Today’s verse is 1 Peter 2:9.
9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter was a letter written by the apostle Peter (surprise) to the Jews who had been scattered. And while the recurring theme of 1 Peter is usually about suffering for Christ, the first portion of the letter is about suffering with hope.
And even though this letter was originally intended for the Jewish people, it endures today because it was also meant for the rest of the world too.
Earlier on in this chapter, Peter refers to Jesus as a Cornerstone, an important foundational portion of a building. As a Cornerstone, Jesus is the foundation of our faith. He is the One who we would perish without. And He is the One who saves anyone who comes to Him. But almost in the same breath, Peter also calls Him “the stone that makes people stumble” in verse 8.
Jesus is the stone who can save those who come to Him and cause those who reject Him to trip over their best laid plans.
That is what Peter is referring to at the beginning of verse 9 when he says that the people he is addressing aren’t like that. The people he wrote this letter to are the ones who came to Christ seeking forgiveness. He calls them royal priests, and for an everyday Jewish person that was a big deal. To not need a priest to intercede for them any longer was an enormous cultural shift.
But anyone who comes to Jesus will be saved. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or where you’re even going in life, God wants to have a relationship with you. And for those of us who have already come to Him, we can tell you it’s the best decision you’ll ever make — even though we don’t always act like it.
Everyone is called to be saved. God calls everyone in the world — everyone in the whole universe — to have a relationship with Him. But just because we’re called doesn’t mean we’ll listen. People are pretty stubborn little critters.
God saved me when I was seven years old. I don’t think I fully understood the depth of my decision, but I understood the choice I had made. Granted, the darkness of a seven year old isn’t as dark as other people who have come to Christ at an older age, but it was dark enough for me to know that I couldn’t make it to heaven on my own merit.
And since that moment, I don’t live in darkness anymore. God pulled me out of that, although it was my choice to stay out of it. And since I know what it’s like to move from darkness into light, I can honestly speak to other people about what God has done in my life.
And it’s the same with any believer. Anyone who has answered God’s call to be saved can talk about the difference that God has made in his or her life. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a Christian for five minutes or for five years. Moving from darkness into light makes the biggest difference in the world.
But it’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of the world around us. It’s easy to just focus on everything that’s going wrong or everything that we’ve done wrong or the mountainous piles of work we still have left to do.
But children of God aren’t called to live in chaos. We’re called to live in the light. American Christians have it better than any other group of Christians in the world — better than any other group of Christians in history. We think we suffer for Christ? That’s a lie. Americans don’t suffer for anything.
If you believe in Christ, you are one of God’s chosen people. Not chosen like the Jews. But chosen to be saved (like the rest of the world), just among those who listened to God’s call (not going to get into a Calvinistic debate this morning). And because you are a child of the light, the darkness of the world is going to get you down, but don’t let it ruin your perspective. We aren’t citizens of a dark world. Our home is in heaven. This world will never recover from the wounds our own people have inflicted on it, but that’s okay because God will make everything right sooner than any of us think.