1Pet. 2:9, 10 “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: 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.”
Thoughts of mercy rarely happen – except when we find ourselves needing it. Debates have long raged about justice and equality. People lament at the unfairness of a variety of things. Unfortunately, too few consider the real value of God’s mercy. They’re too busy searching for man’s mercy.
The foundation of the Gospel of Christ is that God sent His only Son to the earth. Christ surrendered to every command of God. The scriptures say that even Christ pleased not Himself. And yet men still seek to please themselves. Doesn’t make much sense.
Christ willingly allowed Himself to be crucified so the sins of mankind could be forgiven. On the night of His betrayal, Christ told Peter and the others that He could call legions of angels to come to His defense. He didn’t make that call though. Instead, He suffered a humiliating trial and death. By His death we have the hope for heaven. By His death we have the opportunity to contact the mercy of God and be redeemed. By His death we can be God’s people by being part of God’s Kingdom, The Church.
Peter’s inspired writing (quoted above) show us that today – as in ancient times – God has a nation. Once, it was physical Israel. Today, it’s the Church. Once, the people of God were the Hebrews. Today, the people of God are Christians. No longer are God’s blessings restricted by physical birth. Rather, His blessings are bestowed on those who have submitted to the spiritual birth. The one Nicodemas questioned, “How can I enter again into my mother’s womb to be born again?” Nicodemas didn’t understand the new birth – a birth of baptism for the remission of sins. The same birth recorded so often in The Acts of the Apostles.
Christians are a “peculiar” people. That just means we’re a purchased people. We’re bought with a price – the blood of Christ. We’re not purchased with silver or gold. We do not belong to ourselves if we’re Christians. We belong to the Lord.
Today, whether a person is a Jew or Gentile by birth has no bearing with God. All people – of every race, sex or geographical location – have access to become Christians. Every person has the right – the duty and obligation – to obey the Gospel. And when we do, we become God’s people.
The mercy that we obtain by obeying the Gospel is the greatest blessing we can claim. Before obedience our sin was counted against us. Our slate was unclean. Our record tarnished. Our sins condemning us. Without Christ we’re hopeless. People without any chance for mercy. In Christ, we have mercy that before wasn’t extended to us.
Saints (Christians) need to be constantly reminded of the value of mercy. Sinners (those who have yet to obey the Gospel) need to be taught the value of obtaining mercy. It’s the one thing we all have in common – our need for God’s mercy.