How to be a Good and Wise Friend (Selected Proverbs)

The word “friend” in Proverbs has a positive idea, not a negative one. However, Proverbs gives us guidelines to keep in mind when it comes to friendships. It teaches us as much as having and being good friends. It also shows us why we should have wise friends and avoid those who are not.

This is what we will study in the book of Proverbs. In addition to this, we will look at how our Lord Jesus Christ is THE example of the best friend we should have in our lives and imitate.

 

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A short review of Remaking the World: How 1776 Created the Post-Christian West

Remaking the World: How 1776 Created the Post-Christian WestRemaking the World: How 1776 Created the Post-Christian West by Andrew Wilson

I gave this book last Christmas to my 14-year-old daughter thinking it would be a good book for her (some parts that deal with sexuality would be considered too explicit for some young readers. Caution is advised) and it was, but it was hard for her. The good thing is that it led me to read it along (not together) with her and discuss each chapter. It was good to do this.

This book is probably one of the best I have read dealing with Christian worldview in relation to history in particular to the United States. His thesis is quite interesting, and I am convinced he proved it. It is very well documented. I can also say that the author is incredibly well-read in a wide range of genres, and I don’t know how he can do this while being a pastor.
The whole thesis of the book is summarized by the author in the beginning:

“The big idea of this book is that 1776, more than any other year in the last millennium, is the year that made us who we are. We cannot understand ourselves without it. It was a year that witnessed seven transformations taking place—globalization, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Enrichment, the American Revolution, the rise of post-Christianity, and the dawn of Romanticism—which have remade the world and profoundly influenced the way we think about God, life, the universe, and everything.”

He uses an acrostic that explains his thesis and goes on to explain in the book (chapters 3-9):
“WEIRDER: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic, Ex-Christian, and Romantic.”
The last two chapters (chapters 10-11) deal with how we, as Christians should respond to all of this.

In essence the book argues that much of what made 1776 so impactful upon the future even to this day is the Judeo-Christian ethics. And they continue to impact our world, except that our current culture has adopted these principles or ethical standards but without any mention of their origin (God). Thus, we have created a “new” pagan religion (Ex-Christianity) that has no real foundation. According to Wilson, “we construe the world in new ways, based not just on new ideas but also on new practices, symbols, rituals, self-understandings, and constructions of space and time.”

He later quotes (chapter 11) Jürgen Habermas,
“For the normative self-understanding of modernity, Christianity has functioned as more than just a precursor or catalyst. Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the subject of a continual critical reappropriation and reinterpretation. Up to this very day there is no alternative to it”

But without an understanding of the origin of these principles they become part of a moralistic subjective society (“Contingent religious beliefs now sound like self-evident secular truths.”) that appears to know what is wrong and right but in reality is just a facade or shell of Judeo-Christian principles.

Where does this lead? He answers,

“In that sense, the ex-Christian world is living off its inheritance. The disturbing question is: What if the legacy runs out? Is there a finite amount of leftover Christian capital available, and if so, what happens when we have spent it? One pessimistic take, available in all good bookshops, is that without the substructure of Christianity to support it, the West will increasingly lose its moral consensus, intellectual coherence, and economic advantage, and collapse into a weird chimera of nihilism, tribalism, and decadence.”

Or until, as T. S. wrote, “a society has not ceased to be Christian until it has become positively something else”.”

But our only hope is in Jesus:
“In order to be truly free, we need to be liberated from captivity to sin—our lusts, pride, greed, envy, and so on—as well as captivity to human oppressors or economic circumstances. That is what Jesus came to bring.”

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Esta Terminado

Esta terminado
“Cuando Jesús hubo tomado el vinagre, dijo: Consumado es. Y habiendo inclinado la cabeza, entregó el espíritu.” – Juan 19:30

Esta terminado.
Está completado.
Está finalizado.
Está terminado.
La misión de Dios.
Convertirse en un hombre.
Para vivir una vida perfecta.
Para ofrecer su vida.
Morir como un cordero.
Para ser ofrecido como sacrificio perfecto.
Para pagar por nuestros pecados.
Para liberarnos del pecado.
Para llevarnos a Dios.
Para ser Su posesión.
Para ser suyo para siempre.
Para vivir con Él para siempre.
Para estar en Su reino.
Para restaurar el Paraíso perdido.
Fue terminado.

