May 2018

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) 9 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.
“. . . a people for his own possession” is the next section of our theme verse for 2018. Compare how the KJV’s (1900) translates the verse, “9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” Also look at the (NIV’s translation, “9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Here are our options, “a people for his own possession”, “a peculiar people;” and “God’s special possession.” I confess that I have a personal fondness for the peculiar people translation. I prefer it because it powerfully emphasizes the uniqueness of our relationship to God and the world.
So let’s look at some history to understand this great gift. Isaiah 43:21 (ESV) “21 the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” How did he accomplish this? Deuteronomy 4:20 (ESV) “20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day.” This was consummated in Jesus, Titus 2:14 (ESV) “14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
Why you might ask, again Scripture reveals, Proverbs 16:4 (ESV) “4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” And Deuteronomy 32:9 (ESV) “9 But the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.” And again Psalm 135:4 (ESV) “4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.” He chose to bestow mercy and blessing on a peculiar people, His own heritage.
He did this by His own grace, Deuteronomy 9:29 (ESV) “29 For they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.’” or Ephesians 2:4–9 (ESV) “4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Now here’s the incredibly wonderful result of His grace, Ephesians 1:18 (ESV) “18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” Our privilege comes by Ephesians 3:6 (ESV) “6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” All together this peculiar people share, Romans 8:16–17 (ESV) “16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” What a glorious privilege to be God’s children, loved and cared for by Him and sharing the glory to be revealed. Of particular importance to me is the promise 1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV) “9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—“ What an amazing grace God has shared with us.
Here’s all He asks, Exodus 19:5 (ESV) “5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine;” Listen to Jesus, Luke 10:25–28 (ESV) “25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
Let us love God as He first loved us, you peculiar people.