Scripture Reference: 1Peter 2:4-12
“But you are:
a chosen people,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
a people belonging to God.”
1 Peter 2:9
The “you” in the first line of this verse is “you who follow Christ.” Peter is trying to help his readers understand that their status with God is that of the status of Israel his Chosen. In fact, Paul the Apostle helps us understand our relationship to God by explaining that God hasn’t chosen a new people in the form of the church. Rather, Gentiles who live by faith in Christ, have been, to use an agricultural analogy, “grafted in” to the remnant of Israel that is faithful to God.
By using the phrases above to describe the church, Peter is helping his readers see that they are as much the “chosen people” as anyone has ever been. But being part of the chosen people is not always easy. In fact, the chosen people of God get “special attention.” Hmmm, I’m not sure that sounds so good.
This special attention is God’s willingness to send his hand of discipline against his people when they are straying into disobedience and rebellion. Don’t misunderstand. The purpose of his discipline is to lead us to repentance for our wrongdoing so that God can lavish his mercy on us. Yes, you read that right. God disciplines so that we will be drawn to his grace.
God does not necessarily treat those who do not worship him in the same way. He may let them get away with more! But his covenant people are like children to him, and while a parent won’t offhandedly discipline another couple’s child, you can bet they will discipline their own child. Why? Because they sense not only an obligation to raise a child right, they also know that their discipline is ultimately an act of love that they hope will cause their child to return to right living.
Hebrews 12:5-6 reads: "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; for those whom the lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives." This in a nutshell is the wisdom of God to guide his wayward children (that’s us, incidentally).
So our new status as disciples of Jesus is the status of “chosen one.” Revel in God’s mercy! And rest knowing he is a faithful Father who will guide his children with his intervention in our life for our good. For God only wants the good for us. You can trust him on that.
Some questions to ponder as you think on Sunday’s sermon and our passage from 1 Peter 2:4-12—
- Do I always interpret negative things in my life as God’s discipline? (They may be. But them don’t blame on God the negative things we have brought on our own self.)
- If I am first and foremost a citizen of God’s kingdom, what does this say about my citizenship as an American? Obviously, it makes our nationalism not nearly as important. But it also means asking, “Why do I get so passionate about earthly politics, but not so passionate about my ultimate citizenship?”
- If I am part of a royal priesthood, what kind of priestly acts is God calling on me to do? (Hint: Romans 12: 1; 1 Peter 2:5)