But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
— 1 PETER 2:9–10
A theme that saturates both the Old and the New Testaments is that we are not merely a group of saved individuals; we are far more: we are an interconnected people who have been forged together with a common purpose and a manifest destiny, a unique calling and a characteristic like no other nation on the planet. We are born anew so that we can become a people whose distinguishing characteristic is that we are saturated, together, with the Divine Presence (God himself), that we hear and obey the voice of God together. Our presence filled with God’s Presence speaks.
This was God’s intention when he spoke to Moses and all Israel before he gave the Ten Commandments:
“Now if you…keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”… (Exodus 19:5–6).
That purposeful promise, made to Israel, has been fulfilled in Jesus. All of Hebrew history was collapsed into him. When we enter into who he is, we do not merely escape the fires of hell; rather, we become the people that God intended in the first place. We are people of the Word marked by the voice of the Spirit together. Then, together, as a people, our submersion in the Word gives voice to the God we hear and love.
FURTHER SCRIPTURE REFLECTION: EXODUS 19:3–6 AND 1 PETER 2:4–10
1. In comparing Exodus 19:3–6 with 1 Peter 2:4–10, make a list of what we are to become.
2. Pray to be a people on purpose.
David Chotka is the Lead Pastor of Spruce Grove Alliance Church in Spruce Grove, AB. David is married to Elizabeth, and they have two children, an adult son and a teenaged daughter.