Foundations of Faith - What Does it mean to be a Holy Nation? - 1 Pet 2:9-12
May 26, 2023, 10:40 AM

9. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  10. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

In addition to the metaphors of the Corner Stone, the Living Stones, the Building, the Temple, and the Priesthood, Peter compares the church to a Holy Nation. We are united by God's rule, chosen for His purpose.

The born-again people are a unique race, belonging to God in a better way than even what the Jews experienced. In contrast to the disobedient and rebellious nation of Israel, God's people today are His chosen and holy nation. The church today is supposed to be what Israel was meant to be.

The term Peter used is a chosen race. We are people especially picked by God for Himself. That unites us regardless of the color of our skin or language. This speaks of the grace of God. God did not choose Israel because they were a great people, but because He loved them. God has chosen us purely for the same reasons - His love and grace.

God has called us unto Himself and we belong to Him. The word implies a personal possession. One of the things that give value is ownership. Heirlooms have value because of who owned it, not only because it is old, but because it was possessed by someone important to you.

We are to be strangers and aliens of this world. We ought to be aliens by not really belonging to the world and thereby abstaining from sinful desires. We continue by the recognition that God's nation is not of this world. As aliens we are in war against Satan. He is after our souls and more than anything desires to destroy you and me. We will lose if we give in to the lusts of this earth. We need to depend on Christ consistently. There are so many ways and reasons to fall.

Holiness serves as a witness to the world around us. In the first century Christians were slandered by their world. Plato said, "I will live in such a way that no man will believe false reports" That is what Peter is saying. Stop wagging tongues by living above the reproach.

When I was on a mission trip on the Indian reservation, one of the elders hit me with a tough question. “You say that there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. Yet, why do you white people differ so much about it? You have the same great book but there are many differing churches. They do not get along. We have been abused by the white man’s religions and taken from our homes and had our rivers and lake polluted, our game reduced and made to live in certain areas. Is that the teaching of your God?”

Application: Do you wonder why witnessing is so hard among the Indian people? We are to be a Holy Nation unto the Lord. Let's be what He calls us to be and hold one another accountable.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to live as an alien in the world, not succumbing to those things that do not bring Glory to Your Name.