Saturday, March 3rd, 2018
“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; once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Pet 2:9-10
The word ‘Church’ in Greek is ‘Ekklesia’ which is a compound of ‘Ek’ meaning ‘out’ and ‘Kalio’ meaning ‘to call.’ As such, the Church implies to people ‘called out’ of spiritual darkness through faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection. The Church is not a physical building but the spirit of those who are made alive by being baptized into Christ, buried together and brought back to life again through His resurrection.
Simply put, the invisible Church is composed of those who are ‘called out’ by God not only outwardly but inwardly by the Holy Spirit.
According to 1 Pet 2:9-10, the Lord spoke to us the ‘called out’ by using several term in order to help us appreciate our position in Christ. He referred us as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people and a people who have received mercy. We occupy a very favoured position in God’s universe by grace through faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.
- A Chosen Generation
Peter uses terminology commonly used in reference to Israel. Deut 7:6 In the same way, Israel was called to be God’s generation on earth and to be witnesses for Him, the Church is now God’s chosen generation to display His glory. This choosing is not because we are better than others or because we responded to God on our own. This choosing is a work totally by God’s grace rendered to those who believe in His Righteousness. Eph 1:4-6 This is important for us to know because often we are deemed to be the scum of the earth. 1 Cor 4:9-13 However, this choosing as God’s generation represents our salvation obtained through our faith in Jesus’ baptism and death.
- A Royal Priesthood
As chosen believers, we who are ‘called out’ from the world to become a royal priesthood for God. In the OT, priest came from the lineage of Aaron from the tribe of Levi. Only they could approach God
at the temple and offer sacrifices. The priests were anointed and
empowered by the Holy Spirit to minister to God and the people. In the NT, there is no longer a priest who came from a specific tribal line. True believers in the righteousness of God are royal priesthood representing the fact that we have been united with Christ through His baptism and death. We are Christ’s body and whatever glory Christ receives we receive as well to serve His righteousness. Rom 8:17
- A Holy Nation
Peter also says that the ‘called out’ ones are a holy nation. This again is a terminology used of Israel. In Exo 19:6, Israel was called a holy nation. Israel was set apart by God for good works, to serve Him and worship Him. In the same way, we have been called out and set apart to do good works. This separates us from the world. Eph 2:10 God chose us as His workmanship to display His wonderful salvation fulfilled in our lives to the rest of the world.
- A Special People
Peter declares that the Church is a people specially possessed by God. Again this was something said about Israel in Deut 7:6 What does this mean? It means not only we are here to serve God but more than that we are here for His pleasure. Whatever we own, we own for our pleasure because it gives us joy. Well, God chose the ‘called out’ as a special people. This knowledge of truth would drastically change our mindset when we are persecuted, mocked, abused and rejected by the world and yet, owned and treasured by God. We are God’s treasured possession. God gets great joy over us when we imitate, enjoy and walk like Him.
- A People Who Have Received Mercy
Peter says that the ‘called out’ ones has received mercy. We are people whom God did not give the judgment and punishment that we deserved. It has often been said grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. Mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we deserve. At NCCkl, we were once the people under God’s wrath because of sin. Now, because of God’s grace through faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness, we have received mercy, forgiveness of sins and the indwelling Holy Spirit to become the people of God.
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