Good evening. It’s good to see you. It’s not funny, but at this point I just laugh. I know so many families got affected by a stomach bug and I ended up getting it. I was writing my sermon in the last hour, but we’ve got one. I can’t promise how good it’s going to be, but it’s a sermon. I’m kidding. It’s from the Lord. So it’s going to be good. It’s going to be good. But I know we have so many people sick, so hopefully we’re over it and can move on from it. Yeah, so it’s just good to be upright, good to be with you. I want to look with you in 1 Peter 2. If you have your Bible and you want to turn there. 1 Peter 2.

And we’re just going to look at verses 9 and 10.

Peter writes, 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.

Jessica and I were staying in this cabin in Georgia over January for a little bit. And we were there one night and about all I wanted to do was just play with the wood-burning oven and just make the fire really big. I don’t know why that was so interesting. I think men just like, they just like to set things on fire, I guess. She said, Hey, did you spend $8 at this grocery store recently? I said, Yeah, that was me. I spent $8. And she said, Oh, well, the bank asked me and text 2 if it was fraud and I texted 2. So your card’s frozen. I was like, Ugh. And of course, I guess because I’m lazy, every time I went to like go and use it, I was like, Oh, I can’t use it. I can’t use it. So I finally broke down and called the number and maybe you’ve been through that process. You have to what? You have to authenticate yourself. I am me. I am me. This is my social security number. This is my home address. And I have to prove that I’m me. Right?

Peter’s doing a very similar thing for the ones he’s writing. All that they’re experiencing, he’s saying, Hey, here is your authenticating factors. Here are the things that you can, you can use and hold them against your life. And by doing so, you can discover, is Christianity really real for me? I think that’s something everyone asks themselves at some point in their life if you call yourself a Christian. Is this really real for me? Am I an authentic Christian? Is there a way to really know if it’s all real or I’m fooling myself even?

Verse nine, he just starts with a conjunction. He says, But you are these things. But you are these things. What he had said was what unbelievers are. They’re ones who stumble over the gospel and they don’t believe in who God is. But he’s saying, Contrast yourself. Now you are these things. And he gives a bunch of descriptions of how Old Testament Israel would have been described. The first thing he says is your chosen race. Your chosen race. If you go back to Deuteronomy chapter 10, it says, Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them. You above all peoples as you are this day. So why did God choose the nation of Israel to be his people? What did they do? Nothing. God said in that verse, it’s just for love’s sake that he loved them and chose them above all their peoples.

But they’re also called a holy nation. Peter says, you are a chosen race. You’re a royal priesthood and a holy nation. And we find those same descriptions of Israel in Exodus 19.6. It says, You shall be to me a kingdom and a holy nation. A priest in the Old Testament who had the function, what did they do? They, for the people, they went into the temple and they made sacrifices and they taught the law and they decided disputes and conflicts. They were kind of an intermediary between the people and God. But God even gives the whole nation of Israel that description. Hey, you all, because you have such a nearness to me unlike other nations, you’re all a kingdom of priests. But they’re also a holy nation. What does it mean for them to be a holy nation? Well, holy means to be set apart. It means to be pure. And so God expected Old Testament Israel to be different from all the other nations in their moral purity, how they treated one another in their relationship with God.

Lastly, it says in verse nine, a people for his own possession, a people for his own possession. I like the old King James translation because it says a peculiar people, a peculiar people. In other words, you’re supposed to be a people that’s odd to every other people except to the Lord because you’re so different and you’re so set apart to God. And the question is always raised, well, did Israel do that? Did Israel, did they function as the nation they were supposed to be in this chosen, loved, holy, priest-like nation that was close to God? And the answer is always, no, they did not do it. They were never interested, hardly, in being God’s people. They loved the foreign nation’s way of life. They loved the pagan gods. They abandoned God’s temple. They treated each other poorly to the point that they were put into slavery. So what do you call this? What is Peter doing? This is what you call typology. In other words, there are these symbols in the Old Testament, chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, a people of his own possession. They’re symbols that are pointing to a better and truer New Testament reality. A New Testament reality. And here’s Peter’s point. All of these Old Testament types, they find their truest expression and purpose not for ethnic Israel, but for Israel. Rather, for spiritual Israel. For those who have been spiritually reborn and have given a new heart and a new nature. All day long, God called ethnic Israel His people, yet ethnic Israel didn’t have the heart for it. It wasn’t in their nature to respond back to God in that way. Yet Peter says, you, those who have placed faith in Jesus, in Christ, what are you in Christ? If you’re in Christ, you really are chosen. You really are loved. You really are royal. You really are a priesthood. You’re a holy nation. You’re peculiar and you’re strange to the Lord. You’re special to God.

