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We are doing a series on Missions.

Week 1 – we looked at Matthew 28:18-20 .. The Great Commission … We learnt what Jesus meant when he said all Authority in heaven and earth has been given to him. We also learnt that ‘Go therefore and make disciples’ is a command given to all of us…. That this mission is the end goal of all our lives… Mission draws us closer to God …. & The Ultimate goal of mission is Worship.

Week 2 – we looked at Luke 5:1-11 where Jesus calls out his first disciple Peter to follow him and join him … 3 lessons we learned about Mission from the passage were 1) Mission is rooted in a relationship with Christ 2) Mission is empowered by the qualification of Christ & 3) Mission is defined by the call to follow Christ.

If you’ve missed been there for any of the Sundays I want to encourage you to visit and listen to the past sermons as listed below –

The text for today’s sermon is from 1 Pet 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.

Last to last week when David preached from 1 John 1:1-14 he answered 3 questions… Can you re-collect them?

Who is God?
What is he doing? &
Who am I in the light of that?

Similarly, I believe today’s passage will help us answer another set 3 important questions for us.

Who are we?
How did we get this Identity? &
What’s it for?

Who are we?

  • Verse 9 – “We are a chosen people”

1 Peter is a letter written by Peter to a particular set of people – Who are they? – The elect in God (Christians), we see that in 1 Pet 2:1. He is addressing it to the people who believed in the gospel and surrendered their lives to Christ. Just as we are.

And in verse 9 is saying to them “You are a chosen people”

And as children of God it is absolutely irrelevant what caste or culture or language group we belong to. Because in the kingdom of God we are either ‘chosen’ or ‘not chosen’. We are either going to heaven and spend eternity with God or end up in hell and suffer.

John Piper quotes “What gives us our identity is not color or culture. But chosenness.”

So true it is!

In the Bible Paul writes in Ephesians 1:4 “He chose us in him (In whom? – In Jesus) before the foundation of the world”

Listen to me …. You were chosen by God into his Kingdom before the foundation of the world.

Let me ask you something…  Tell me how does it make you feel? 

Eg. Indian Idol

To be chosen by God is far more special than been chosen for any contest in this world.

It is a privilege to be part of this chosen race of people that God has set apart for himself.
And therefore, we need to be far more grateful and thankful to God than these people who will big contest or even a lottery ticket. Our joy should supersede all of them. Our expressions of thanksgiving and praise should be more vibrant than theirs.

Ephesians 1:4 also reminds me that even I was a small child in my mothers care, a spoilt teenager hanging around with a bunch of crooks, a failure in school, a shame to my father. God had his eyes on me. In the midst of all my circumstances and crowd around me – God identified me as his own – His chosen one.

And that’s exactly who you are? A chosen and beloved child of God.

  • In Verse 10b Paul mentions our second identity … “We are men who’ve received MERCY from God”

To have received mercy basically means that, when we deserved punishment because of our sinfulness and fallen state as human beings, God didn’t punish us, but in fact blesses us instead. Mercy is the withholding of a just condemnation.

When God created the first man and the first women in his own image & likeness … and unlike other created beings he gave humans free will to choose between right and wrong.
And God gave them a free will so that they willfully choose to obey and worship God and not by force. God desired and still desires true and genuine worship from his children.

But instead of obeying and worshiping God they chose to rebel against Him … And therefore every human being is born sinful (including us) and deserve death and punishment from this Holy creator God.

God has all the rights to condemn us …. but He chose to show mercy … WHY? … Simply because He loves us.

In the beginning of Peter’s letter in chapter 1:3 he writes

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Lamentations 3:22-23 writes

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.

God didn’t just chose us but he also showed mercy and CONTINUOUS to be merciful to us every single day.

We are men who’ve received MERCY from God

  • Verse 9 .. Our 3rd Identity …. “We are Holy nation”

By placing our faith in God’s son Jesus Christ alone to save us from our sins – believing that Jesus paid the penalty of our sin by shedding his blood. God declared us holy.

Hebrews 10:8-10 the author gives us this beautiful picture of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. He says

“Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” – though they were offered in accordance with the Law. Then Jesus said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will” Jesus sets aside first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

As Christians when God looks at us he doesn’t look at our sinfulness anymore but he looks at the Holiness of Christ.

We are a Holy nation, chosen by God & showered with mercy.

  • Our fourth identity is …. “We are God’s possession” .. a treasured possession

We no longer belong to this world but we belong to God. We are his treasured possession. And therefore he continues to show his favor every moment. He provides us with all good things. He watches over us. His love constantly chases us.

Even though we walk through the valley of shadow of death … He is with us.

  • Our fifth identity Peter says …. “We are a Royal Priesthood”

As a child of God we are priest having immediate access to God – we don’t need another human mediator. God himself provided the one Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ. We have direct access to God, through God. And, second, we have an exalted, active role in God’s presence.
We are not just chosen, mercied, possessed, and holy just to sit away doing nothing. We are called now to minister in the presence of God. All our life is priestly service. We are never out of God’s presence. We are never in a neutral zone. We are always in the court of the temple. And our life is either a spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1–2), or it is out of character.

This is Who we are.

God’s possession, a holy nation, chosen, showered with mercy and having access to the presence of God.

We are a chosen race
A royal priesthood
A holy nation
A people for God’s own possession

Now, our second question.

How did we get our identity?

I think the simplest answer to this question is “God gave it to us”

Not on the basis of our merits, our accomplishments OR our good works ….

Peter says this in a summary statement at the end of verse 9. He refers to God like this: “Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” The light in which we live now as a chosen race, holy nation, mercied by God as a Royal Priesthood. The way we got there is that God called us. He called us out of darkness into this marvelous light.

And that’s how we got out identity.

Now that we’ve answered the first 2 question “Who we are?” & “How did we get this identity?”. I believe it is equally important for us to answer the 3rd most important question.

What is it for?

If I have to call my son Jairus and hand him a set of tools and objects and walk away without saying anything. The next question he would ask me is “Dad, what is it for?”

If Anslem has to call you and give you a lakh of rupees and walk away without saying anything. The next question you would want to ask him is “What is it for?”

If you’ve been offered a job position in a multi-national company without you even applying for the job or even qualified for it. The next question you would to ask is “What is it for?”

In the natural world we always ask that question when we are offered something out of the blue. In the same way I believe it is important for us to ask that question when we’ve been offered something we don’t deserve.

And Peter answers that question in the passage. He says

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.

God made us who we are so that we might proclaim
– The excellency of his freedom in choosing us.
– The excellency of his grace in showing mercy to us.
– The excellencies of his authority and power in possessing us.
– The excellencies of his worth and purity in making us holy.

In other words he has given us our identity in order that his identity might be proclaimed through us. God made us who we are so we could make known who he is. Our identity is for the sake of making known his identity. The meaning of our identity is that the excellency of God be seen in us.

Now, that’s a call for mission

And how do we proclaim his excellencies?

We proclaim is excellencies by

1. Living for His glory

Immediately after verse 10 . in verses 11 and 12 Peter writes

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

2. By been the light of the world & salt of the earth

Matt 5:16 Jesus said

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”

3. By being obedient to Jesus’ call to go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 43:10 God says “You are my witness”

Mark 16:15 Jesus said “Go into the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”

Last week Paul and his team encouraged us to be a witness for Jesus … and I believe it helped us to think of different ways to share the gospel with your family, friends & colleagues.

Conclusion: Trust this sermon has blessed your heart, we pray that you have a great week ahead proclaiming the excellencies of God in and through your lives.

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