Have you ever known an oddball? Someone who just cannot fit in? The harder they try the less they fit? I was one of those as a boy. I was the one brother of four that looked different. I was the only kid that my eccentric uncle told me was not really blood kin. I was always chosen last in sports, yet I wasn’t smart enough to be a nerd or geek. I was just an oddball.
So, when I first read this passage in 1 Peter (at about the age of 13), I thought I had figured out my place in this world:
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own peculiar* people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJV *the word peculiar is used in the KJV
I was convinced that the Gospel was for losers, and that this loser was made for spreading the Gospel.
I was, however, mistaken about the meaning of these verses. While God does choose messengers and workers based on qualities that may not be evident to others, this paragraph from 1 Peter does not address that issue.
In context, Peter tells us that the holiness of Christ trips up most people, those who can neither fathom or duplicate the example that Christ sets. We, though, are not chosen because we are peculiar. We, Christians, are to be peculiar because they are chosen.
What makes us peculiar?
We are peculiar because we are chosen. That is especially true of our generation, Early 21st Century Christians. No generation has ever had so easy and ready access to God’s Word and study material (we can never claim we don’t know God because His Word was not available).
We are to be a royal priesthood, witnessing to the lost, interceding for our nation, and living as an example to one and all.
We are peculiar in that He has set us aside to be holy vessels filed with His love… because He calls us His own. We are God’s children, His people, nomenclature that once applied only to the Jews.
Because He has chosen us – me and you – we should surrender all that we are and all that we have to Him in love.
Because He has chosen us…
– before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. – Ephesians 1:4-6 NKJV
Now we can have…
redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace – Ephesians 1:7 NKJV
In return – out of love for Christ -we should…
abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:11-12 NKJV
No one has ever accused me of being holy, or perfect, because I am not. Sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit. Discipleship – living like Christ – is something we do because our heart is filled with the love of Christ.