1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
In 2019, I wrote a series of posts on this verse in 1 Peter 2:9, and I invite you to check them out. But as I was thinking about a post for today, I decided to check and see if I had a post on this verse about praise, and that’s why I’m reposting it.
This verse is packed with the wonderful benefits afforded to the believer. I’d like to remind you once again what Peter is saying to us about who we are:
• A chosen generation-As such, we benefit from His protection and have access to His kingdom. We also share the same status with the Father that Jesus has. We like to think that we chose God, and we did! But the wonderful thing is that He chose us first! And as applicable as this verse was when Peter wrote it, it is still relevant today. Despite the news and the things that we see and hear, this generation was chosen by God!
• A royal priesthood- a kingly priesthood. We’ve been elevated to not only sonship but royalty that identifies us as kings. And in our kingly status, we offer sacrifices to the King of kings. Our sacrifices are not of bulls and goats but praise and worship!
• A holy nation-We are holy because His holiness comes into contact with us (after we are redeemed), causing us to be holy. And because He is holy, He demands us to also live a life that exemplifies holiness. No excuses!
• God’s special possession- We are acquired by our Heavenly Father with the precious Blood of Jesus and made to be His treasured possession. Our value to Him was so great that only the Blood of His Son could redeem us. He left our redemption to none but Himself, fulfilling all His redemption requirements while extending us much grace! If you want to read more about who we are according to 1 Peter 2:9, check out my blogs from 2019 on the topic!
Why would He do all of this for us? Why would He take “a wretch, a dirty ole sinner, a good for nothing slouch” and place him or her in His wonderful kingdom, giving us the status of a king-priest, the position of sonship, and call us His holy, treasured possession? Well, first and foremost, because He loves us.
Many people say they found the Lord when He was never lost. We were the ones lost, and He sent Jesus to give His life’s blood at Calvary to redeem us because of that love. So that’s the first and most important reason. And although I have brought that point out before, it needed to be made again. Oh, how He loves you and me!!
But according to this verse in 1 Peter, chapter 2, He did all of this that we might show forth His praises! Even if I didn’t do a word study on this part, I think it’s pretty clear what is being stated in this verse. But let’s check it out anyway!
The Greek word “exangello” is used in this verse and literally means “to tell out, proclaim abroad, to publish completely.” The Greek word for praise is “arete” and doesn’t mean praise as we think of it, but it means virtue or excellence.
We weren’t given this citizenship in the kingdom to just say praise God or even praise the Lord! Although that’s fine! But all of this was done so that we might spread abroad or publish God’s excellency. One commentator wrote that “arete” is better translated as “wonderful deeds.” From that perspective, our very lives are to proclaim the wonderful deeds of a loving God, our Father!
Another thing about the Father is He reigns supreme over all, and His Excellency has a lot to do with place or position of power. We proclaim His greatness, His power, His wonderful deeds, His excellency. Isaiah said it like this,
“They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God.”Isaiah 35:2b NKJV
And in Isaiah 43, he wrote:
This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.Isaiah 43:21 NKJV
We see an example of this from the Apostle Paul when he stood before King Agrippa in Acts 26:
“While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.Acts 26:12-15 NKJV
Paul testifies of the excellency of the One who stopped him amid his sin, delivered him from himself and the clutches of the enemy, and gave purpose to his life! Paul continued to share with King Agrippa how he was sent to the Gentiles:
…to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’Acts 26:18 NKJV
Paul’s testimony of the excellency of God, of his ministry, to turn people from darkness to light so that they might serve God was so powerful that King Agrippa responded:
“You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”Acts 26: 28 NKJV
As we recognize the magnitude of what He has done for us, bringing us out of darkness into the Light, we cannot help but give Him praise and show that praise by sharing His goodness with others!
Recently, a group of us was sitting in a classroom preparing for the school year to begin. I don’t know how the conversation started, but one of the teachers began to share how her son was a cancer survivor. Then another person shared how she had a dream about her child that impacted her life. Then I entered the conversation and began to share how God gave me dreams about my children in different situations in their lives. By the time the conversation ended, we were almost in tears over the goodness of a God who loves us so much that He would speak to us.
No one was persuaded to become a Christian because they all believe that they are Christians, but I believe that God spoke to their hearts as I gave Him the glory for every dream He had given me, as well as for the things that the others had experienced! Showing forth His praise, His arete, that others may see His greatness left me such a sense of satisfaction in knowing Him that I felt ten feet tall afterward!
Now that I have had an opportunity to rejoice in a shared experience over His goodness, I look forward to the day when I get to share what it means to truly be a Christian! God doesn’t want men to be almost persuaded, but to be fully persuaded that He is God and there is none like Him!
As we go through this upcoming week, even in church tomorrow, may we take every opportunity to offer the kind of praise that shows forth His excellency to others. Wonderful Jesus!