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 the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
I have often heard it said, “Never forget, who you are and Whose you are!” This seems to be what Peter is saying here.
- God has rescued us!
- He has done this for a great purpose!
- And it ought to make an incredible difference both to us personally and to those around us!
We are not to be the “frozen chosen” but a “peculiar people” who stand out as salt and light in our world because of who we are and what has been done for us. Our activity as the saints of God is a response to what He has already done for us – not a bribe to get God to do something.
Here is a story I found from Our Daily Bread that helps to illustrate this…
As newsman Clarence W. Hall followed American troops through Okinawa in 1945, he and his jeep driver came upon a small town that stood out as a beautiful example of a Christian community. He wrote, “We had seen other Okinawan villages, . . . down at the heels and despairing; by contrast, this one shone like a diamond in a dung heap. Everywhere we were greeted by smiles and dignified bows. Proudly the old men showed us their spotless homes, their terraced fields, .. . their storehouses and granaries, their prized sugar mill.”
Hall saw no jails and no drunkenness, and divorce was unknown. He learned an American missionary had come there thirty years earlier. While he was in the village, he had led two elderly townspeople to Christ and left them with a Japanese Bible. These new believers studied the Scriptures and started leading their fellow villagers to Jesus. Hall’s jeep driver said he was amazed at the difference between this village and the others around it. He remarked, “So this is what comes out of only a Bible and a couple of old guys who wanted to live like Jesus.”
The great power of God’s Word leads to salvation through faith in Christ, creating a “special people,” a community of believers who love one another, exhort one another, and serve God together. We need to pray that our churches will be an example of God’s power to a watching world.