1 Peter 2:9
Our New Lofty Titles
Everyone likes to receive a promotion—you know, a move from a lower status to that which is higher. Well in this short passage, we see, and should be amazed with, the promotion that God has provided His people. Please note the descriptions: A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for His own possession.
“Chosen race” speaks to our Lord’s choosing of us and not vise-versa. As we have noted, God desires, and so will have, His very own people. To have this people, He must choose them out of the lot that are born, for none born of women will choose Him. This is what it means to be born in sin with a sin nature. We may see noble pagans in ancient literature, and might even know a few ourselves. But none come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ on their own; this is the work of the Spirit pointing to the Son who points to the Father.
“Royal priesthood” speaks to that work to which we are set apart. A priest is one who goes before God on behalf of others and offers prayers (intercedes) for them. Christians are priests on behalf of one another and on behalf of the world. To sum, we have been set apart unto God for the world’s sake. And we are “royal” because we are in the service of the King of kings. We are His ambassadors to the petty tyrants of this world.
“Holy nation” speaks to our new nationality. We must understand that through our calling we have been set apart unto a heavenly citizenship. This does not mean that we are not citizens of the nation to which we belong but that our citizenship in the Kingdom of God is of first concern. We also recognize that we are not mere individuals but a holy people who belong to one another. We have brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the planet and they are our fellow-citizens in this Kingdom; moreover, we even have brethren from other times as well as other places. The Kingdom to which we belong is universal like no earthly realm ever could pretend to be.
We will speak more about this tomorrow. Suffice it to say now that we have been privileged above anything we could ever ask or think. We have not only been chosen and set apart unto God (as if that were not enough) but have been made priests in royal service and citizens of a nation that transcends time and space. In short, we have been transferred from earth to heaven. Now that’s a promotion!