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We are a Chosen People

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We are a Chosen People Empty We are a Chosen People

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Mar 2011, 5:23 pm

We are a Chosen People

The text today is 1 Peter 2:9-10.

I. INTRODUCTION

It is through these verses that we come to understand who we are as
Christians. We are a chosen people that belong wholly to God.

A. APOSTLE PETER

We see God revealing to us through the pen of the Apostle
Peter that we are:

(1) a chosen people
(2) a royal priesthood
(3) a holy nation
(4) a people belonging to God – why? — that we "may
declare the praises of him who called" us. In other words, God
desires to work out these things among us so that the world may hear
of His glory through our praises. Now, each of these items has a
definite Old Testament slant to them.

a. help us understand who we
are in Christ.
b. help us see that the Old Testament, while not a
complete picture of how God intends to fulfill His
mission, is a true foreshadowing and gives us a
picture of His redemptive work.

B. A CHOSEN PEOPLE

All through the Scriptures, God refers to His children
as His "chosen people."

Let's look at an example of this in the Old Testament.

In Deuteronomy 7:6, Moses describes Israel's
chosenness this way: "For you are a people holy to the LORD your
God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on
the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured
possession."

God makes it very clear that it was not Israel who
sought after God, but it was God who sought after
Israel. In fact, when Abraham was called by God from
the people of the idolatrous land of Haran, Abraham
knew nothing of Yahweh until Yahweh had called him.

Let's read Deuteronomy 7:7-8: The LORD did not set his affection on
you and choose you because you were more numerous than other
peoples,
for you were fewest of all peoples. But it was because
the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your
forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand
and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the
power of the king of Egypt."

Yet, those chosen people of Israel, even after God
delivered them from those
centuries of oppression, constantly sought after the
gods of the other lands and disobeyed Him all
throughout their history. They did not listen to
Moses, nor the judges, nor the prophets.

So, in 1 Peter 2:4, we see someone else chosen by God
known as the living
Stone – known as Jesus Christ. This Stone, while
chosen by God, was rejected by men --- even the people
of Israel. So the promises that went to Israel were
forfeited by Israel and given to the Gentiles.
In fact, Peter, in verse 6, quotes from Isaiah 28:16, and
shows that this Stone is not just any stone, but a
"chosen and precious cornerstone. "

What purpose does a cornerstone serve? When one lays
the foundation of a building, the cornerstone would be the one put
into place. Since the alignment of the stones and,
ultimately, the walls would come from this stone, it
is important that the cornerstone is square and true.

Peter quotes from Isaiah 28:16, but adds the "in him"
portion so that they would see that this cornerstone
lives --- not just as a person, but as the resurrected
Lord. In other words, the cornerstone for our faith
was set into place by the resurrection.

Now we understand why Peter tells us in verse 7 why
the "stone is precious" to
all who believe. To God's chosen people, this Stone
represents what we build our hope on. Yet, to those
who do not believe, the stone causes men to stumble.

C. A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

Peter uses another Old Testament reference to describe
those under the New Covenant that Israel temporarily forfeited when
they rejected God's Chosen Servant as the Messiah by
killing Him on the cross.

Exodus 19:5-6: " Now if you obey me fully and keep my
covenant, then out of all nations you will be my
treasured possession. Although the whole earth is
mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a
holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to
the Israelites."

At the present time, the church as the body of Christ
is a royal priesthood connected to the great High Priest, Jesus
Christ, who while walking among us, understood our trials.

In Hebrews 4:14-15, we read, "Therefore, since we have a
great high priest who has gone through the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith
we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is
unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have
one who has been tempted in every way, just as we
are-- yet was without sin." That is our high priest.
And we can approach the throne of grace with
confidence because we have that high priest in Jesus.

II. WHAT DOES THIS PRIESTHOOD MEAN

A. WHAT THIS PRIESTHOOD MEANS TO US

1. We belong to and serve the King of kings

It means we belong to and serve the King. And as
servants of the King through faith, we are made holy. In 1 Peter
2:5, Peter tells us that, "You also, as living stones, are being
built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to
offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God
through Jesus Christ." As priests we are ceremonially
and spiritually clean. As priests, we pay honor to
God's Word through obedience. We are to be separated
from the world (not isolated, mind you) – not allowing
it to influence us.

2. Priests are messengers of God:

In Malachi 2:7, we see from the Old Testament this function of the
priests: "For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and
from his mouth men should seek instruction- - because he is the
messenger of the LORD Almighty." How does this play
out in our day? Simply read the Great Commission, in
which Jesus tells us to "Go, and make disciples" in
God's name.

