1Peter 2:9-10 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
What does it take to be a nation? The dictionary defines a nation as “a large body of people, associated with a particular territory that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own” (http://www.dictionary.com). Besides a territory, a nation generally has a president, a king, or some type of authority; it has a government, and it has citizens.
God made a covenant with Abraham, promising that he would be the Father of many nations. The nation of Israel was given birth when Jacob and his family moved to Egypt, became a great people, and were ultimately moved to Israel which God had promised Abraham years before. This nation consisted of a definite territory described by God when He made the covenant with Abram. It was governed, first by God through priests then later by kings, and its citizens were the Israelites.
Stephen referred to the nation of Israel as “the church in the wilderness” in Acts 7, therefore we know Israel was a prototype of the church of the New Testament, or the Holy Nation of which Jesus is King.
Those who enter the family of God through Christ is, then, one spiritual nation under the rule of God, with a spiritual territory which is the hearts of believers where Christ makes his home, and citizens called Christians or followers of Christ. In Ephesians 2, Paul reminds us that we are citizens of God’s Kingdom. He says, “Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 KJV).
Think of it. From all the peoples on the earth, God chose the little nation of Israel for Himself to show Himself to the world. Through this nation, He brought redemption to the world by the blood of His son, Jesus. And using the same means—the blood of Jesus—God broke down all the walls between all mankind and formed a spiritual nation out of peoples of all races to make one race in Jesus Christ, according to Peter, one “chosen race,” therefore eliminating all racism forever. He calls it “a holy nation”.
We are different than any other nation on the earth. We are born of royal blood, sat in the heavenlies, blood bought. We have eternal life because the One who created us chose to die so we could have it. We are rich because He became poor. We are strong because He gives us His joy which becomes our strength. We have the mind of Christ, the anointed One. We have power and can do all things through Christ. We are the children of the most-high God. We are indeed a Chosen Generation, so let us learn—through the Word of God—to live like it!
As citizens of this Holy Nation, we have responsibilities just as do citizens of any nation. Since this is a Holy Nation, we are holy citizens. That means we are dedicated or devoted to the service of God. We are to live according to the laws of our nation; these laws are recorded in the Bible. The Ten Commandments of the Old Testament are condensed by Jesus to the Two Commandments in the New Testament: 1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. 2. Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). This covers everything.
Jesus says the Kingdom of God is in you (Luke 17:21). If you are a citizen of this Holy Nation and the Kingdom of God is in you, then you yourself are a holy nation. Imagine that! Every believer is a holy nation, and all together, we make up a Holy Nation whose purpose is “to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
It is our responsibility to be imitators of Jesus so the world can see the true nature of a child of God. With so much hypocrisy in the world today and so many committing atrocities in the name of God, we must follow closely after our King and spread His love to a hurting world. We must strive to be mature and to help others to grow to spiritual maturity. It is our job to spread the good news of the love of Jesus to the world so others can become part of this wonderful Holy Nation.