#Jesús #viernessanto #terminado #salvación

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It is Finished

It is finished
“When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” – John 19:30

It is finished.
It is completed.
It is ended.
It is done.
The mission of God.
To become a man.
To live a perfect life.
To offer His life.
To die as a lamb.
To be offered as a perfect sacrifice.
To pay for our sins.
To free us from sin.
To bring us to God.
To be His possession.
To be His forever.
To live with Him forever.
To be in His kingdom.
To restore Paradise lost.
It was finished.

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Mi Primer Pastor

Nací en El Salvador en 1970 y viví allí hasta casi los 11 años. Mi mamá y tres de mis hermanas hicieron nuestro viaje a los Estados Unidos en 1981 y nos reunimos con tres de mis hermanas que ya vivían aquí. Después de vivir en Los Ángeles durante un año, mi madre, dos hermanas menores y dos hermanas adultas se fueron a vivir al condado de Orange, California. Fue allí donde una de mis hermanas mayores conoció a mi amigo Jimmy. Él la invitó a la iglesia y mi mamá y mi hermana menor se unieron a ella. Esta fue la primera vez que asistí a una iglesia cristiana. Fue aquí donde conocí a Jesús y comencé mi camino con él.[1] Esta iglesia apenas estaba comenzando cuando me uní a ella. Estaba dirigida por el pastor Ray Zuercher. De esto se trata el post. Mi esperanza es honrarlo a él y a los muchos pastores que han servido fielmente al Señor.

Ray y su esposa Carol Zuercher fueron nombrados misioneros en 1948 por la Unión Misionera del Evangelio con sede en Kansas. De acuerdo con este artículo periodístico, tuvieron una presentación especial como candidatos en una iglesia en Amarillo, Texas. Poco después, él y su esposa se fueron a Colombia. En Colombia llegó a ser director del Instituto Bíblico de la Unión Misionera (que continúa hasta el día de hoy y se conoce como Ilumec), y tengo entendido que también ayudó a plantar nuevas iglesias. Aparecieron en una revista llamada “The King’s Business” y también aparecieron en un raro video corto de BIOLA en mayo de 1951. BIOLA era entonces un pequeño instituto y fue dirigido por el Dr. Louis T. Talbot y el pastor Ray Zuercher se graduó de él (1946). La obra misionera fue dura en Colombia durante este tiempo debido a la persecución de los protestantes por parte de la Iglesia Católica. Un viejo libro (1956) documenta el crecimiento del cristianismo desde finales de 1800. La Unión Misionera del Evangelio tuvo sus primeros misioneros allí en 1896. Es en este país donde Ray y Carol pasarían más de 30 años. Los esfuerzos misioneros en Colombia han continuado ocurriendo hasta el día de hoy, pero mucho ha cambiado. Hay misioneros no solo de Estados Unidos, sino de otros países como México. Mucho ha sido posible gracias a misioneros como los Zuercher, que fueron pioneros allí.

Tengo entendido que todas sus hijas, excepto una, nacieron allí. Los conocí a todos en varias ocasiones, pero Mariann y su esposo Mark se acercaron a mí cuando el pastor Ray Zuercher plantó una iglesia en Santa Ana, California, después de regresar de Colombia. Los conocí allí. Mark, como líder juvenil, se convirtió en mi mentor. No tuve muchas interacciones personales con el pastor Ray, pero hay una que nunca he olvidado. En una ocasión, el pastor Zuercher me visitó en casa cuando tenía 13 o 14 años. A pesar de que recientemente había comenzado a asistir a la iglesia, comencé a faltar. Para mi sorpresa nos visitó en nuestra casa. Tomé muy en serio su visita y nunca más falté a la iglesia. En 1984 me bautizó. No llegué a conocerlo personalmente y lo que sé es principalmente a través de lo que le escuché predicar o de su hija Mariann y su esposo Mark. Comenzó a darnos a mi esposa y a mí consejería prematrimonial en 1990 a pesar de que ya estaba enfermo de cáncer. Se fue a casa con Jesús en 1992. La gente de nuestra iglesia vino a verlo en su memorial por última vez. Recuerdo que una señora dijo en voz alta mientras se acercaba a su cuerpo: “tú eras nuestro padre”. Su esposa Carol le sobrevivió unos diez años.

