"A Chosen Race"
Devotion for Wednesday, July 1, 2020
1 Peter 2:9, “a chosen race”
Today we continue our look at the identifying markers for the people of God found in 1 Peter 2. In addition to being a living stone being built up into the temple of God, Peter also identifies the follower of Jesus as being part of a chosen race. This identification with the people of Israel is earth-shattering in significance!
This identifying marker points to the words of Moses in Deuteronomy, “Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. Yet on your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day.” (Deut. 10:14-15)
Moses declares that out of all the peoples of the earth, God chose the people of Israel as His people. They were the chosen race. However, there is a conundrum to this statement. Moses is clear in Deuteronomy that God chose the people of Israel. Yet, Peter is using the phrase, “chosen race” to describe the believer in Jesus Christ. There is no doubt that the recipients in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (1 Peter 1:1) comprised a community of faith made up of Hebrew and Grecian Jews AND Gentiles. But here, even in the first verse of the epistle, Peter describes his readers and fellow believers as those “who are chosen.” (1:1)
How does God’s chosen race of the Old Testament (the Israelites) turn into God’s chosen race of the New Testament (the believer of the gospel)? First, we must understand that there is one main ingredient to being a member of God’s chosen race both in the Old and New Testaments. The only way that you can be a kingdom member of God’s family is through FAITH! Bloodline and heritage do not guarantee kingdom membership – only faith does!
Secondly, the key to connecting God’s chosen race in the Old Testament with the chosen race in the New Testament centers upon whom that faith is found. The One who connects the people of God of the Old Testament to the people of God in the New Testament is none other than Jesus Christ. Paul magnifies this point in Romans 11 where he illustrates that the Gentiles have become part of the olive tree of Israel by being grafted in by the blood of Jesus.
Jesus has fulfilled the law of Moses by His sinless life, embodying the faithfulness and righteousness that Israel was called to live. Through this fulfillment, access to the kingdom of God (the family of God) comes through faith IN JESUS. He has adopted us into the family of God through faith.
Therefore, the believer in Jesus the Messiah claims membership in God’s chosen race. We are chosen IN CHRIST. The New Testament makes clear that the purpose of God establishing (choosing) and preserving the ethnic heritage of Israel, the sacrificial system, the kingly line of David, and the law of Moses finds its ultimate fulfillment and satisfaction in Jesus of Nazareth. The people, nation, and temple of Israel serve to prepare the way for the Messiah. Now that He has come, God’s chosen people are made up of those who have faith in Jesus.
Thanks be unto God that His true chosen race has nothing to do with who your mother or father is. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin (oh, how I wish we could understand this fully today!). It has nothing to do with your nationality or where you live. It has everything to do with FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. For He Himself is our peace…and broke down the dividing wall by abolishing in His flesh the enmity…thus establishing peace.” (Eph. 2:14-15) Oh, how amazing is the grace and gospel of our Jehovah God!
Pastor, Sharon First Baptist Church