In the book of Exodus, chapter 19, the Lord said to Moses: “‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” ’” (Exod. 19:3-6, NKJV).
Here’s the gospel message, revealed millennia before the Cross: God redeems His people, saving them from sin and the bondage of sin, and then He commands them to love and obey Him as a special covenant people before Him and before the world.
Read 1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9-10 and Exodus 19:6. What does Peter mean when he calls Christians a “royal priesthood” and “a holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9-10, NKJV)? What does this language say to us as Seventh-day Adventist Christians about our obligations?
“Spiritual house,” “chosen generation,” “royal priesthood,” and “God’s own people” are all terms of honor that in the Bible describe the special relationship that God had with the descendants of Abraham. Now, in the context of the New Testament, in the context of Jesus and the Cross, Peter is using the same covenant language and applying it to members of the church. The covenant promises made to Israel have now been widened to include not just the Jews who believe in Jesus but Gentile believers, as well. Yes, through Jesus, Gentiles, too, can claim to be children of Abraham. “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29, NKJV). Through Christ, anyone, regardless of birth, can become part of this “royal priesthood.”
|A holy nation? A royal priesthood? Applied to ourselves, what should terms like this mean in regard to the kind of lives we live, both as individuals and as a community? How can we better live up to this high calling?|