“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
(1 Peter 2:9 ESV)
One of the struggles faced by Christians in America is the desire to fit in with those around us. As we look at the teaching of God’s Word, and as we strive to live out our faith in this world, we can’t help seeing that we’re different. And, because we don’t like to feel different, because we don’t like to stand out, we do all that we can to fit in.
This means that, instead of carrying out the call Christ has placed on our life, we keep our mouth shut. It often means compromising in areas of right and wrong, and following the world down a sinful path. It often means struggling with guilt as we desire to live for the Lord but are unwilling to lay aside this desire for worldly approval.
However, what we see in Scripture is that, as Christians, we’re supposed to stand out. So the reason we feel different is because we are different. We are different because God has made us distinct from other people.
In the above verse, Peter says that those who believe are a chosen race. They are a people chosen by God. He says that they are a royal priesthood. They are a people who offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God, who live a life devoted to the service of the Lord. They are a holy nation. They are a people who’ve been set apart by God to do his will. They are a people for his own possession. They are a people set apart by God to be his own.
They’re set apart by God for a very important purpose. They’ve been set apart by God that they might declare the excellencies of the one who saved them. They’ve been set apart to share with others the wonders of the God who delivered them from darkness. He’s set them apart from the world that they might reach out to the world.
Most of us are familiar with the call Jesus has placed upon his followers. He’s called us to proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. He’s called us to make disciples of all nations. And we’re able to do this only as we accept the distinction God has placed upon us.
Because this is true, our striving to fit in with the world hinders our ability to reach the world for Christ. When we try to fit in with darkness, we’re unable to testify of the light. The fact that we’re distinct is a testimony to those around us that we’ve been saved from sin and death.
So, as believers in Jesus, let us not seek to fit in with the world. Let us, instead, live as the people we were made to be. Let us live as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. And may we testify of the goodness of God that others might also be delivered from darkness into the light of the Lord.