Su impacto en mi vida y en la de otras personas de nuestra iglesia fue evidente. A pesar de que nuestra iglesia ya no existe como antes, dio a luz a una nueva iglesia y llevó a muchos jóvenes a buscar el ministerio, muchos de ellos se convirtieron en pastores. Todo esto está directamente relacionado con mi primer pastor, Ray Zuercher.

[1] He escrito algunas publicaciones sobre mi caminar de fe aquí, aquíy aquí .

 

 

El pastor Ray a punto de bautizarme

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My First Pastor

I was born in El Salvador in 1970 and lived there until I was almost 11 years old. My mom and three of my sisters made our trek to the United States in 1981 and reunited with three of my sisters who already lived here. After living in Los Angeles for a year, my mom, two younger sisters and two adult sisters went to live in Orange County California. It was there where one of my older sisters met my friend Jimmy. He invited her to church and so my mom and my younger sister joined her. This was the first time I attended a Christian church. It was here where I would come to know Jesus and start my journey with him.[1] This church was just beginning when I joined it. It was led by a pastor Ray Zuercher. This is what the post is about. My hope is to bring honor to him and to the many pastors who have served the Lord faithfully.

Ray and his wife Carol Zuercher were appointed missionaries in 1948 by the Gospel Missionary Union based in Kansas. According to this newspaper article they had a special presentation as candidates in a church in Amarillo Texas. Not long after he and his wife went to Colombia. In Colombia he became director of the Missionary Union’s Bible Institute (it continues to this day and it is known as Ilumec), and it is my understanding he also helped to plant new churches. They were featured in a magazine called “The King’s Business” and were also featured in a rare short video by BIOLA in May 1951. BIOLA was then a small institute and was led by Dr. Louis T. Talbot and pastor Ray Zuercher was a graduate from it (1946). Missionary work was hard in Colombia during this time due to the persecution of Protestants by the Catholic Church. An old book (1956) documents the growth of Christianity from the late 1800’s. The Gospel Missionary Union had its first missionaries there in 1896. It is in this country that Ray and Carol would spend over 30 years. The missionary endeavors in Colombia have continued to happen to this day but much has changed. There are missionaries not only from the US but from other countries like Mexico. Much has been made possible by missionaries like the Zuerchers who were pioneers there.

It is my understanding, all their girls, except one were born there. I met them all at various times, but Mariann and husband Mark became close to me when pastor Ray Zuercher planted a church in Santa Ana California after coming back from Colombia. I met them there. Mark as a youth leader became my mentor. I didn’t have a lot of interactions with thin but there is one that I have never forgotten. On one occasion, pastor Zuercher visited me at home as a young 13- or 14-year-old. Even though I had recently started attending church, I started to miss. To my surprise he came to our home. I took to heart his visit and never wavered in my church attendance. In 1984, he baptized me. I didn’t get to know him personally and what I know is mostly through what I heard him preach or from his daughter Mariann and her husband Mark. He started to give my wife and I premarital counseling in 1990 even though he was already sick with cancer. He went home to Jesus in 1992. People from our church came to see him at his memorial one last time. I remember one lady saying out loud as she approached his body, “you were our father”. His wife Carol outlived him about ten years.

His impact in my life and in others from our church was evident. Even though our church no longer exists as it did, it gave birth to a new church and led many young people seeking ministry, many of them became pastors. All of this was directly related to my first pastor, Ray Zuercher.

[1] I’ve written a few posts about my journey of faith here, here, and here  .

