gods, etc. and really, they had no identity of their own.
• New Testament
Then comes the history where Christ is born. Although they don’t see it, and even though they were stilled ruled by the Romans; Christ, his message and his life, drove the Jewish people to unify themselves. Those who choose not to believe that Jesus was the Messiah solidified their efforts against him and really is a key point in the Jewish people reestablishing themselves as a people.
But Jesus really changes everything. A new people is formed or it may be that a new people is reestablished as a people called Christians; followers of Christ. They receive the same charge as the people of God that the Israelites did in the Old Testament; Exodus 19:5-6
“Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:5-6
I would point out one thing at this point. It’s a change in how God deals with people. Before the time of Christ it is important what nation you belonged to in your identity. After the time of Christ it should be noted that God isn’t dealing with nations the way he did in the Old Testament. Now he deals with people individually and more specifically, his church. The church has no national boundaries. It’s not the Irish Christian Church of the Peruvian Christian Church or the American Christian church, etc. No, it’s the church. The Church of Jesus Christ (no, I am not referring to the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons here) but the church of Jesus meaning anyone in the whole world who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior makes up the church. You remember I mentioned in the OT that God made covenant with specific men. Now, he makes his covenant with the church.
Why is this important, because God deals with his church. As his church, you are his chosen. His chosen knows no financial parameters, no land or nation boundaries, no social status, no thing that we use as humans to define or identify ourselves. I believe that this is what God wants from us, to find our identity in Jesus Christ.
You’re Chosen To Be…
With that in mind, God makes an incredible statement here in 1 Peter to us. This passage is so important that I have made it into a 4 part series. Today we are going to look at the first identifier listed in this passage and that is that we are God’s Chosen. You might say great but what does that mean? Good question. Let’s discover what it means to be Gods chosen.
1. His People
First, you are chose to be his people. Peter states in verse 9a:
But you are a chosen people…” vs. 9a
God has given us a choice. Do we or do we not accept his free gift of salvation that comes through his son Jesus Christ. God’s desire is that everyone choose this and accept this gift. (2 Peter 3:9) When we choose Christ and this free gift, and we make his Lord and Savior of our life, we become his chosen. Part of being his people is you receive everything the king offers, his love, peace, protection, etc. Like a ruler of a nation would take care of his people and provide for them and really should want the best for his people, so our king, Jesus Christ, lavishes all he has and all he is on us.
What does being a people of God really entail? The best way to understand this might be through an example from our own lives.
Ex. Let’s use the example of choosing friends. In today’s world we might call that “peeps.” For those who might not use that term it’s a slang way of saying peoples. So, you, our church, are my peeps. Think about the difference of the relationship of those you consider your friends to those who are acquaintances:
Friends Others/Everyone else
Spend time together See each other once in a while
Share experiences None
Build relationship None
Deep Care/Concern Casual care/concern
Everything of the left side God wants with you. Are you willing to be God’s peep or would you prefer to have the relationship on the right?
2. With God Forever
The second identifier is when you are chosen you are chosen to be with God forever. God says that he is always with us. Think about it in terms that Doavdi describes to us in Psalm 139:5:
“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5
This is a really cool picture. It’s a picture of God being in front of us, behind us, in other words surrounding us, and the topper, play on words, is that he even has his hand on top of us, or over us. No matter where you go, what you do, what is happening in your life, good or bad, god is there. You’re chosen. He chooses to be with you. But it gets better. It’s not momentary or at times, it’s always…and forever. Only God can make this promise to you. Only he can keep it.
Ex. I love my wife and can’t spend enough time with her. But, I am human and I have limitations. I can’t be with her 24/7. It’s impossible. I could try to promise that but I can’t keep that promise.
God says he chooses you and you can be with him…forever. He can make that happen. It also means that when we pass from this life, we are still chosen. I love the verse in Matt. 28 that says “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” That is saying that even after this life is done, God says, I still haven’t left you. I am still with you and I still choose you. We make jokes about being at the pearly gates and hoping to get into heaven. This is the assurance that you don’t have to worry about that, god is saying; “I choose him/her. They are mine. Come on in and let’s spend forever together.” Wow! What a promise.
3. An Instrument of Holiness
The third identifier of being chosen is that you are an instrument of holiness. Peter uses the term holy a lot in this book and being chosen is also being chosen to live in holiness; set apart for God and the instrument through which God works. We are changed because of the work of Jesus Christ and through the redeeming work of God. You don’t look the same and don’t act the same. Paul wrote in Col. 3:12:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Col. 3:12
What he is saying here is that you look different because of who God is and how he is working in you. Remember a few weeks ago when I showed you some pictures of people and their pets who look alike? (Show one or two) The same is true of us. We tend to reflect those we hang around with and spend time with.
Ex. Claudia and Kim
What does that look like? Read that verse again. It looks like compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, etc. Those are thing you can’t have too much of and when you display those, you reflect God. See we look different not just in appearance but in how we treat people and how we act toward them.
4. His Voice, Hands, and Feet
That leads us to the 4th identifier of being chosen and that is that we are chosen to be the voice, hands and feet of God. God chooses us to be the way the gospel and the Word of Jesus is spread through this world.
Ex. AD Jerusalem and the urgency with which the disciples are concerned about spreading the word of who Jesus was.
Do you remember the story of Daniel? The most famous is the lion story but the first story in the book is when Daniel and his buddies are being trained and prepared to be in the king’s service. They are told to eat certain food, the best foods, so they can be as sharp and strong as they can be for the king. They go to the guy responsible for them and ask to only eat fruit and vegetables. The guy is not sure about it but finally gives in and it says after they did this there was a great result, Daniel 1:15:
“At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.” Daniel 1:15
It changed them physically and then what happen? It gave them the opportunity to speak about their God. They could speak about God because they represented God well. We can tell others about God, be his voice, hands and feet, when we represent him well. It’s credibility.
The Result of Being Chosen
The second half of this verse contains a picture of what happens as a result fo being chosen and living for God. It says:
“…that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” vs. 9b
In a world of darkness, we reflect his light. Because we were in darkness and have been called out of that, chosen, and because of what Jesus Christ did for us, we reflect his light.
Ex. The Moon has no light in and of itself but it reflects the sun. We reflect the Son, God’s Son.