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. 1 Peter 2:9
I was recently added to my high school class’s WhatsApp group. Having been out of contact for years, I was happy to be reconnected with over 150 former classmates. I was quite surprised to find that the school spirit was very much alive and well in the group. Tough talk and jokes at the expense of our rival school were just like before. School identity has always been strong in my high school but I didn’t expect the identity to have been maintained with such intensity after over 30 years!
We all need to feel a sense of belonging, whether it is a race, nation, family, profession, school, company, group of friends, or even a gang. Belonging to a group gives us identity, and some of these identities can have great impact on our daily lives. For example, when two countries are at war, one’s citizenship might mean life or death.
Peter uses this verse to remind us of our first and foremost identity: being a follower of Christ. It goes above all our other identities. We are a group of people who Peter calls a “holy nation”. As nationals of this nation, we have our privileges and duties to be priests. In the Old Testament, people did not approach God directly. A priest acted as intermediary between God and sinful human beings. With Christ’s victory on the cross, that is no longer the case. In this modern age world, our priestly duties become evangelising to the lost. And because we were all once in darkness and brought to the wonderful light by our Lord and Saviour, we get to declare this victory by singing His praises in all areas of our lives.
Let us respond to our God-given identity by:
- Praising God for handpicking us to be His chosen people, the royal priesthood, a holy nation and His possession; and,
- Asking Him to teach us how to live out every aspect of the life He gave according to His Spirit’s lead.