Archive for September 7th, 2019

A Peculiar People

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Uncomfortable:  The Awkward and Essential Challenge of the Christian Community / Adoption; Regeneration; Election; Church: Nature / 1 Peter 2:6–9

Church attendance is commanded by scriptures.  It is part of God’s design for those who have been saved by Grace.  Jesus built the church, the called out assembly, because we not only need Jesus, we need each other.  Fellowship is not always natural.  Some folks are odd.  Some are awkward.  Some are not as mature as others.  Some are judgmental or even hypocritical.  How can I be expected to be involved with folks like that?

Today we are beginning a series entitled “Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of the Christian Community.”  We will be discovering what God had in mind when He prescribed fellowship with other recovering sinners as a key for us to also recover from our sin and become more like Christ.

The church is not:

* An ark for the saving of a select few.

* A ferryboat to take effortless passengers to the shores of heaven.

* A life insurance company, with no obligation on policy holders except the payment of a small annual premium.

* A social set, welcoming certain people and excluding others from its fellowship.

* A Sunday pleasure club for the providing of pleasant occupation on the day of rest.

The church is:

* A lifeboat for the rescue of sin-wrecked and perishing souls.

* A family, in which love and service are expected from each member to each member.

* An organized community, with constant activities and continual growth and development.

* A company of believers who have found the one way of life and obey the one Lord of life.

* A union of those who love for the benefit of those who suffer.

* A center of social worship, in which the spiritual life of each is helped by the spiritual life of his fellow.

* The representative — the “body” — of Jesus Christ on the earth, reflecting his spirit and controlled by his will.

True members of the church are blood bought saved sinners who have been adopted into the same royal family.  When we come together to fellowship, we are gathering with folks, although diverse in culture and personalities, are bound together as brothers and sisters in Christ.  According to our text this morning one of the most compelling reasons for us to be intimately involved in Christian fellowship is that in Christ we are all peculiar people.

Who  Are You People?

1 Peter 2:9 KJV

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

chosen generation

›    show chosen wheel

eklego (?????????, 1586), “to pick out, select,” means, in the middle voice, “to choose for oneself,” not necessarily implying the rejection of what is not chosen, but “choosing” with the subsidiary ideas of kindness or favor or love1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 100.

“Generation” is from a Greek word meaning “a race, a body with a common life and descent.” It does not mean here a group of individuals living within the span of a lifetime.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.  

royal priesthood

Revelation 1:5 KJV

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 1:6 KJV

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

›    show royal Lowe Nida

The word “royal” is the translation of the Greek word for “king.” The Levitical priesthood were only priests. Believers in this dispensation are king-priests, associated with the Lord Jesus who is a priest after the order of Melchisedec, a king-priest.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.

Didymus the Blind: Under the old dispensation, the priesthood and the kingship were two different things. No one could be both a king and a priest. But afterwards came the gospel, which united these two offices in Christ. From this it follows that the people whom he has chosen will be both royal and priestly at the same time. Some people wonder how it is possible, seeing that we are called from all the nations on earth, for us to be regarded as one holy people. The answer to this is that although we are from many different nations, the fact that we have all repented of our sins and accepted a common will and a common mind gives those who have repented one doctrine and one faith. When there is a soul and heart common to all believers, then they are called one people. Commentary on 1 Peter.1

1 Gerald Bray, ed., James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 87.

holy nation

The word “holy” in the Greek text means literally “set apart for the service of Deity.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56.

›    show Holy wheel

Deuteronomy 7:6 KJV

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

peculiar people

The word “peculiar” here is used in a way not often seen today. The Greek word means literally “to make around,” that is, to make something and then to surround it with a circle, thus indicating ownership. The same verb is used in the Septuagint translation of Isaiah 43:21 which reads, “This people have I formed for myself.” The word “peculiar” today usually means “odd, strange.” But it is not so used here. The Greek word speaks of the unique, private, personal ownership of the saints by God. Each saint is God’s unique possession just as if that saint were the only human being in existence.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 56–57.

What Should You People Be Doing?

…that ye should shew forth the praises…

•    Show forth praises.

The words “show forth” in the Greek text refer to a spoken message.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

•    These praises should be directed to the One who called you.

The word “praises” is not the translation of the Greek word customarily used to indicate praise, but of one which means “excellencies, gracious dealings, glorious attributes.” 1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

Why Should You People Be Doing It?

Ephesians 5:8 KJV

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

•    You were called out of darkness.

•    You were called into His light. 

The word “into” refers here not merely to locality, but to a result, that of the saints being participants of the light that God is in His nature. We are made creatures of light.

Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 57.

It can be uncomfortable form time to time to come to church and be confronted with people who have different tastes than we do, have been raised in different cultures, or are at different stages of Christian maturity than we are.  One thing we should know.  If you are saved and they are saved, you both are part of a chosen generation, both part of a royal priesthood, both part of an holy, set apart nation, and you are both peculiar, or owned by God.  Therefore let us unite shoulder to shoulder declaring public praise for the God that redeemed and united us ,  Let us unite as we let the light shine in us that called us both out of darkness.  After all, we are all peculiar people.