Christianity 201

February 15, 2014

Chosen People, Royal Priesthood, Holy Nation

Chosen People Royal Priesthood Holy Nation

9But 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 light10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV

Today we look at three blog commentaries on this passage, beginning with Lara Love at Walk by Faith Ministry who reminds us not to get the wrong idea when scripture refers to us as royalty:

I have often through the years heard believers in Christ proclaim how wonderful, and important, it is to receive and partake and enjoy the incredible blessings of being so-called royalty because we have been adopted through faith in Jesus Christ into the Kingdom of God. “We’re royalty! We’re princes and princesses!” people have told me, encouraging me to see myself as God’s princess and to therefore thrive and to appreciate the gifts of being royalty. They have encouraged me to see myself as a daughter of the most high God, and to enjoy being His princess. Admittedly, I have fallen short of living the abundant life promised me in Christ. And truthfully, I have often seen myself through eyes other than God’s – i.e. not exactly a princess!

But at the same time, I wonder how many people who speak of the wonders of being royalty in God’s Kingdom realize that God’s Word has a job for His royalty to do such that sitting around polishing one’s prince or princess crown and calling on one’s servants to bring in the newspaper and prepare a five-course kingly breakfast might not fit so well with. God’s royal priesthood of Christ followers are God’s possession, and this belonging to God comes with a life-saving assignment. We are called to “proclaim” the Lord who delivered us out of darkness to the world at large! This does not mean that God does not want us to enjoy our lives, but it does mean that we have a purpose above all else – to love Him with all our hearts, to love others, and to share the good news of Jesus the Christ with the world. Something tells me some of His princes and princesses might need a reminder from time to time that it’s time to get out of the palace and reach out with the Gospel to a broken world in dire need of Christ.

Next, from the blog of Dayspring Christian Center in Gardena, California; we’re reminded to live a life worthy of this label that God has given us:

…If you are a true believer, you are considered to be a member of the royal family. When we have our labels here on earth, we are diligent to take care of them. We try to act the part in which our label would allude to and even carry a certain air about ourselves because of the labels placed on us.

Well, how are you taking care of the label God has given you? Are you trying to make it look good? Are you trying to live up to the meaning of what your label in God’s kingdom is? Are you careless with the label that God gave you? Do you make your label (and in turn God’s Kingdom) look bad because you don’t act like someone who has such a label of royalty? Lastly, with your label in Christ, your new identity, do others see the new you and how you’re grateful for a better opportunity or do they see the same old you just with a new label?

It’s funny, but when we get something new we EXPECT people to see that new thing immediately when they see us. The problem is that they will always only see the same you if you don’t display to them there’s something different about you today……

Who are you going to tell about Jesus today and how he made you different for eternity? People will always see you as you are until you give them some other reason to know that there is something different about you.

We pray that you let your new God-given label shine and be known to all who see you. Let’s get others excited about their ability to change spiritual labels and act like the royalty that we are given in Christ Jesus. Give God the praise for allowing you to be chosen. Not everyone will be allowed to the royal ball; but if you’re one who’s been chose to come…..act accordingly. Have a great day all. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

Finally, this is for those of you who grew up with the KJV, and know the phrase “chosen people” (used in most translations) as “peculiar people,” and for those of who didn’t grow up in the KJV, to know that we are called to be unique!  This is from the blog Word from the Word.

Have you ever known any peculiar people? I could tell you many stories of people I have known who were just plain odd. Like the man who said to the psychologist, “People think I’m weird because I like potato pancakes.” To which the psychologist responded, “That’s not weird, I also like potato pancakes.” At that point, the man became excited and said, “That’s wonderful, Doc. Listen, why don’t you come over to my house — I have closets and closets full!”

When the King James translators used the word “peculiar” in 1 Peter 2:9, identifying Christians as a “peculiar people”, this is not what they had in mind. According to A. T. Robertson, the word “peculiar” comes from the Latin word, “pecus” which means “flock”. The KJV translators were simply reflecting the idea that believers in Christ are the unique possession of God — they are His flock.

Actually the word in 1 Peter 2:9 is the Greek word peripoiesis, which has the idea of possession, or personal property. It is the preposition peri, which means “around” — connected to the noun poiesis, which refers to something that is made, or done. Kenneth Wuest, the Greek scholar, says “the Greek word means literally ‘to make around,’ that is, to make something and then to surround it with a circle, thus indicating ownership.” Thus, the New American Standard version translates this phrase as “a people for God’s own possession.” The NIV says, “a people belonging to God” and the NKJV says “His own special people.”

The verb form of this word (peripoiéomai) is found in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) to translate the words of God through the prophet Isaiah, when He said, “This people have I formed for myself” (Isa. 43:21) — [emphasis mine]. It is a strong statement of personal possession — the people belong to God. They are His. So this word peripoiesis is certainly a special word to describe how unique we, as believers in Jesus Christ, are as the personal possession of God. He made us a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17) and then He put a circle around us to indicate His ownership, and said in effect “these people belong to Me.” We are indeed a “people for God’s own possession” (1 Peter 2:9 – NAS).

Christian friend, I hope that you are encouraged to know that you really are “peculiar”. You belong to a special group of people who are the unique possession of God. You are a member of His eternal family. And that means, of course, that you are the special object of His love and care. It also means however, that we are to live consistent with who we are.

We’re not like other people in the world. We’re more than different — we’re unique. And so, we live unique lives to the glory of God who has given to us His Holy Spirit “as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession (peripoiesis), to the promise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:14).