“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1Pe 2:9, KJV)
What does it mean to be a peculiar people? Does it mean we are weird or different?
The English word “peculiar” comes from the Latin word, “peculiaris,” which is derived from “peculium,” meaning “one's own property,” which was taken from “pecus,” meaning cattle. According to Webster’s dictionary, peculiar means: 1. Appropriate; belonging to a person and to him only. Almost every writer has a peculiar style. Most men have manners peculiar to themselves. 2. Singular; particular. The man has something peculiar in his deportment. 3. Particular; special. 4. Belonging to a nation, system or other thing, and not to others. (Webster’s).
The Greek word translated as peculiar in English is “peripoiesis,” meaning “acquisition (the act or the thing); by extension preservation: - obtain (-ing), peculiar, purchased, possession, saving.” (Strong’s). Therefore, when the Scripture says we are a peculiar people, the NASB correctly translates that verse to say “a people for God's own possession.” We are a people belonging to a God and to Him only.
Since we belong to God and Him only, our characteristics should also be like His, which are not the characteristics belonging to other people or nations. So in that sense we are completely unique and unlike anyone else in the world.
The expression “shew forth” means to “show forth” (Webster’s). It comes from the Greek word “exaggello,” meaning “to publish, that is, celebrate: - shew forth.” (Strong’s). This is not just something we do with our mouths. The Scripture tells us that if we only love with words and not with deeds, then our faith is incomplete.
That is why in the context of the passage, Peter said, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1Pe 2:11-12).
As aliens and strangers in this world, we are to abstain from fleshly lusts that wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles.
Peter also said in this passage that “He [Jesus] Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1Pe 2:24). That means the cross of Christ was not just so we could be saved and healed, but so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. If the cross has not resulted in you dying to sin and living to righteousness, then you have believed in vain, because that is central to the purpose of the cross.
|At the Cross by C.V. Lacroix|
We must each hate our own lives and carry our own cross! Jesus said, "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." (Luk 14:26-27)
"So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear." (Luk 14:33-35)
You are not your own any more. You were bought with a price. The apostle Paul said, “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1Co 6:20). Notice he said, glorify God in your body. It’s not just with your heart that you glorify God, but also with your body.
Peter exhorted us in his epistle, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;” (1Pe 1:14-17).
So let me leave you with that same exhortation today. Conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth. Be holy in all your behavior like the Holy One who called you. You shall be holy, for the Lord is holy. Let us prepare in holiness for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is coming right away.
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Holiness" calligraphy and "At the Cross" artwork is the property of my sixteen-year old daughter, C.V. Lacroix. You can find more of her fine artwork at A Brush with Life.
Author's note: You are invited to read Holy Living in a Perverted World, Michael Shigaba's Encounter with Jesus, The Straight and Narrow Path, Strive to Enter the Kingdom of God, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, A Warning for Married Christian Couples, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell, Rachael Mushala Second Testimony of Hell, Zipporah Mushala's testimony of hell, Zipporah Mushala’s Third Testimony of Hell, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?, A Trip to Hell -- in pictures, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part I, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part II, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Separation from the World, and Ask for the Ancient Paths. You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.