Being God’s People

KEY VERSE: “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” —I Peter 2:10


BEING GOD’S PEOPLE has different meanings at different times. In the Old Testament writings, we learn about the nation of Israel, who constituted God’s people, with their alternating periods of faithfulness and unfaithfulness.—Exod. 6:7

In God’s coming kingdom here on earth the entire redeemed human race will be the people of God, and will receive healing and blessings. In this lesson the Apostle Peter addresses God’s people during the Gospel Age—those who are sacrificing their earthly ambitions for the hope of a heavenly reward in the first resurrection. (Rev. 20:6) Peter explains that this people is “chosen of God, and precious,” and will be built up into “a spiritual house”—the temple of God.—I Pet. 2:4,5

God’s people during this present Gospel Age have the responsibility Peter wrote about, saying “that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Pet. 2:9) We were once in darkness, separated from God, but were called to be his people. Our primary purpose is now to preach the glad tidings of the Gospel, to “let” our “light so shine before men, that they may see your [our] good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”—Matt. 5:16

By God’s people becoming “an holy priesthood” (I Pet. 2:5), they are able to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul emphasized that these sacrifices should totally dominate our lives when he said, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”—Rom. 12:1

As priests, God’s people are separated from the world for the purpose of service. This priesthood is the result of our coming to the Lord Jesus Christ—laying aside all weaknesses of the flesh (I Pet. 2:1), and offering sacrifices. (vs. 5) They are in the world, yet are not of the world. (John 17:14) Those who remain faithful unto death will become royal priests in the kingdom, when the glorified church will become instructors in righteousness to the world of mankind.

By coming to Jesus, we, too, become living stones which will be “built up a spiritual house.” (vs. 5) Peter does not say we will build this spiritual house, but rather that we will be built up into it. Each stone will be shaped, chiseled and polished to fit perfectly in place according to God’s design. As part of this spiritual house which is being built upon the solid foundation of Jesus as a ransom for all, we become “precious” to God (vs. 7) as his people today.

God’s people are “a peculiar people” (Tit. 2:14), in the sense that they are separate from the world. They are a “people for a purpose,” implying that God has a special mission in life for them.—I Pet. 2:9, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

These have been redeemed with Christ’s precious blood (I Pet. 1: 18,19) and have consecrated themselves to the Lord, offered up sacrifices holy and acceptable to God showing forth the praises of the Heavenly Father and his only begotten Son. Their lives are completely dedicated to God. They have therefore become the people of God’, and have ‘obtained mercy’ so that God considers them his ‘special treasure’. (vss. 9,10, Margin) What could ever be a greater treasure in all the earth?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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