SBS Sermon Notes
SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 01/11

True Believers: "A Holy Nation"

1. The True Believer's Identity

1 Peter 2: 9 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:
10: 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.
Consider for a moment this astonishing text which quite clearly presents the true believer's calling, sacred occupation, heavenly nationality, expected moral standards and spiritual identity. By studying this verse closely true believers will become aware of all these things.


Hebrew: 'segullah'
Greek: 'periousios' and 'peripoiesis'

This word does not mean that Yahweh's people are to be odd, strange or weird in any way. Rather, the people of the Most High are a 'special treasure,' 'beyond the ordinary' and a 'people for acquisition.' Let us further examine their peculiarities.

2. Yahweh's People

We are to be Obedient
Exodus 19: 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people...
Deut. 14: 1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.
2. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

Our aim should be to do good works!
Titus 2: 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
We should produce good spiritual fruit
Galatians 5: 22 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against these there is no law.

We are to be a holy people
Deut. 28: 9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD and they shall be afraid of thee.

Ephesians 1: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
1 Peter 1: 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
NOTE: Holiness involves being set apart for sacred use. The people of the Most High are to be a holy nation, a nation set apart for sacred use. If we fulfil this divine objective, then we will be a 'peculiar people.' If we do not, then we are just ordinary folk, no matter how rich, educated, talented, popular or attractive we may consider ourselves to be. The qualities that put true believers beyond the ordinary are spiritual qualities:

3. Being Fashionable or being Better

The aim of most people is to be in the fashion or to be better than others. So they try to excel in sport, in wealth, power, possessions, popularity and fame. There is no end to the lengths they will go to out-do fellow mortals. The motivation is usually vanity - self-pride: a very destructive force I may add. The Most High is not impressed with the motivation of pride and its outcomes. He is only impressed by qualities like holiness, faithfulness, obedience, integrity, humility, generosity, gratitude, hospitality etc. Yahweh wants His people to be different.

4. The Reason for this Peculiarity?

Why does the Most High want His people to be different? The answer is given in the text itself: 'That ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.'
1 Peter 2: 9 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

In short we believers should be different in order to declare the truths of the Almighty to the world: truths which should be having a profound effect on our own lives. We are chosen to be different, to be a holy nation for that noble purpose. Oh what a high and noble calling that is!

5. And why Show forth His praises?

The ultimate objective is that others might see, enquire, learn and come to know the Almighty God and then choose to follow Him. These thoughts are expressed in this passage:
Romans 10: 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Here's where the preacher and the ordinary believer come into the picture: for we are to take the Gospel to all the world (Matthew 28:19-20). That is our commission. Yes, believe it or not, that is the sacred task believers are expected to become involved in. We are to give to the Most High the glory due His name so that others will put their trust in Him and live. That is the main purpose of praising God. I repeat: we praise Him not to flatter Him; but that others may turn to Him, trust Him, accept His offer of salvation and live for eternity!

Yahweh's Will

2 Peter 3: 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.

6. Points To Remember

You are:
A member of the chosen race He chose us, we didn't choose Him
A special treasure This indicates your value
Above the ordinary Make this a reality in your life
A royal priesthood This is your sacred employment
A holy nation Holiness is the supreme goal
No matter what your position in life may be, whether you are rich or poor, educated or ignorant, healthy or sick, powerful or powerless; these things are of little account in the currency of heaven. What matters is that you believe in Yahweh; you are His and are therefore a very special kind of person - a living treasure. And you are His for the express purpose of showing forth His praises to others, so that they may hear about His Son Yeshua the Saviour, believe in Him and be saved! That is the measure and purpose of your calling. Never forget it.

The true believer is one of the most privileged persons on earth. In the Kingdom we will all appreciate the full extent of this fact, which now we know only in part. Future sermons in this category will deal with great men and women of God whose lives testify to the fact that they were Yahweh's peculiar people, His special spiritual treasure!

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
Updated: May 1999