Wednesday, August 06, 2014

A new identity

1 Peter2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nationa people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

It seems to me, as I watch the Christian world around me, that we have little knowledge of our identity in Christ.  We live, act and talk just like the world around us. The reality of lives lived like everyone else tells me we simply don't know who we are!  Our identity is defined by television and pop culture.  Our opinions are formed by our favorite newscaster. Our fears are magnified by a media that creates fear for a living. 

Who are we really?  How is it that we look like, live like, think like most of those around us who don't know God?  How have we so easily fallen into the identity of the world instead of the identity of God?  Those are a few of the questions that come to my mind as I read these verses in 1 Peter.  "You are..."  and with those words Peter draws a picture of a man or woman completely different than the world around them. Different enough that it's seen without saying a word! 

a chosen race.  Chosen, what a great word.  Chosen by God.  Chosen to be his child, chosen to be forgiven, chosen to see his face, chosen to live for him, chosen to suffer, chosen has rich blessings with it.  Part of our identity is that we are chosen. 

a royal priesthood. A royal priesthood is a phrase that would sound odd to any Jew. There was the royal tribe of Judah and the priestly tribe of Levi, but never were they blended!  Now, in Christ, we are described as being part of a royal priesthood, a whole new class of people.  We are part of the royal family AND part of the priesthood of God.  There are pages to write about this blend of two rolls, but behind it all is a new category of people designed by and me!  

a holy nation. A holy nation is something God made Israel to be, but they never fulfilled the promise.  Now, in Christ, our holy status isn't accomplished by us, but by God himself.  Now, we the gathered nation of God come as a holy people, different from the world around us because of what Christ has done.  A people forgiven!  Hebrews describes it this way, "He has made perfect forever those who are becoming holy." 10:14.  We have a status and a calling. Live as holy, forgiven people rejoicing in an already done work!  

a people for God’s own possession. Possessed by God, what a concept. It makes my mind spin that I'm one of God's chosen possessions.  Why would he want me? I'm honestly quite a mess and yet he has chosen me!  What an amazing thing.  How do I respond to that? How do I live because of just these few phrases that describe me?

If I really saw myself as God sees me and describes me I would live a completely different life.  It wouldn't be a "hollier than thou" life, it would be a joyous life of freedom in him! It would be a life relaxed in what he has done and a life of response to the amazing love of God.  I pray we see ourselves as God sees would change everything!  We would begin to look like the People of God we really are!

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