Pastor Ray about to baptize me
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Worshipping God Here and There and in His Kingdom

Been thinking about worship. Worship in the form of songs is something common for us believers in Jesus. It is really fascinating to think about this in relation to our God. In fact, I was talking with the Lord this morning about it after reading the Song of Moses in Exodus 15:1-19 to the Lord after they crossed the Red Sea. They sing to the Lord praising his strength, greatness above the gods and how he has delivered them from Egypt. Then I also came to my reading on Psalm 98 which invites us to make a joyful noise to the Lord for the marvelous things he has done and for his salvation. It invites all of creation to praise him and sing for joy because he is coming to judge the Earth. We sing to God. Why? God made us to sing as an act of worship. Singing expresses our thoughts, emotions and our spiritual well-being to Him. What does God get out of it? He gets what is due to his name, but He is self-sufficient and does not need it. But He does delight in hearing us, just like we delight in singing to Him. It’s an amazing fact that this simple act of expressing worship with a song to God, pleases him.

I admit that my worship in song is imperfect. I tend to believe most of us fall short. In fact, I was thinking today while we were singing in church, what would happen if we took away all the instruments, all the lights, all the nice voices and we’d just be us looking up and singing to Jesus. What would it be like? Would we still have the same passion? Would it reveal that our worship is superficial?

I imagined that day when we will literally worship him in heaven with the Triune God present. In Revelation we find that there will be worship to the Lamb of God and our great God. All the angels and all of us from every nation, tribe, language, who have been redeemed and saved by Jesus will sing a new song to Him who sits on the throne. The focus of the singing will the Lamb of God, Jesus! There will be no distractions at all. I also believe that our new state will allow us to worship perfectly and in ways we have never been able to do it. I am not sure instruments (or lights and sound) will be necessary like we do now. The songs will be complete in Him. But we know that we will inhabit a New Earth with our resurrected bodies and well, that may bring about the worship of God with songs and instruments. The good thing, is that it will be perfect worship and everything that has breath will praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord. – Psalm 150 (NIV)

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Book Review: Calvin’s Institutes audio version

Institutes of the Christian ReligionInstitutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

This was my first time “reading” it. I listened to the 60+ hours at 1.25 pace. This allowed me to finish sooner. It took more than six months listening to it for about half an hour on my way to work. It is in essence a systematic theology of the Christian faith.
– Very logical and methodical. Everything is well organized with numbers for each chapter and sections. It is very organized and argued well with Scripture. He often refers to important figures of the Christian church and leaders like St Augustine, Luther, Aquinas and many others to either support a point or argue away a point that he doesn’t agree with. He is a fierce critic of “Papists” (Roman Catholic) and Anabaptists. He often refers to them in harsh tone.
– It is very succinct. Calvin’s use of language is masterful (I listened to an English translation of a French edition, so I am not totally certain). He makes the point and explains clearly without too much fuzz. There are no personal illustrations.
– I like all of this perhaps because I think in a similar manner.
– Some things that I found not liking: He is very rigid in his viewpoints and argues they are “the” biblical views. His tone is harsh and negative to opposing views. This was an “aha” moment for me to       understand Calvinists/Reformed people today. Given, not everyone is the same, a lot of people who have followed Calvin’s teaching have the same tone.
– Calvin does really well in explaining basic theological truths such as the Trinity. He does really well in explaining Roman Catholicism views of salvation and rituals. He adds a bit of history of the papacy as well.
– Of course, I disagree with him on some points, especially infant baptism. He sees it as equivalent to circumcision in the Old Testament. He doesn’t argue how this comes about, but he does this with the Old Testament in general. This is how covenant theology works. His support is very weak in the New Testament, (there is not a single mention of infant baptism), repeats it over and over affirming it as the truth.

-Reading Calvin’s view of government, he would be considered a Nationalist today. In fact, historically it was true in Europe during the Reformation. Geneva, where Calvin resided became Protestant. Reformers gave approval condemning to their deaths many Anabaptists who opposed many of their views, in particular infant baptistm.
– Overall, good read. There is much biblical theology that one can use for Bible studies. Calvin had an incredible grasp of Scripture, history, and theology in general.

