Summary: When it seems God is not doing anything in our difficulty, it pays to remember what He has done in our life.
“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. 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” (1 Peter 2:9-10, NIV).
Do you still remember the original King of the Rock-n-Roll music? (Showed a portion of the video of Elvis Presley in You Tube singing An American Trilogy.)
You may know he was a famous singer and even actor, but do you know before he became popular, he was a gospel singer?
Do you also know that, according to the information in the internet, “…Elvis made more money than any other entertainer in history. Over 4.5 billion dollars. Remember he died over 30 years, so that 4.5 billion is in 1950's 1960's and 1970's money, not 2010 money, by today's standard that would be somewhere around 15 - 20 billion. But Elvis never believed in tax shelters, his manager Tom Parker took most of his money, his father manage his money poorly, and he gave away tons of money. With all that, from the 4.5 billion dollars he made, he died with assets worth under 14 million dollars, and deeply in debt, not rich by celebrity standards, even then, and no where near the 4.5 billion he made”?
Also, do you know that when “…he did a charity event, he would pay all the expenses out of his pocket, and all the proceeds went to charity, giving them 100% of the money that concert made. That is something no celebrity has done before or since. Most will donate their time for free, but the expenses for the concert are paid from the ticket sales and then balance goes to the charity”?
How about our God, are you overwhelmed by what He has done for us?
This time, let’s discuss and realize “WHAT GOD HAS DONE TO US,” as we deal with our text (1 Peter 2:9-10).
So, as we focus this time in our text, what could we cite that God has done to us?
Again, let’s remind ourselves that Peter addressed 1 Peter both to the Jewish and non-Jewish Christians, who were then scattered throughout Asia Minor. The Christians then were suffering local persecutions. And later the persecutions even became intense and widespread.
In the previous verses, we learn that Peter pointed out to the suffering Christians in his time that Jesus is Precious. But, we can also deduce that because the believers are “like living stones,” they are also considered precious in the sight of God.
Last time, we realized that in our trials we need to believe what God thinks of us – precious. And second, live on what God does in our life.
Now, in our present passage, we could learn at least three (3) things that God has done to the believers.
First, GOD HAS CHOSEN US.
In verse 9, we read in part: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s spe-cial possession,...” (NIV.)
Peter pointed out to the suffering Christians then – not only the Jewish Christians, but also non-Jewish Christians – that they were a chosen people. Remember that the letter was addressed both to the Jew-ish and non-Jewish Christians.
Being a chosen people in the Old Testament is different from to be a chosen people in the New Testament. One difference is that in the Old, though the Israelites were chosen people, not everyone was chosen to be a priest, but only the Levites.
But, in the New Testament, Peter called the believers not only a chosen people, but also a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.
Peter made a contrast between the unbelievers in verse 8 and the believers in our text. If we go back to verse 8, we read: “’A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.”
According to Peter, “a stone” – referring to Jesus – “causes people to stumble and a rock (Jesus) that makes them fall.” The tendency of people is to stumble at Jesus, to disobey His words, to become unbelievers.
“But,” Peter wrote in verse 9, “you are a chosen people…” He told the Christians that in spite of their trials and persecutions, they didn’t take offense at Jesus and they believed His words.
Why? They were a chosen people.
In our time, we need also to realize that if ever we truly believe or have faith in Jesus, it’s not just our own decision. It is not because we understand better than others. It’s not because we are less stubborn than others. It’s not because we are more religious. We become believers, because we are chosen. Not because we chose, but God has chosen us.