But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
This is a powerful verse that not only speaks to our identity in Christ, but also how we should live in light of what Jesus has done. The 1 Peter 2:9 meaning is both a reminder we need and a challenge on how to live.
This verse should be a marker for Christians’ lives, and I think if you spend a few minutes looking at these words you will walk away encouraged by what you see. Let’s dive into the meaning of 1 Peter 2:9 and see what we can learn.
The Context Of 1 Peter 2:9
I Peter was a letter written by the Apostle Peter to those who were facing persecution for their faith. The message he gives to them is to stand firm on the Gospel and what Jesus has done for them.
Peter was no stranger to trials; at this point in his life he’d been flogged, beaten, and thrown in prison multiple times. He writes from his personal experience to encourage them. God will come through so don’t give up; stand firm.
In the beginning of this letter Peter is laying the foundation for what he is going to say. He starts by reminding his readers that they were set apart by God. They were created on purpose and for a purpose. He’s encouraging them to live in that purpose with Christ as their foundation. This might mean that we have to endure suffering, as Christ did, and in the midst of whatever is in front of us we must stand firm.
As we get to 1 Peter 2, Peter describes a spiritual house that God is building through us. He’s challenging his readers to live in the identity that God has called them to. Each follower of Jesus has an important role to play in what God is doing.
Because of this calling we must live our lives according to the calling that God has placed on us.
This is what leads us to the verse we are looking at that dives further into our identity in Christ. So, let’s dive into the 1 Peter 2:9 meaning and see what we can learn.
The 1 Peter 2:9 Meaning
Peter here is describing the chosen people of God. He’s telling his readers what their identity is in Christ. I’ve broken the meaning of 1 Peter 2:9 down into three sections so that we can see what this verse is saying.
But You Are A Chosen People, A Royal Priesthood, A Holy Nation..
Look at the words Peter uses here to describe followers of Jesus. You are a chosen people. In other words Christians are created on purpose and for a purpose, and we are uniquely tied together. Unlike Israel our bonds are not determined by our ethnicity, language, family, or place of birth. We are brought together by our heavenly father, grafted into his family.
Peter continues, you are a royal priesthood. For the Israelites this was a special job that was held by only a few. It was the priests who had access to enter into the presence of God. But now because of the work of Jesus all Christians have direct access to our father. Sometimes I think we forget how monumental this truly is. We are a royal priesthood.
Finally, Peter says we are a holy nation. The Israelites were a physical race; the were bound together by their nationality. The church is different in that it’s a spiritual race. Though we are not physical descends of Abraham, unless you are an ethnic Jew, we are bound together by the blood of Christ. Now there is no Jew or Gentile, rather we are a nation under the kingship of our father in heaven.
That You May Declare The Praises Of Him Who Called You Out Of Darkness Into His Wonderful Light
So, we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. That’s an incredible identity, but what do we do with that? This next part of the verse tells us that: we praise God.
That doesn’t mean that we just sing worship songs to God, although that is a way of declaring our praise. Really what Peter is getting at is the Church’s, and Christian’s, larger purpose. The Great Commission.
We are to go into the world and shine God’s light to those around us. Every single Christian is called to take the good news of the Gospel to those in their life. We are called to make disciples. That doesn’t mean we have to go across the sea. A good start might be just going across the street.
God has called us out of the darkness, now it’s our turn to take the light we’ve received and shine it to those around us.
For more check out: The Great Commission Meaning For Us Today (What You NEED To Know)
How To Apply 1 Peter 2:9 To Your Life
Now that we’ve looked at the meaning of 1 Peter 2:9, I want to end by looking how we can apply this verse to our lives today.
1. Remind Yourself Of Your Identity
1 Peter 2:9 is a powerful reminder of who we are in Christ. You are a Chosen People, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation. That’s who you are. You are not a mistake or created by random. You have an incredible identity because of what Jesus has done for you.
This is something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. The world can beat us down and try to strip us of our identity. We need to continually remind ourselves of who we are.
Looking for a great resource to help you grow in your faith? I HIGHLY recommend Mark Moore’s books Core 52 and Quest 52. These simple 15 minute daily readings will help you connect with God and understand the Bible better. They are INCREDIBLE. Plus there’s kids/teen versions as well!
2. Shine God’s Light To Those Around You
1 Peter 2:9 also challenges us to live out our purpose. You were created on purpose and for a purpose. And that purpose is to use your unique skills, gifts, and passions to shine God’s light to those around you.
Often we overcomplicate this; we think we have to go around arguing everyone into following Jesus. But arguing is ineffective. Instead we should serve those around us, listen to them, and tell them about what Jesus has done for us. Find common interests, build relationships, and invite them to follow Jesus. That’s your purpose, that’s what God has called you to do.
You are a chosen people. Therefore, go shine your light to those around you.
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