So I want you to see the difference then between ethnic and spiritual Israel, between being a professor only and not truly being something in your heart. And what is it?

It’s the ability, it’s the desire to reciprocate back to the Lord, to long to be all that He calls you to be and then to actually live it out, to fight for holiness, to treasure Christ, to prioritize it above everything else. It’s why Peter says to them earlier in this book, you have a living hope. It’s not a dead hope. It’s not a misplaced hope. It’s a living hope. No, you’ve been given a new spirit and because you have a new spirit within you, you have a living hope.

1 Peter on the whole is about trials.

And Peter is making no bones about the fact that hey, you’re going to follow Jesus. You’re definitely going to have trials. And what trials we do have as Christians. What temptations come on every side so that it must be true, friends, that the kingdom of Satan and your own flesh is so powerful over you. The pull to disobey God, the pull to abandon the Lord is so strong. If you didn’t have a new nature, if you didn’t have a new heart, there would be no way that you could withstand it. So it’s silly even to talk about knowing God. It’s silly to talk about resisting sin if I can’t say, I have sinned. I have a new heart and a new nature given to me. Otherwise, it’s impossible. Steadfast you will not be.

So I want you to see what that text does. It urges you to authenticate your nationality, your affiliation with God in Christ by questioning you.

How precious is it to you to be in Christ? How much does it matter to you to be called chosen of God? How much does it reach down into your core to be called a holy nation? Is it worth losing everything in this life? Is it worth being called royal in the age to come if it meant you had to be but a poor beggar in this one? Is it worth being called a priest with direct access to God if it meant losing access to other people in this life? Is it worth? The call to be holy? To resist every lustful pleasure you would have otherwise?

What does it mean to you to be called God’s peculiar people?

And I want to say to you plainly, it’s our undying will to pursue God that authenticates that identity.


Don’t stop pursuing. Don’t stop treasuring. Don’t stop valuing all that you have in Jesus. All that you will have in the life to come. What it means to have a father in Christ. To have life in the Spirit. I think the greatest tragedy is not for one to reject Christ. To hear the gospel and reject it. At least that person knows where they stand. I think the greatest tragedy is to be in this very dangerous place. This very callous place where you’ve made a profession of faith. You say you’re a Christian, yet you know you do the bare minimum to make God happy or to fool other people around you. But wait a second. That’s what ethnic Israel did. Ethnic Israel just wanted to wear the name tag Yahweh. They just wanted to have the banner God’s people. But in their hearts, what were they? They were very, very far from the Lord. And in fact, that’s what the prophet Isaiah said and Jesus quoted it to the Pharisees. You honor me with your lips, but in your hearts, you’re far from me. So I would say it’s a very, very dangerous place to be because it becomes a very comfortable, callous place.

And in that place, we need to do one of two things. We need to say, I’m not playing games. I’m not playing games anymore. The truth is I’ve never truly surrendered my whole self to the Lord and God. I need you. So it’s a grace to confess. I’ve been playing games this whole time.

Or I need a revival in my soul. I need the spirit to remedy this spiritual sloth I’ve been stuck in. And again, that’s a healthy, it’s a hard question, but it’s a healthy question to ask yourself as you go along in the Christian faith.

If we’re true spiritual Israel, if we’re truly the offspring of Abraham, we’ll authenticate that identity by steadfastness. Onward motion. Some days may look and feel like a crawl. You feel like you’re not making very good progress in the way, yet you have a desire for it. And it’s no small thing to just have the desire, just the smallest bit of love for God, just the smallest bit of longing to be free from sin, the smallest bit of longing to be holy and different from the world. You didn’t give yourself that desire. So if you have it, cherish it and feed the flames of it all the more.

And I do want to tack on to this verse 10. In verse 10, Peter says, once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people. A massive portion of remaining steadfast in your identity in Christ, authenticating that identity is ownership in life with God’s people. It doesn’t say once you were not a person and now you’re God’s person, does it? It would be weird. It says once you were not a people, but what? Now you have been formed together to be God’s people.

