Awareness of our position in Christ and the subsequent privileges will always encourage us in our spiritual life. That’s why Paul in most of his letters, before writing the practical responsibilities of a believer, dwells on our place in Christ. Such one of the precious truths is that we are God’s own special people. Since it looks like very simple we may tend to skip this fact and the implications involved in it.
It was to the people of Israel God spoke through Moses, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all the people …a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”. Exo. 19:5, 6. He chose them to be His own peculiar treasure. Deut 4: 20; 7: 6. Psa 135: 4. Today the same blessings have been given to every believer in Jesus Christ. 1Peter 2: 9. Notice, Apostle Peter uses the same words. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people...”
What a blessed privilege it is to be known as God’s own special people. We are not just ordinary people! Not even simply ‘God’s people’, but ‘His own’. It’s a wonderful position indeed. Remember in the New Testament it’s not a conditional privilege. As in the Old Testament God did not say, ‘if you obey my voice’ here. No condition is attached to this privilege for us in Christ.
On His own will He chose us. Not because we were special, worthy and qualified in any manner. Cf. Deu 7:7; 1Cori 1: 26. In His sovereign choice and grace, picked us up from the miry clay, purified us by the precious blood of Christ and made us His own beloved ones. Cf. Tit 2:14; Rom 1: 7. What are the implications of this truth? What is the message this truth gives to us?
1. Be humble.The truth of God choosing us even before the foundation of the world, irrespective of our wretched state should always make us humble before the Lord. We have nothing to claim, boast, argue or even any other logical account to present before Him. We can only stand before Him in awe and wonder with a grateful heart. Eph 1:4; John 15: 19; 1Tim 1: 12 – 14. If this truth does not make us meek and lowly we will have to doubt the true state of our heart before God’s word.
2. Be confident. When we realize that God considers us as His own treasure, how much He values and takes care of us. Often we may feel worthless, rejected and condemned but He finds much worth in us and treats us accordingly. Since the Lord finds us as precious, He keeps us with much care, even like the apple of His eyes. Cf. Isa 43: 4; Deut 32: 9 – 11. Zech 2: 8. Our total wellbeing and good are His concern. No wonder the Lord exhorts us not be anxious about anything. Matt 6: 31. Yes, we can be free from worry and tension, for we are precious to our Lord, we are His own.
3. Be different. As we are a special people belonging to God, any one can easily notice some distinctive qualities in us. Balaam commented it well. “A people dwelling alone, not reckoning itself among the nations”. Num 23: 9b. We do not need to do anything special to be different; rather we are different by virtue of God’s wonderful working in us. “The Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly”. Psa 4:3a. We need to be content with all those distinct features that are part of us because of this divine work in us. If for any reason we try to conform to the people around us, it will be contradictory to this positional reality and even a dishonour to the one who has made us His own. Cf. Deu 12: 30, 31. Esth 3:8; 2Cori 6: 14 – 18.
4. Be holy. He has purified us to be His own. Tit 2:14. “Let every one who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. 1Tim 2:19c. As we acknowledge the ownership of God on our life, it’s imperative that we keep our whole being holy and pure for the purposes of God. 1Cori 6: 19, 20; 7: 23. We ought to make sure there is nothing in us that is contrary to the Lord, whose we are.
5. Be fruitful. John 15:16. The Lord has chosen and made us His own with a definite purpose. Not just the He delights in us; He wants to work in and through us. We ought to be exhibiting the qualities of Christ by the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Gal 5: 22, 23.
Of course there are much more we can observe as the significance of this precious truth: We are God’s own special people. Let us rejoice in this fact and live accordingly. People around us may not understand it. They may even hate us because we are of Him and not following pattern of the world. Jn 15: 19. There may be occasions in their jealousy and hatred some one would make every effort to harm us, yet praise be to His great name, nothing would happen to us, for we are His own. Cf. Numb 23: 9; Esther 3:9; 9:25. What a comfort, what an assurance!
Thus beloved, be conscious of this blessed privilege and the significance of being God’s own special people. In all humility yet boldly stay true to this position and live a holy and pleasing life to Him who owns us.
Beggar with a pension paper
Story is told of a beggar who used to boast about his days with the military and the meeting of President George Washington. When some youngsters challenged him, he promptly opened his old bag and took out a torn paper as the evidence of it. The youth read it carefully and said, “Man what a fool you are”. It was indeed a certificate for a life long pension handed over to him by none other than the president himself.
Even if it’s not a true incident, it does convey a message. Ignorance of our position and privilege makes us to undergo untold miseries unnecessarily.