Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20040519.htm
APPLYING THE CHRISTIAN'S POSITIONAL RICHES IN CHRIST
Part XIX: Applying The Truth That Believers Are A Chosen Generation, A Holy Nation, A Peculiar People
(1 Peter 2:9)
Lesson: As believers in Christ, we have been saved FROM deep spiritual darkness in the world so as to become separate from sin, obedient to God's Word to enjoy His blessing so that we might PROCLAIM the PRAISE of God's UNMERITED FAVOR in MOVING us FROM the world to Himself. We are to LET our UNIQUENESS SHINE, and NOT "fight" our God-endowed "otherworldly" tendencies!
- Any person who comes to trust in Christ as his personal Savior from sin soon begins to learn that his whole orientation has been shifted. He is no longer an integral part of the world that is around him, but he thinks in an "other worldly" fashion that becomes more and more pronounced as he grows in Christ.
- The believer may try to struggle against his mounting "other worldly" tendency simply because he thinks he is getting out of touch with this life; yet, the more he does so, the more unhappy he becomes!
- One of the 33 positional truths the believer enjoys the instant he comes to faith in Christ is the stance of being part of a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people, 1 Peter 2:9; cf. Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 251-252. Applying this truth in one's life produces a healthy orientation to God's will that leads to blessing rather than to troublesome conflicts with God:
- Applying The Truth That Believers Are A Chosen Generation, A Holy Nation, A Peculiar People.
- Peter's first epistle in which 1 Peter 2:9 is embedded was written primarily to Hebrew Christians who lived in the Churches in modern Turkey as is signaled by Peter's reference to them as the diaspora in 1 Peter 1:1, Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 839; in Peter's era, this word was commonly used of Hebrews who were living outside of the land of Israel, Ibid., p. 838.
- Accordingly, the terms "a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people" which Peter calls his readers in 1 Peter 2:9, when viewed in their Hebrew Old Testament context, take on great significance for his Hebrew Christians as follows:
- All three titles listed in this verse of the readers in reference to being a special people were once used exclusively of the Hebrew people in the Old Testament:
- Peter's naming his readers "a chosen generation" (KJV) recalls God's reference to the people of Israel in Isaiah 43:20; there Israel was told she was selected by God in His gracious love above all the other peoples of the world to be blessed of Him so as to show forth His praises.
- Then, Peter's reference to his readers as "a holy nation" recalls Deuteronomy 7:6 (and 10:15) where Israel was to be separated from Gentile idolatry in her worship of God alone, cf. ESV margin notes.
- Peter's naming his readers as "a peculiar people" recalls Exodus 19:5 where God likened Israel to a treasured possession were the nation to obey His laws, ESV margin notes.
- Thus, what "responsibility once solely trusted to the nation Israel has now, during this Age of Grace, been given to the church." (Ibid., Bible Know. Com., N.T., p. 845) In other words, Christians are to realize they have been selected by God above all other people groups of the earth during the Church era to be (a) separate from sin and (b) obedient to God's Word (c) so as to be blessed of God (d) and show forth God's praises.
- However, Peter then deepened the Old Testament definition of "a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people" in 1 Peter 2:9 by relating the special new calling for the Church era believer that surpasses what the Hebrew people of God in the Old Testament knew: beyond just showing forth God's praises, believers in the Church dispensation today are to "show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
- In other words, the Christian era believer is to live separate from sin, obedient to God's Word so as to be blessed of God, and thus proclaim the praises of God in MAKING him part of "a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people" when that had NOT been his original orientation!
Application: God has MADE us Christians to BE and thus to LIVE DISTINCT from the world of sin: may we thus YIELD and NOT FIGHT that fact so as to TESTIFY of that MOVE unto others!