“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
I am too often frustrated by the events of the day, the environment of society, and the end of morality. However, I must remind myself that this world is not my home. If I despise the generation in which I live then I forget that as a Christian a belong to “a chosen generation,” not of the temporal sort we think of here on earth, but of the eternal standing we have in Christ.
This means we are God’s people. That does not mean that all humans are God’s people and we are definitely not all God’s children. The Bible clearly dispels that humanistic myth:
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
I remember once guest hosting on the local talk radio station and a man called in all worked up over my stance on the exclusivity of Christianity and he tried to biblically make the case for universalism. The problem was he was using New Testament books that clearly began addressing the brethren, which always means the church. Do these books have application to life and lost people? Yes of course they do, however the verses this man tried to use to defend his universalist stance clearly describe the exclusive work of Christ on the cross. The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian church that not all will come to salvation, no matter how foolish it may seem to the world:
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
“Let him glory in the Lord…” We need to be praise God more. I need to praise God every day all day. How do I do that? It doesn’t mean that I walk around mumbling to myself constantly or lifting my hands in the air every 3 minutes to praise God. It means when I awaken to my alarm, instead of groaning I should praise God for giving me another day. When I am in traffic driving the 19 miles to work, I should be listening to Christian music and praising God that I have a job to go to every morning. When I leave I should praise Him for the productivity I accomplished. When I arrive at my home I should praise Him for His abundant provision of my house and my lovely wife waiting there for me. I like how the Book of Psalms ends:
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6)
I am part of a chosen generation so let me praise the Lord! Why? Because I belong to a merciful God. Commenting on our passage from 1 Peter 2, Matthew Henry writes:
“All true Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a people distinct from the world; they are of another spirit, principle, and practice, which they could never be, if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by His Spirit. Their first state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their profession of His truth, and their good conduct. How vast their obligations to Him who has made them His people, and has shown mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woeful state, though a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of mercy and love of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be found among those who obtain mercy, walk as His people.”
I used to love an old secular song by Elvin Bishop titled, “Struttin’ My Stuff.” It is prideful and puffed up. Instead of struttin’, I need to “walk as His people.” That is the conduct expected of His chosen generation. That is one of four reasons Peter gives us to praise God.
We’ll look at the second one next time…
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers