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God’s own people
Sunday 31st October

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9 





The context of this scripture is a letter from the apostle Peter, part of the inner circle of Jesus. Peter is in Rome and writes to encourage multiple churches throughout Asia who are facing persecution and suffering. Helping them to focus on the coming of Christ. Whilst they are gentiles, and originally far off from God, Peter calls them the chosen people of God.  All people who believe are now part of this family of God. They have a new identity, new hope and a new family. Taking themes from the Old Testament of coming out of slavery, and exile and there is now a new exodus. These Christ followers leave behind their former life and come into a new covenant as God’s own people, They are the new temple and the new kingdom of priests with a promise of a new heaven and new earth in the resurrection.




Last week I began to speak about what happens after we believe and how we live in light of the hope of his glory. I spoke about Christian’s virtue and the character of the new believer.


This is how virtue works. Keep your eye on the goal of a "complete" character- in the Christian case, the full humanity promised in the resurrection, through which we are called to be a royal priesthood. 


Practice the skills in the present which will gradually enable us to do and be what will go to make up that complete character. Whilst this may seem "unnatural" at first, but eventually it may, if we stick at it, become "second nature." 


When we do this, we will be turning into a genuine, God-reflecting human being. The world will see in us a reflection of who God truly is. God will see in you a reflection of the world as it has been and will be renewed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.




  1. 1. Made to rule


Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’


So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:26 - 27


And this is reflected in Psalm 8, who writer asks in the light of the majesty of the creator God, who are these human that you should care for them…


Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honour. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,

Psalm 8:5-6 -


2. Redeemed to rule


Second point is that of the exodus.


When Moses gave the law in Exodus God warned them, and again in Deuteronomy to obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, and because it all belongs to God he says to the Israelites.


you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. 

Exodus 19:6 


 And in revelations 5


You ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation; you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth.’

Revelation 5:9-10 


3. Raised to rule.


In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 

Ephesians 1:11-12


I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 


God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 


Ephesians 1 20- 23


You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 


But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ —by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. 


Ephesians 2: 4 - 7



For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might 


create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. 


Ephesians 2:15 - 16


So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are 


no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.


Ephesians 2: 19 -22


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