The video is temporarily found here on the Friday schedule.
We all have several corporate identities. But all those identities are transcended by being a Christian and the corporate identity it brings.
We can follow Peter’s flow of thought in 3 movements (1 Peter 2:9-10).
- You are a chosen people/race
- Isa 43:3-4, 19-25 – in this context God talks about blotting out the transgressions of Israel after they have failed God. And they will proclaim God’s praise (v. 21).
- Peter applies this to the church for they are the locus of God’s people.
- The contrast in v. 8 is the destiny of the lost vs. the destiny of the elect.
- Royal priests
- They are called “royal priests” because . Why does God have a sovereign choice of some Israelites (Levitical Aaronic line) and at the same time call the whole people priests?
- There were certain requirements for them in holiness that were not required of the rest of the Israelites.
- Holy Nation (ethnicity)
- “Nation” is not to be understood in the way we understand it post 17th century (people group might be better – like people groups in the Philippines or Canada).
- Then holy extends even to pagan priests because they deal with the sacred.
- We are God’s people that God dares call us his holy nation, his holy ethnicity, his holy people group.
- God’s special possession
- God possess all people.
- And yet, God possesses Israel (and those in the New Covenant) by his own volition.
- These identities will conflict with some parts of our other corporate identities (Chinese, motor bike riders, students, etc.) and we must hold these Christian identities as transcendentally important.
- Peter sees all of this speaking of God’s people under the old covenant and understands this is exactly how he must speak of God’s people under the new covenant.
- In each identity there’s emphasis on God’s initiative, on supreme God-centeredness, on the built-in implication of incalculable privilege.
OUR PURPOSE (2:9)
- To proclaim God’s excellencies (or praise). This identity is not for pride or for self-righteous snobbery.
- The language is drawn from Isaiah 43:20-21.
- Two details:
- The sheer God centeredness of this purpose
- The sheer privilege of this purpose when we’ve seen what he has done – he has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
OUR FOUNDATION (v. 10)
- Based on Hosea 2.
- Paul (Romans 9:25) and Peter here extend the Hosea referent to the Gentiles (which was not in Hosea 2).
- So when Peter says, “you were not a people, but now you are God’s people” it applies to both Gentiles and Israelites because they were disowned as God’s people before taken up again.
- So we are to obey Christ (1 Peter 1:1-2; 2:24-25). All that we enjoy and need has been secured by the cross.
Once we establish our identities on these terms, then there is an interracism, there is an internationalism. To be anchored in the purpose of God and the cross of Christ and to be set on the destiny God has purposed transcends all other identities and deeply unites a diverse people.
Within this framework then, where the diversities may push each other farther, they become a spectrum that reflects the mercy and grace of God.