1 Peter: An Apologetic For Resident Aliens – 2:9-12
1 Peter 2:9-12: A Family of Missionary Servants
“9But 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.10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.12Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
Here we continue with the idea Peter began in the previous passage. We see three OT identities that now identify NT believers. We are a “royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession.” These identify us as children in God’s family. Israel was called to be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 12:1-3). In spite of this calling Israel failed to be the light that God had intended. There isn’t necessarily evidence that Israel had the same outward missional call as the NT church, but it is clear they were called to be a light to the nations in their midst. In Christ, we are called to be that light and proclaim the “excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into the marvelous light.” He is talking to gentile believers, telling them to be witnesses of God’s mercy in their lives, and to live a distinctly different life before the non-believing world. That life will cause the world to see your “good deeds,” and it will also cause them to become angered by the truth of the gospel. We are called to honorable living in the “city of man,” and to display the love of God to our culture.
What does verse nine speak to you?
How have you received mercy?
How do we “abstain from the passions of the flesh?” What are the passions of the flesh?
How can we maintain the balance of being loved and hated by the culture?
How do our “good deeds” lead to God being glorified?