Lesson 13—Remember Who You Are
Audio commentary by David Daniel
Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9
Lesson Goal: To understand what it means to be able to say “I belong to Him.”
Today’s passage begins with the small and often overlooked word “but.” In casual reading, this word is seen as unimportant, if it is seen at all. In fact, many commentators and writers do not even acknowledge it, “but” we are doing a terrible injustice if we neglect it or omit it. “But!” “These great ‘buts’ of the Bible are always significant. As a great door can swing on a small hinge, great truths are opened up for us by this little word. Peter turns now from his contemplation of the behavior and its consequences of those who reject Christ to the joys, privileges, and responsibilities of those who accept Christ” (Phillips).
Verse nine provides a sharp and direct contrast to the previous verse, a contrast between those who believe and accept Jesus Christ and those who do not. In this contrast, it is as if Peter is saying to us (true believers), “Know who you are! Remember who you are! You are not a people that stumble over Christ. You have not rejected Him, but you have accepted Him as the Chief Corner Stone. Realize and remember the great truth of God; you are the people of God.” As a people of God, through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Peter identifies four great truths concerning this relationship. These four truths are established based upon our position “in Christ.”
Truth #1—“You are a chosen generation”—in this truth, we see God’s wonderful loving initiative in bringing people to Himself and allowing us to be part of His church. See 1 John 4:19. God is at work taking believers from China, Asia, South America, Africa, Mexico, Guatemala, and all over the earth and making a new generation by the Spirit of God. Believers from all over the world form one family in union by the Spirit of God. The literal meaning of the Greek word genos is rendered race or tribe. By the relationship we share with Jesus Christ, we become part of one generation (genos).
The rending of the temple veil, when Christ died (see Matthew 27:51), was an everlasting significant event to all people, but with special significance to the Jewish people. “It rendered obsolete the Jewish ritualistic religious system. The way into the Holiest is now available to all, Jew and Gentile alike (see Hebrews 10:19-22).
Truth # 2—“A royal priesthood,”—allow me to use a little Town Creek paraphrase, “You have open access into the very presence of God.” Notice how this priesthood is established; it is called “a royal priesthood.” This means that we are priests of royalty; we are priests who belong to the Highest Majesty, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
Men have always sought someone to represent them and carry their needs before God, but for many people, God seems abstract, distant, and unapproachable. At best, they see Him as some mystic being somewhere in the lofts of outer space. They know nothing about fellowship and communion with God. There is no personal relationship with Him.
Peter writes of the glorious truth that we now belong to Him through Jesus Christ because of a personal relationship with Him. He is our Great High Priest (see Hebrews 4:14). Our High Priest has passed through the heavens to the very throne of God where He sits at God’s right hand (Hebrews 1:3).
➢ Remember the importance of “but” as you look at these Scriptures: Psalm 3:3, Psalm 94:22, Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:57, 2 Thessalonians 3:3. What can be learned from the “but” statement of Scripture?
➢ Finish each of the following statements.
There was a time in my life when I was losing hope, but God…
It was a terrible time for me, but God…
I did not know what to do, but God…
Truth # 3—“A holy nation,”—this is a very special and meaningful title. Believers are a unified group of people who are set apart for God’s use. “Holy” means set apart. The word nation translates the Greek word “ethnos” which means people.
The word “sanctification” also conveys the truth of “set apart.” Sanctification entails two important parts—Positional and Practical. In 1 Peter 1:1-2, Peter pronounced his readers “holy,” and yet in 1 Peter 1:16, he urges them to “be holy.” Positional sanctification makes believers a holy nation.
➢ Discuss positional sanctification (1:1-2) and practical sanctification (1:16).
Truth # 4—“Special people,” “a peculiar people,”—the word peculiar (or special) is taken from the Greek word peripoiesis, which means to purchase or to acquire for a price. Believers belong to God because they were purchased at a great price (see 1 Corinthians 6:20). We belong to God; we are His very own special people; we are His prized possessions.
➢ What meaning does it give to your life to know that as a true believer you belong to Christ?
“that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”—See Ephesians 2:11-13 and read the words of the Apostle Paul.
➢ How do Paul’s words, in Ephesians 2:11-13, relate to Peter’s writing in 1 Peter 2:9-10?
God makes us His own special people, more precious to God than all the gems and treasures of the world, and that is something to praise Him for. We belong to Him and that is something to sing about. Being God’s peculiar special possession carries the promise of provision, protection and security. We do not deserve it, but He has invited us to sit at His table. Through Jesus Christ we are part the royal family. We now have a song to sing!
Questions for Life Focus
According to Peter, as a true believer in Jesus Christ you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar special people. This should put a song in our hearts and on our lips. List three songs, hymns, or choruses that express your praise to Him and explain why you selected each one.
Read 2 Samuel 9:1-13. Ask God to speak to your heart through this passage. What did it mean to Mephibosheth to eat at the king’s table? (See verses 8, 10, 13)
Write your praise to God for being His own possession.