“ONE NEW NATION UNDER GOD” By Pastor YAU
I Peter 2:9-10 July 4, 2004
INTRODUCTION: The firestorm came to an end when the Supreme Court declined to rule on the protest by an atheist to eliminate the phrase “UNDER GOD” from the pledge of allegiance to the nation. Even though this nation was founded in acknowledgement of God and His sovereignty, the country has since been drifting farther and farther away from God and His blessings. But there is another nation, not founded by man but by God, not some 200 years but over 2,000 years, which will never try to disclaim her allegiance to the sovereign God. That is the nation of God’s believers called Christians.
The Apostle Peter gave four distinguished descriptions to the citizens of this Kingdom of Majesty in his letter as quoted above. The descriptions explain the nature, the purpose, the rights and the honor of the citizens to their King, the Almighty God.
WE ARE A CHOSEN PEOPLE:
The Greek word translated “chosen” in English is “lego” which means “to choose with a purpose”. That same word was used by the toy company, LEGO. When God chose each one of us, He did it with a purpose to put us in specific position for special purpose in fulfilling His plans. God will never do things without good purposes, and He will never choose anyone without a plan. It is our duty to seek and know the purpose God has in our lives and to pursue it to the fullest extend to bring meaning in our lives.
Too many Christians are settled with the mere “saved” status today. To be saved is only the beginning. Each person God has called, He calls him/her to fulfill His purpose in their lives and the lives of many others. A life without a purpose, or a worthy purpose, is a mere existence. That’s why many of those who have achieved and accumulated much in wealth, fame, success and other worldly gains committed suicide because they eventually found out there is NO meaning, no purpose in their pursuit. But we are different. We DO have purpose in our lives, the purpose God has given us. No wonder the book, PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, written by Rick Warren, tops the best seller list for many weeks.
WE ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD:
Priesthood in the Old Testament occupied a prestigious position and function. Priests were chosen by God to represent Him to God’s people. They delivered messages from God and represented the people in their repentance and offerings to Him. It is a supreme honor to serve God and His people. And it is in that capacity, we are to live our lives and perform our duties for the Lord.
The Bible calls Christians to be the LIGHT of the world. If we take our call and status as royal priests seriously, we ought to live our lives according to our status. The Apostle Paul encouraged the early Christians “to live a life worthy of the calling.” (Ephesians 4:1)
WE ARE A HOLY NATION:
The concept of “nation”, a collective body, was eminent in the Old Testament at “church” in the New Testament. While God treasures each individual believer, He calls His children mostly in collective terms. It is in this concept, the nation, Peter stressed our identity. Christians are to first consider the well being of the “Body of Christ” in all the things related to his/her function and duties. Paul points out the importance of unity in purpose in the building up of “the Body”. (Eph. 4:12)
We do not belong to an ordinary nation, but a HOLY one. God desires to use vessels that are set apart, clean and without blemish, to fulfill His purposes. Paul admonished Timothy and all Christians to “clean themselves and to become instruments for noble purposes, holy and useful to the Master and prepare to do good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21)
Being holy is not to elevate oneself in isolation from the world. On the contrary, it is to “do good work” for the Lord in the world. To serve, to give, to sacrifice and to bring the world to God are our noble purposes in being holy.
WE ARE PEOPLE BELONG TO GOD:
Many people love to belong to clubs or organizations with prestigious names. Some well-known clubs bring status and pride to the membership. But none of all clubs may bring the glory and honor to those who belong to the nation of God. The sense of belonging is a very important issue to many people. Anyone who belongs to some bad named group may bring disgrace or disaster to themselves and their families.
God has paid a heavy price to purchase us so we may belong to Him. The price He paid was the blood of His son, Jesus. We ought to treasure this relationship which God has graciously bestowed on all of us. The relationship is meant to be a permanent one. No one who was chosen by God should abandon this precious status.
On July 4th of 1776, a group of courageous men declared independence from British rule to found this nation on a premise of God. 228 years later, this nation is on her downward slope in rebellion. On the other hand, some 2,000 years ago when Jesus founded His church, regardless of setbacks and rebellions of some, the church of Jesus Christ, this new nation so believers, is on her way to glory. From that few diehard followers and their unmovable commitment, this nation is now covering all corners of the earth. To this, we all belong.