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Honrando a nuestros Padres

Honrando a nuestros Padres

Uno de los valores que ha sido parte de nuestra cultura hispana es honrar a nuestros padres. La honra muchas veces se miraba en el respeto y reverencia hacía los padres. Muchos de nosotros podemos atestiguar que esta era una práctica en nuestros casos. Los hijos siempre mostraban este respeto en su manera de hablar y tratar a sus padres. Aun hoy, lo puedo ver en la manera que mi esposa habla a su mamá que tiene más de ochenta años. A menudo, tenemos que recordar a nuestra hija de catorce años que debe honrarnos y obedecernos, y usamos este ejemplo para mostrarle cómo debe de realizarse. Por supuesto, cuando éramos niños estábamos también obligados a obedecerles. Desafortunadamente este valor ya ha sido erradicado por la cultura moderna. ¿Vale la pena enseñar esto a nuestros hijos?

Este valor no es meramente cultural. No hay lugar a duda que esto surgió de lo que la Biblia enseña, en particular uno de los diez mandamientos. En Éxodo 20, Dios les da el decálogo al pueblo de Israel que contiene las diez palabras o diez mandamientos. El quinto mandamiento es el primero que tiene que ver con las relaciones y en particular con nuestros padres. ¿Porqué? Porque Dios estableció a la familia como el fundamento más básico de la sociedad. Dios quien diseño la familia como un reflejo de la Trinidad, nos manda a honrar a los que Dios ha puesto como padre y madre en el hogar.

“Honra a tu padre y a tu madre, para que tus días se alarguen en la tierra que Jehová tu Dios te da.” Éxodo 20:12

Este mandamiento se repite en el Nuevo Testamento,

“Hijos, obedeced en el Señor a vuestros padres, porque esto es justo. Honra a tu padre y a tu madre, que es el primer mandamiento con promesa; para que te vaya bien, y seas de larga vida sobre la tierra.”

El mandato dado por Dios en Éxodo es realmente dirigido a los adultos. Por supuesto que aplica a los niños menores de edad (en ese entonces menor 12 años). Honrar es de toda la vida y aun en la vejez.

¿Qué es honrar?

La palabra que se usa para “honrar” significa sentir peso o valorar, honorable, estimar, darles reconocimiento o preferencia.  La palabra se usa tanto para Dios como para personas. Honrar significa darles el honor, la estima, preferencia o dar reconocimiento tanto al padre como a la madre.

Honra también envuelve es de darles reverencia por el hecho de que Dios los escogió para ser nuestros padres. Ellos han sido asignados por nuestro Dios santo (que merece también reverencia). Dios no los escogió porque eran perfectos sino porque esta fue su voluntad y su plan. Y como es la voluntad de Dios, debemos honrarles, reverenciarles como él nos manda.

En Levítico 19:3 dice, “Cada uno temerá a su madre y a su padre”.

La idea de honra también se extiende a ayudar a los padres cuando son ancianos. Esto es apoyado por lo que el Señor dijo en Mateo 15:3-6 cuando corrigió a los líderes religiosos de desobedecer el mandato. Ellos habían creado una excusa para no honrar (ayudar económicamente) a los padres ofreciendo esos fondos a Dios en el templo. Pablo también dice en 1 Timoteo 5:16 que los hijos deben apoyar a sus mamás que eran viudas. Así que honra puede entenderse cómo proveer ayuda económica

La promesa

Este mandato, dice San Pablo es el primero con promesa. Es el único en la Biblia que lleva una promesa. ¿Cuál es la promesa? Es una vida larga. Esto parece ser algo raro. La promesa en sí no algo mecánico que sucede. La promesa de vida larga está vinculada con la honra a los padres, es decir en el valor que le damos a la instrucción y guía de ellos.

Este mandamiento es como si Dios nos está diciendo que tan importante es.  Primero, nos promete calidad de vida, “para que te vaya bien.”  Nuestra vida será una buena vida si honramos (y obedecemos) a nuestros padres. Segundo, nos promete largura de vida, “y seas de larga vida sobre la tierra.” Podríamos decir que, como consecuencia natural, el hijo obediente vivirá largamente porque aprenderá mucho de cómo vivir la vida. Se puede decir también que una sociedad que valora a sus ancianos y los honra no solo les ayuda a ellos a vivir más siendo cuidados sino también que fomenta valores que ayudarán a toda la comunidad.

