Writing to Christians who were trying to figure out how to live in the midst of difficult situations and persecution, the apostle Peter repeatedly reminds them of their identity and the hope they have in God’s sovereignty and His ultimate promise of deliverance. In contrast to the people around them who “stumble because they disobey the word” (1 Peter 2:8), Christians are to live differently.…
“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.” (1 Peter 2:9)
In the surrounding verses, Peter identifies what it looks like to live as priests who proclaim God’s excellencies to the surrounding world. It entails…
- putting away all malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander (2:1)
- longing for pure spiritual milk (2:2)
- coming to Jesus to be built up into a spiritual house (2:4)
- abstaining from the passions of the flesh which wage war against our souls (2:11)
- keeping our conduct among the Gentiles honorable so that they may see our good deeds and glorify God (2:12)
- being subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution (2:13)
- by doing good, putting to silence the ignorance of foolish people (2:14)
- living as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil but living as servants of God (2:16)
- honoring everyone (2:17)
- loving the brotherhood (church) (2:17)
- fearing God (2:17)
- honoring the emperor (2:17)
Our circumstances may not be exactly the same as Peter’s first audience, but we have the same calling to represent and proclaim God. As our local world is immersed in the tension surrounding the teacher’s strike, it has become my prayer that all of us Christians would operate out of our real identity – as royal priests, members of a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession – regardless of what side of the fence we are on. I’d invite you to meditate on these verses with me, and let them shape our words, our thoughts and our actions as we all navigate the coming weeks.
“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” (1 Peter 2:10).
May we be agents of the mercy we have received.
Pastor of Women