3. Priests exercise rule. Did you know that you will
execute judgment when Christ's Kingdom is fulfilled.

1 Corinthians 6:1-3: If any of you has a dispute with another, dare
he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before
the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge
the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you
not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know
that we will judge angels? How much more the things of
this life!

So we see even more how God is fulfilling His purpose
even though those under the Old Covenant did not. Nothing can thwart
His mission for this world.

III. A HOLY NATION

We are a holy nation that has been set apart for God.
We are His. Now, we tend to think of nations as those who are living
inside some political boundary found on a map – at
least that's what many of the mission boards used to
think. Now, "nations" are truly seen as a people group
who share the same language and culture. In Africa,
there are hundreds of people groups within many of
those `nations.' So we as the church have no political
boundary as a holy nation — only a spiritual boundary
that is hedged in by the living God.
God desired for Israel to be a holy nation.

A. DISTINGUISH BETWEEN HOLY AND COMMON

In Leviticus 10:10-11, God tells Aaron the priest, "You must
distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and
the clean, and you must teach the Israelites all the
decrees the LORD has given them through Moses." Yet,
as we read through Israel's history, they disregarded
the differences and disobeyed God.

Are we doing like Israel as the church? In our
day-to-day lives, are we mingling the holy with the
unholy? It seems as if we have separated our sacred
times from our secular. Yet, all our lives should be
holy — we shouldn't have a time for being holy and a
time for being unholy. As chosen people and a holy
priesthood of a holy nation, our whole lives should be
a "living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God"
(Romans 12:2). That's true worship.

B. A PEOPLE BELONGING TO GOD

When we still lived in our sin, before Christ came and
rescued us from the fiery
pit of hell, we were by no means a people of God.

Reading Romans 3:9-12: What shall we conclude then? Are we any
better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and
Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no
one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have
turned away, they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.

Ephesians 2:1-3 says, As for you, you were dead in your
transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed
the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of
the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who
are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at
one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature
and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest,
we were by nature objects of wrath.

As Paul strings these passages from the Old Testament
together, they are a
patchwork screaming the message that there is nothing
righteous in us — therefore, we were not a people of
God, nor did we even seek to be. But Christ came and
made us a people of God through purchasing us with His
blood (Acts 20:28).

C. WE ARE OBJECTS OF MERCY

In Hosea chapter 1, we see the prophet Hosea directed
by God to take a prostitute for a wife — which was a
symbol for the type of union that God had with His
chosen. In the course of their marriage, they have two
sons — Lo-Ruhamah (translated means not loved —
representing how God feels about Israel due to their
disobedience) and Lo-Ammi (which means not my people).
You see, after Israel rejected Christ's as God's
Chosen Servant, they temporarily became "not" His
people. Yet, through Christ's sacrifice, we are now
"his people."

In Revelation 21:2-3, John writes :
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down
out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride
beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a
loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling
of God is with men, and he will live with them. They
will be his people, and God himself will be with them
and be their God.
What joy to know that, while God's wrath was directed
toward us, that Jesus
absorbed the brunt of that wrath for our sake and we
can now be "his people."

D. WE ARE NOT TUNED FOR PRAISE

Who are you then?

1. You are a God-chosen one
2. A God-pitied one
3. God-possessed one, a God-sanctified one."

E. OUR DUTY

Now, what is our duty?
As ones called out of the darkness into His wonderful light, declare
His praises.

Psalm 96:3-4 says, Declare his glory among the nations, his
marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and
most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

How can we who have been bestowed such a wonderful
position by God keep such marvels inside? We have been
tuned for praise, and praise is audible! Declare it.
Sing it. Preach it. Live it!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures, here below,
Praise Him, above, ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

IV. CONCLUSION

The fact that God calls us out of darkness is a work
that shatters the bounds of our thinking. We were objects of His
wrath, an offense to Him — yet He demonstrated mercy. My question
to you is, "Has God called you out of darkness?" My next
question to you is, "Have you responded to that call?"
Is there still a portion of your heart that is in
darkness? Is your life built on the cornerstone of
Christ? Or is the foundation and the boundaries of
your life going in every which way?

Jesus is our cornerstone. And once that Stone is in
place in the Temple of your heart, everything else fits and your can
build upon that Solid Rock.
Theresa Q. Pavone,A.TH, B.TH

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