“But you are… His own special people" (1 Peter 2:9, NKJV)
God’s central promise that runs throughout Scripture is that He would be God to His chosen people and they would be His children. Peter seizes on this promise as it stretches from the old covenant to the new in his message to the people gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38–39).
Now in his first letter, Peter brings to bear descriptions that belonged to ancient Israel and applies them to all the people of God, all those chosen to belong to Him. Together with God’s people of old, we who are united to God’s Messiah, Jesus Christ, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. Together with the saints of old, we are Christ’s church.
Citing God’s word of promise (Hosea 1-2), Peter explains why we have the standing of status before God that we do: “who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Pet. 2:10). We stand as we do only by the grace of God, not because we are choice but because we are chosen.
In light of such love, what is our calling? Peter lays it out for us: “that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). How do we do that? How do we make such proclamation? We do it by living in a manner worthy of our calling in Christ, something Peter will go on to emphasize. We do it in the context of corporate worship, where we gather to rehearse the grandeur of our God and the glories of the gospel. We do it in our witness to those still in darkness, something we see exhibited by Peter in the book of Acts and expected of us in our personal mission fields (1 Pet. 3:15).
REFLECTION: As ones brought from darkness to light, we are to let our light shine before others.
Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.