Summary: Believers in Christ are: 1) A People of God’s Possession (1 Peter 2:9c), 2) A People of Proclamation (1 Peter 2:9d), 3) A Privileged People (1 Peter 2:9e) and finally, 4) A Pardoned People (1 Peter 2:10).
1 Peter 2:9–10 (9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood), a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (ESV)
A week after a glorious celebration of the Resurrection of Christ at West Shore Community Centre, and here we are back live streaming a worship service for a mostly online group. If we think back a year ago when we starting livestreaming services, I doubt many of us would have thought that we would be here, a year later, seemingly right back were we started. Although there have been tremendous strides in ministry, from a new building, care groups, technological advances and great progression in building a new auditorium, much of our lives in Canada right now under our provincial stay at home order, doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Suffering Christians can easily become doubting Christians; suffering sometimes makes Christians doubt God’s wisdom. They wonder if God knows what he is doing and complain about what he is not doing. They doubt God’s love, fearing that He is as fickle as they are and that He might be tired of struggling with his disobedient children. They doubt God’s power, fearing that their troubles are beyond his ability to change. God through the Apostle Peter wants his hurting brothers and sisters to know that their suffering changes nothing. Remember who you are! Remember what you were! (Jeske, M. A. (2002). James, Peter, John, Jude (pp. 91–92). Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Pub. House.)
Stemming from the great truths of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, believers in Christ live also. We are no longer children of the night, but “Children of Light” living in the light of our resurrected Lord. Because of what Christ has achieved in this we can understand 4 things about who we are. Believers in Christ are: 1) A People of God’s Possession (1 Peter 2:9c), 2) A People of Proclamation (1 Peter 2:9d), 3) A Privileged People (1 Peter 2:9e) and finally, 4) A Pardoned People (1 Peter 2:10).
As Children of Light, believers are:
1 Peter 2:9c (9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood), a holy nation, a people for his own possession, (that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light). ESV
Believers are Children of Light because they are holy. Peter here refers to the Old Testament in support of the privileges God has granted believers. Here he alludes to Exodus 19:6 (“you shall be to Me … a holy nation”) when he declares that believers are separated to Christ as a holy nation. Holy (hagios) means “separate” or “set apart.” Ancient Israel’s holiness as a nation derived from the holy King of the universe (cf. Lev. 19:2; 20:26; Deut. 7:6; Isa. 62:12), who had cut a covenant with them, binding them to himself as His chosen nation and special possession. The words “chosen,” “royal,” and “holy” are adjectives that describe collectively the nature of the relationship of Christian believers to the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jobes, K. H. (2005). 1 Peter (pp. 161–162). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.).
• Holy has the same root as wholly, it means complete. An individual is not complete in spiritual stature if all their mind, heart, soul, and strength are not given to God.
Although believers are set apart from sin, they are made complete together. God puts believers together in a family. Those families as a whole can be considered a spiritual nation. The word nation translates ethnos, which regularly means “people,” as an ethnic group (Luke 7:5; 23:2; John 11:48, 50–52; Acts 2:5; 10:22; Rev. 5:9). People also reside with a political nation state. To the extent that government formulates policy directly bearing on moral and ethical issues (e.g., abortion, war, the place of religious faith in the public forum, and dictates on congregational life: like worship and association), Christians still have to face the problems raised by holding dual citizenship—in the country of their residence and in the holy nation of God.( Jobes, K. H. (2005). 1 Peter (p. 162). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.)
Please turn to Titus 2
A Nation consists of citizens who reside in a given locale, obey rules and regulations, and strive for the well-being of their society. Citizens of a Holy Nation have common characteristics through Jesus Christ. Our primary citizenship is Heavenly, with our primary obedience to God and appointed to strive for the well-being of those who bear God’s image, and especially those of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10). For those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no different heavenly status between man and women, Jew and Gentile, slave or free. As Peter portrays God’s people as a holy nation, which means that the citizens have been set apart for service to God. (Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (Vol. 16, p. 92). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)