A People for God’s Possession
1 Peter 2:9–10
 But 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 light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (ESV)
- The name of Isaiah’s son, who traveled with Isaiah…was “Shear-Jasub” which means “A remnant shall return” (Isa. 7). The name of Isaiah’s son – was a message itself!
- His son’s name ministered hope to a people about to go into exile.
The Lord said to him, “Call her name ‘No Mercy’ for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel.” When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. And the Lord said, “Call his name ‘Not My People’ for you are not my people, and I am not your God.” (Hos. 1:6-9).
And in that day…I will sow her for myself in the land…and I will have mercy on No Mercy and I will say to Not My People, “You are my people” and he shall say, “You are my God” (Hos. 2:21-23)
- Those poetic words were partially fulfilled when exiles returned to the Land…
- But Peter’s use of words from this poem indicates that their ultimate fulfillment is not with that small remnant returning to the land– but with a number like the sand of the sea – the Church of Jesus Christ.
- The number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them “You are not my people”, it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God”. (Hos. 1:10)
- Once we were “No Mercy.” Now we have received mercy. Once we — were “Not My People.” Now we are God’s people.
- By virtue of God’s mercy, which is kindness to the guilty, we are now God’s people—a new redeemed humanity under God’s Covenant Blessing!
“Throughout salvation history, God by his Word and Spirit has been calling sinful people out of the whole human race to create a new redeemed humanity, whom Christ purchased with his blood. With the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost, God’s people were reconstituted as his new covenant church, in continuity with the old covenant people of God but now brought to fulfillment by the work of Christ. All God’s people are united in one body—with Christ as the supreme, sustaining life-giving head—and set apart for God’s own possession and purposes.” (Sovereign Grace SoF, p.51)
- Our text this morning teaches that the church is in macrocosm – on a grand worldwide scale. Everything that Israel was in microcosm – on a small localized scale.
- It teaches that what shaped Israel’s identity throughout OT history now shapes OUR identity as the church.
- Peter here seeks to encourage these beaten down Christians with a sense of the greatness of their new corporate identity in Christ.
- ‘Though you experience humiliation and shame in your culture, though those around you see you as irrelevant nobodies – you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.’
A Chosen Race
- We are chosen…like Abraham and his descendants were chosen
- God doesn’t choose the wise or the mighty, or the noble.
- He chooses the likes of us – the foolish, the weak, and the despised (1 Cor. 1:26)
- And He does that In order that no man may boast before the Lord.
- When we think of the honor of being God’s chosen people, it must never provoke with us haughtiness or pride as if we are somehow especially worthy.
- We know how unworthy we are; we know we’ve been chosen by grace alone. And his choice of us provokes within us praise at the wonders of his grace!
- We, the church, are a chosen race!
“We are part of the human race by physical birth. We are part of the chosen race by spiritual birth. We have been born again through the living and abiding Word of God. (HB Charles, Oct 2021 Sermon, MWBS).”
“The church is a new race, made up of many ethnicities, chosen by God on the basis of his predetermined love.” (Juan Sanchez, p87)
“Being a Christian does not erase your racial identity. Being a Christian transcends your racial identity. (HB Charles, Oct 2021 Sermon, MWBS).”
- Paul said, “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29)
- God’s chosen race is made up of men and women — from every race who are who descendants of Abraham–whose faith is like Abraham’s – who believed God (Rom. 4).
A Royal Priesthood
“You shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel…now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. ” (Ex. 19:5-6)
“You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom of priests to our God and they shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10)
A Holy Nation
Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil 3:20)
A People for His Possession
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein (Psa. 24:1)
“You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish.” (1 Peter 1:18)
You are not your own, for you were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
That we might proclaim the excellencies of him
who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light
- God’s purpose is that we might proclaim his excellencies.
- This proclamation has two aspects: Worship and Witness
- If you visit the church anywhere in the world you will meet citizens of Heaven and you will hear the language of heaven spoken and that language is—Praise.
- Any prophet who is caught up to heaven steps into a realm of unceasing praise!
- Angels are crying Holy.
- Living Creatures are falling down crying-out Worthy are you O Lord
- Elders and multitudes are singing “We give thanks to you O Lord” Just and true are all your ways! Great and wonderful are your deeds!
- God’s purpose in showing us mercy and making us a people is that we might BE to praise the glories of his grace.
- His purpose is that we might forever—and together be those chosen objects of mercy who proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
“The worship of God finds its burning focus in lifting the name of God in adoration…God’s praises must rise from the lips of all his people, assembled before his face and joining with the festival assembly of the saints and the angels. If the singing and speaking forth the praises of God are viewed as ‘preliminaries’ to the sermon, the meaning of worship has been lost. Nothing can be put above worship…He lifts us up so that we may lift him up” (Edmund Clowney, 1Peter, p.96).
- God has chosen us and made us his people in order that this gospel of the kingdom might be preached in all the earth.
“As a holy nation and a royal priesthood, then, we have been chosen by God as his special possession in order to proclaim his glorious work in salvation. We are a people who have been brought out of darkness into light–who now seek to display that light to those still in darkness. (Sanchez, 1 Peter, p. 92)
- To declare his excellencies in witness is to tell forth” or “spread abroad” the attributes, the character, the power and the glory of God as seen in the gospel. So we proclaim his excellencies in both worship and witness.
- This section of Scripture could not make it clearer – the New Covenant joins us not only to God, but it joins us to one another.
- Clearly, the Christian life is not to be lived in isolation either as individuals or as families.
- We belong together.
- Like living stones in a house belong together
- Like members of an extended family belong together
- Like priests with a common ministry belong together
- Like citizens of a nation belong together
- Once we were not a people – now we are a people
- So every believer in Jesus Christ and every Christian needs to find his or her place among the people of God — in the church
“The church is the focal point of God’s plan to mature his people and save sinners. Therefore, all Christians are to join themselves as committed members to a specific local church.” (SGC SoF, p. 52)”
- So lets find our place in God’s redeemed community.
- Its good when the family of God dwells together
- In the Spirit, in faith and in unity.
- Lifting up his name with one voice.
- So let’s come alongside our fellow citizens, the saints,
- And with the help of the Holy Spirit…
- Let each of us play our part to make Christ’s excellencies known in all the earth.
Questions for Discussion/Application
- Re-read the text, 1 Peter 2:9–10. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- Which of these phrases stands out to you and encourages you the most about who and what we are as the people of God?
- a chosen race
- royal priesthood
- holy nation
- a people for his own possession
- How does the truth encourage you that we as God’s people, are God’s own possession?
- In what ways is this passage contrary to “Jesus and me” Christianity – living the Christian life in isolation from other believers?
- How should this passage impact our view of participation in the local church?
- How should the idea that “praise is about proclaiming His excellencies” impact our view of both personal and corporate praise of God?
- If evangelism is about proclaiming His excellencies, what priority should we as God’s people place on reaching out to the lost?
- Consider taking time to pray that God would help us to unite even closer together to proclaim the excellencies of our Savior.