God’s people love and remain fully faithful to God. To the welfare of God’s people. And just like we would say, it’s impossible to resist sin. It’s impossible to resist Satan if I don’t really have a new nature. Guess what? It’s impossible to bear with God’s people in the local church. You can’t do it. It’s hard. It’s difficult to bear with God’s people. It’s difficult to weather the storms. It’s difficult sometimes to love others and let yourself, be loved. It’s very hard. An unregenerate heart will throw off the pursuit of God just like it will eventually throw off the facade of being a Christian. Of having life in the local church. It takes a new heart to do either. It takes a new heart to do either. And it’s like a new problem. Like we’re having that problem today in the 21st century church. We are having that problem. In the 21st century church in a big way. But it’s an old problem. Paul talks about a man named Demas in 2 Timothy. And he says, Demas, in love with his present world, has deserted you. And it’s not the only time that he’s mentioned. Demas is mentioned in Colossians and Philemon when Paul does his greetings. Paul says, I send you my greetings as does Demas. This guy was on Paul’s team. You’re on the Apostle Paul’s missionary team playing churches, doing things, doing stuff for the Lord. But then when Paul comes to write Timothy, he says, Timothy’s abandoned me. He’s deserted me because he’s in love with this present world. So the worst thing you could ever do is just assume all is well with me, all is well with my relationship with the Lord and live very haphazardly in your Christian life. I must constantly go back and say, is this true? Is this valid? Are there parts of me where I’m false in my love for the Lord? I’m false in my confession that I bear with the church. I need to be faithful in these things and see that fire kept. Make no mistake about it. There will be the rest of your life a million off-ramps for this. You will find and see a million off-ramps to take God less seriously, to take sacrificing for the Lord, resisting sin. Those are a plenty and people take those off-ramps all the time. There are so many off-ramps to part with the local church. There are so many off-ramps Jesus says it’s what? It’s just a few who keep to the straight and narrow. Just a few. Can’t undo the fact that Jesus said that.

So I need, you need, we need what? A daily focus on who God has made us to be in Jesus and I need to fight to keep that heavenly perspective of my nationality, my identity, my chosenness, my holiness in perspective so that nothing else pushes it out and the flame doesn’t die. Focus on Jesus. And I think we complicate it. I think all that could be said simply like this. Daily, walk with Jesus. Daily, sit with Jesus. Daily, hear the words of Christ. Daily, commune with the Lord in prayer. When you look at Jesus, you’re full of Jesus. It’s like Moses. Moses couldn’t help look like he was like lit up like a Christmas tree. Why? Because he had been with God.

So everything that pushes your life around and begs to take up your schedule, friends, it’s on your heart. If it’s a new one, if it’s a new nature to put Christ first above everything else. Here’s the second authenticating factor. The first is who we are, but here talks about something that we do, something that we do.

He says you’re all those things.

That you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

So who we are in Jesus, if we if we have a new nature, it’s necessarily going to shape in God the way we spend our life, right? If you’re something new, you’re someone new in your nature, you’re not going to spend your life the same way. You’re a different person altogether in the life that I think all of us live as Christians. It’s going to look different because we’re just different people in different walks of life is a life of proclaiming, of proclaiming. And what is what does he mean when he says proclaiming? It means to report or it means to announce, broadly or wide distribution, wide distribution. And what does Peter say? If you have this new nature, you’re going to distribute widely.

Well, the excellencies. Of Christ, the excellencies of God, who who revealed himself in his son Jesus, who bled and died for sinners, who showed how good and holy he is and all that he offers those who turn to his son in faith.

Why is it that way? Why is it for Peter the natural flow that if I know God in this special way, I will necessarily proclaim God in this way. Here’s why simply. Because to know God is to talk about him.

There’s no such thing as knowing God and not talking about it. To know him is to talk about him. To experience him is to share him. You can’t have an experience with God and then keep your mouth shut.

About the woman at the well. When Jesus. Really just showed her how much he knew her and loved her, she said, come meet a man who told me everything I ever did. He didn’t tell her everything that she ever did, but she felt known and she felt loved. And the same thing happens to us when we truly encounter God.

All that the Lord has revealed to us will flow into a proclaiming lifestyle. And it’s authenticating. It’s authenticating and it’s authenticating because the love of God can’t be contained in a person. And I was grateful that Sue shared some of those things because it’s a good picture of it. If I have the love of God, it’s not a maybe, be sort of hopefully it’s a definite. It can’t be contained. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to go to India, but somehow God wants his love for you in Christ to be pulled out and shown to someone else.

You won’t. You won’t live a lifestyle of proclaiming Christ if you don’t have a true nature. Either. It’s too hard. It’s too awkward. It’s too uncomfortable at times. Whether someone spits on you or kills you or just tells you they don’t like you anymore. The flesh says no. It’s only by having this new nature that I long, I desire to obey God and be a proclaimer of his goodness, because I think it’s dramatic to notice what he says. He called you out of darkness. He called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. It wasn’t even like you were figuring things out pretty good and he helped you along. It’s like you were just walking and roaming around in your own ignorant stupidity and God pulled you out of that. Your salvation is drastic. It’s radical. It’s a great love. It’s a great sacrifice on God’s part. So I think when we don’t long to and I get there all the time when I don’t long to share Christ and make him known. It’s because I have lost how great and encompassing God’s love is for me. So grabbing at the greatness of the gospel is the only way to bring me back to how bad I need to, and even how much I desire to share Christ and die daily to my comfort and die daily to the fear of man, and die daily to consequences and awkwardness or rejection.

