Skip to main content

He Doesn't Want to Rent You: 1 Peter 2:9 Part 4

Photo courtesy of davidlat
As we begin to close in on the final portion of this series on 1 Peter 2:9 we find that we are not only handpicked by God, royalty and a great big nation of people, we are also "a people for God's own possession" and if you read the King James Version you find out we are a "peculiar" people. How do you like them apples? You, Christian, are peculiar and the Bible says so. This is actually a good example of where using the KJV gets kind of tricky for us today because the language doesn't simply have the addition of "thees" and "thous" many of the words don't have the same connotation today as they did back then. To us, "peculiar" means weird or strange. In the context of this verse it means a special people that God has chosen as His special possession, hence the phrase used in the NASB.

Now, before we go too much further I think it is important to look back into the Old Testament and see what we can learn about possession. Here I am not talking about possession as in demon possession, but rather possession as in ownership. When the Israelites entered into the Promised Land they engaged in a military campaign that would insure their habitation of the land. Beyond that they divided up the land so that each tribe could inhabit a particular portion. However, even though they inhabited the land they did not possess it. The proof of this comes from the rest of Israelite history and their constant battles, both militarily and spiritually, with the people who were also dwelling in the land. Over and over again, they are fighting with the Philistines or putting up Asherah poles or worshiping in high places. You see, to inhabit something is different than to possess it. For instance, I can inhabit an apartment or house without possessing it. We call that renting. The same could be said for a car. Often times I ask to borrow my step-father's pickup truck so we can move stuff. Does the fact that I am driving the truck make it mine? I think Bill would say, "Uhhhh, NO." Here is the difference in definition:

Inhabit: to dwell, occupy as a place of settled residence.

Possess: to have and hold as property, to enter into and control firmly.

Do you see the subtle difference? Now, here's the really amazing thing. Christ does inhabit us. As believers we have Christ in us and we are in Christ. The Bible is clear on this. However, He doesn't just want to dwell within us, He wants total control. We often talk about "the God shaped hole" in our hearts and lives that Jesus wants to fill. Garbage. Jesus doesn't want to fill some small portion of our hearts and have some control over what we do on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. He wants ALL of us. To be a follower of Christ is to be "firmly controlled" and "held as property" by God. We can accept Christ as our Savior and go no further in our walk with Him and allow Him to only inhabit our hearts. I think Paul speaks to this notion in 1 Corinthians 12-15;

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Obviously there is alot going on in this passage, but one of the things that it tells me is that whatever was not of Christ in our lives will be burned away and lost on the day we enter into the Kingdom. There is no doubt that if we have been saved and redeemed by Christ we will make it into heaven but we'll look like a meteor that has just tried to enter the earth's atmosphere, all smoking and charred because most of us has been burned away.

To truly be possessed by Christ means that we have become slaves to Him. Paul and James even identify themselves as "bond-servants" of Christ in the introduction to Romans and the book of James. Bond-servants and slaves are the property of the owner. They don't get to do whatever they want, whenever they want to. Unfortunately the fallen world that we live in has given the idea of slavery and fallen meaning. Please understand that the only slavery that I am condoning is that to Christ Jesus. We, as humans, have no right to claim another human being as property but God has every right to demand total allegiance to Him. Remember, though, this is not the demand of a tyrannical, celestial dictator. This is the loving, perfect God who sent His Son to die for each of us so that we might have a new life in Him.

There is yet another way to understand the idea of being God's possession. Most people have a few cherished possessions. When we were children our most prized things may have been stuffed animals or G.I Joes. As we grow older they may take the form of pets or cherished mementos from loved ones who have gone home. When I was overseas our most cherished items were things like root beer and Little Debbie snack cakes. Whatever the item is we guard it and take special care of it. I believe we can understand our being possessed by God in the same way. The Bible is clear that He has an incredible love for His people and it follows that He would take special care of us.

It should be awe-inspiring that the God of the universe cares about us enough to call us His own possession. This, in turn, should motivate us to allow Him to completely possess us, not just part, but the whole. You, dear friends, are God's own possession and that has deep implications for your life.

Godspeed,

Christian 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Characteristics of a Godly Watchman Pt. 1: Vigilance

Most everyone has heard an alarm go off. It may be something as mundane as the alarm clock every morning that tells us it is time to get up and get ready for work, or it may be something as frightening as a fire alarm. No matter what the specific purpose of the alarm they all share one common theme: they are meant to alert people and warn them of impending danger.

In Joel 2:1 the Lord commands the prophet to; Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountainbecause the day of the Lord is coming. That is, God’s judgment is coming upon Israel for their sinfulness. Further along in the chapter, in verse 15, Joel is again commanded to blow a trumpet but this time it is to call the assembly of the people together so that they can, consecrate a fast. This tells us two important things about the role, or the duty, of the prophet of God. First, it tells us that the prophet is to act as an alarm to warn the people of God’s coming judgment. Secondly, the prophet is also to be the mo…

A Letter to Christian Girls.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Tonight my wife has been asked to speak to a group of Christian girls on the issues of dating, purity, relationships, etc. As part of that, the youth pastor of this church asked if I would write a letter to the group of young women from a guy's point of view. Now, I can't say as I remember ever having written a letter to a group of teenage girls but I do have some pretty strong feelings about the way our culture has portrayed love, marriage and particularly women. So, what I would like to do in this post is reproduce for you some of this letter. I may add some here and subtract some there but I want this to be my letter to all the Christian, young ladies out there.



What I want to do, through this letter, is share some things from a “guys” point of view because it’s no secret that we see things a little differently than you ladies do. You may think that all we think about …

My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter?

Have you ever seen that bumper sticker? The one that says "My boss is a Jewish carpenter." I certainly have and generally when I see it I quietly agree with the driver and take the encouragement that comes with seeing a fellow soldier in the Lord's army. Just this evening, though, I had a thought as I was driving home from Bible study. "Should Jesus be my boss?" Now before you go casting judgment on the thought let me explain what I mean. I propose that instead if being a "boss" we should be looking at God and Christ as "Master." I'll explain by looking at some differences in the idea of boss and master.

Difference #1: Why were you hired?

When an individual is hired for a job by an employer it is for a specific reason. Perhaps a particular skill, talent or level of education qualifies someone for a particular job. The employer hires the person that is the most qualified to fulfill the task. Granted, this is the way it is supposed to work. …