August 22, 2018
1 Peter 2:9-10… 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. 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.
Peter speaks of all who have been saved through Jesus blood, which He shed for all on the cross. This is a handy definition of ‘predestination’… if you have struggled to understand it, this might help. If you are saved, it is because God reached out to you with mercy. You believed, yes; but He initiated it.
In his opening platitudes, Peter gives us the warm feeling of God’s great love, but he also gives us the responsibility of being His possession. We no longer live for our own desires and passions; we live for Him and His desires. And we are vocally grateful… “Proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness.” “Proclaim” is an action word. It means more than ‘think often’ of ‘think all the time’ or ‘hang out round people who believe in God.’ It means, ‘declare, say, sing, make known’. Peter is writing against the habit, of some, to believe they are Christian because they go to church and pray before meals.
Is that person a Christian? How often we hear that, or some version of it, asked. The answer is simple enough… “Does he, or she, proclaim the excellencies of God?” We ought to be thankful that we no longer stumble in darkness. We walk in marvelous light. At the church we attend, there is a woman who sometimes breaks out in praise. She is quite loud and demonstrative. That is not an example for all of us, but it is an example of response to God’s love that is not religiously correct. We, especially men, are careful to be decent and in order and that might prevent us from ‘Proclaiming God’s excellencies.” I coined the phrase ‘religiously correct’ as an explanation of religious responses that don’t always find their root in the Bible. We are more interested in not offending people than we are in pleasing God. He called us out of darkness and placed us, not in a dimly lit room, but in marvelous light. Rejoice and proclaim that.