But I want you to notice this. I’m not going to go into too much detail. But I want you to notice this on this point as well. He says, once you are not a people, but now you are God’s people. It’s not singular. So in the Greek is plural. So we can just use a good old southern y’all, okay? He’s saying, hey, y’all, all y’all, all y’all were once in darkness. But now y’all, all of us together are called into this. So it’s not. Hey, all y’all figure this out individually. It’s, hey, all y’all have this calling together in this, this calling to do evangelism together. I think it’s effective because it’s Christ’s way. I think the most powerful thing you can do in evangelism, and I think we do it so little, is expose those whom we are trying to share Christ with to the power of Christian community.

It’s the love of Christ, Jesus said, that will show the world where it is, isn’t it? So I need to proclaim Christ, but also letting people see the power and the love in Christian community. Also, in the context of community, what do we do? We pray for one another. Think about how often Paul says, if you don’t pray for me, I’m not going to be able to do the things you’ve called me to do. We train one another to share the gospel. We push one another when we get disobedient. We collaborate about how we can love others for the cause of Christ. Okay. So it’s a great aid that you and I have one another, even though we so often don’t use it.

Are we talking about going to India? Are we talking about handing out tracts? Are we talking about sharing the gospel with a coworker, inviting someone to study the Bible with us, showing our neighbor hospitality? Which thing are we talking about? Yes, we’re talking about all of it and just how the Spirit leads us to be faithful. And it’s important. It’s important. It’s important that we talk about this all the time because you and I are so good at throwing this out. Life gets really busy. And the last thing I’m thinking about is who am I engaging for the cause of Christ? And if I’m not engaging and it seems like a big struggle, I just want to put up with that. You know, I’ve got a lot going on and I just don’t have time for that. Friends, I need the Lord to break my heart about who I am in my calling because the world’s getting darker, not lighter. Cultures get more depraved. I read a news story this morning that the London, the mayor of London has decided to instead of erecting a memorial to the late Queen Elizabeth, instead of doing that, they’re going to and they’re doing it. They’ve got the mold cast of 850 trans people, most of whom are sex workers, and they’re going to hang that in the middle of London. Yeah. They’re going to hang that in the middle of London instead of memorial to the late Queen. That’s the world we live in. That’s the world you and I live in.

We need the world needs us to share the gospel.

The gospel we love and has given us life. We must pray continually. Lord, empower me to share that with others. Amen. Show me how to do that in the context of community.

And I’ve got to do it. And it’s authenticating So just again a plug for Wednesday nights, I would encourage you just be here Wednesday because something that we’re just going to really focus on is talking about. How do we reach out effectively as a church? And I think honestly it’s an area where being a small church can be a plus because we can all get on the same page together at the same time. We can do things quicker and we can be effective as we work together. So be here Wednesday for prayer. We’ve been talking about this praying, praying, praying, learning, training together. And then I want to challenge you. Grab one pamphlet or track out there on your way out. There’s different ones. Grab one and challenge yourself to give it to one person. I don’t know who that person is going to be. Maybe it’s a gas station cashier or it’s a family member. Hey, this talks about who Jesus is. Maybe when you have some free time, you’d like to read it. Will that kill you? Probably not. Step out. Challenge yourself to be obedient. And most of all, keep praying for passion for reaching the lost.

So, church, we have a new identity because grace and grace alone has given it to us. And everything. Everything we’ve said can just be said like this. I could have just come up here and said this. Know God and make him known. Know Jesus and make Jesus known. It’s that simple. It’s that simple. Let’s pray.

Father, we thank you for.

New life in Jesus. We thank you for new identity in Christ. And what we pray that that would be our treasure. And we would treasure it with your people. Lord, we would remember how short, how quick life is. And we wouldn’t waste our lives, but we would live them for eternity. For your kingdom. Um. Lord, that in all. Things. You would be glorified in us. Our faithfulness, Lord, to pursue you. Um. Father, to make the gospel of your son, Jesus. No. And that’s our prayer. In Jesus name. Amen.

And just. And just.

Preacher: Chad Cronin

Passage: 1 Peter 2:9-10