Las consecuencias de no obedecer el mandato

Es muy notable que las consecuencias por la desobediencia o deshonra de los padres para el pueblo de Dios Israel era muy severas.  La Ley del Antiguo Testamento, dice que cualquiera que golpeara a su madre o padre era considerado digno de la pena capital (Éxodo 21:15). No solo esto sino cualquiera que maldijera a su padre o madre llevaría la misma pena (Éxodo 21:17; 17), su sangre sería sobre él (Levítico 20:9). De igual manera era el hijo rebelde que rehusaba obedecer a sus padres (Deuteronomio 21:18-21). Aunque estas leyes no aplican a nosotros, podemos entender y ver la seriedad de la desobediencia al mandato. Sin embargo, Proverbios 20:20 nos advierte que los hijos que no honran a sus padres tendrán una mala vida. Una de las características de los últimos tiempos según 2 Timoteo 3:2 es la desobediencia a los padres. El fundamento de la familia está siendo erosionado más y más.

¿Cómo comenzar a practicar este mandato?

La obediencia como acto de honra es hasta que el hijo o la hija son mayor de edad. Esto quiere decir que, aunque los hijos deben honrar a sus padres escuchándolos cuando ellos les aconsejan, no quiere decir que los padres mandan a sus hijos como antes, especialmente cuando son mayores de edad y/o están casados.

Si tus padres ya son mayores, debes mostrarles el respeto que merecen. No les reproches nada, ni les trates mal. Segundo, muéstrales amor. Si no viven contigo mantén comunicación con ellos llamándoles una vez por semana y mantente al tanto en sus necesidades. ¡Dales las gracias por lo que hicieron por ti y diles que les quieres! Ofrece ayuda en algo, cuidado de su casa, ir a citas médicas. Tercero, si necesitan ayuda económica, ayúdales. Si no necesitan ayuda material o económica, dales gracias por lo que han hecho e hicieron por ti.

Si eres papá o mamá y tienes hijos menores de edad enséñales que esto es lo que les manda a ellos y muéstrales tu ejemplo honrando a tu padre y madre. Además, enséñales a ser obedientes. La Escritura insta a los hijos a ser obedientes a la instrucción del padre (Prov. 3:1-2). Enséñales que deben obedecer a Dios comenzando con creer en Cristo como Señor y Salvador. Segundo, deben obedecer lo que él nos manda a todos hacer y entre estos mandatos está el honrar a los padres. Se ejemplo para ellos en tu obediencia a Dios especialmente en cómo honras a tus padres mayores.

Si desea escuchar un sermón sobre este tema puede hacerlo pulsando aquí.

 

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God’s People

“while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” – Exodus 19:3-6

This is very instructive to us today as it was for Israel when they were rescued by God from Egypt. God didn’t deliver Israel from bondage in Egypt so that they would live their own lives. He rescued them for himself (“brought you to myself”, He said). He delivered them so that they would be his people and as such should be obedient to his voice (his commands) and his covenant (v. 5). He promised them to be his most precious possession (imagine that!) among all peoples. They were all a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (v. 6). This meant that they would be his representatives among the nations. They would show others with their way of living that God was holy. Through this they would act as priests, people who were the middle person to show others the character and nature of God.

In 1 Peter 2:5, 9 the apostle Peters applies this passage to all followers of Jesus. He says,

“you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

As followers of Jesus our calling is the same as it was then for the people of Israel. When the Lord rescued us through his blood from sin and eternal death, he made us all priests with direct access to God. We are priests of a chosen race, not because of any human or ethnic background but because we are his children. We are a royal or kingly priesthood people who can come directly through prayer to the throne of God our king. We are a holy nation that lives as we are told by our Holy God and as such, we are distinct from how this world lives. We belong to Him. The purpose of our calling is to tell others both by the way we live and by our words how great God is and that only he deserves to be famous.

 

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