November 30, 1997
Series: First Peter, Ser. #32
A HOLY NATION
TEXT: I Pet. 2:9
Intro: We have already seen in the study of this verse that true believers are a chosen generation and a royal priesthood. In this message we will see that true Christians are a holy nation. We will first notice that true believers compose a distinct nation. Regardless of our lineage according to the flesh, we are a distinct nation with very specific national characteristics.
We will also consider the fact that true believers compose a holy nation and learn how it is that we are holy.
I. TRUE BELIEVERS ARE A DISTINCT NATION WITH SPECIFIC NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS
A. We are a holy nation in that we all come from one common holy progenitoróGod who has regenerated us. Ephesians 2:1 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins. (KJV) John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (KJV)
B. We are a distinct holy nation because we are all citizens of the same country, Heaven. Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; (KJV)
1. Our names are written down in the registry of heaven. Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (KJV)
2. We have an inheritance reserved for us there. 1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. (KJV)
3. Only those whose names are written there may enter. Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (KJV)
C. We are a holy nation and have a common set of laws that are forever settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (KJV) Psalm 119:152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. (KJV)
D. We are a holy nation with heavenly citizenship and are just pilgrims and strangers in this world looking forward to our heavenly country. Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (KJV)
E. We are a holy nation with a heavenly country and though we are far from that country now, we are fellow citizens with many who are already there, and we will one day be there. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (KJV) Jude 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints. (KJV)
F. We are a holy nation and we will all sing the same national anthem. Revelation 5:9-10 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (KJV)
G. We are a holy nation and are all under the same government.
1. We all are indwelt by one and the same Spirit. Ephesians 4:4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. (KJV) Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure. (KJV)
2. We all serve one Lord. Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (KJV)
3. We all worship one God. Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all. (KJV)
H. We are a holy nation and we all share the same common enemies. Ephesians 6:11-13 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (KJV)
II. NO NATION IS AS GLORIOUS AS THIS NATION OF WHICH WE ARE CITIZENS
A. No nation is ruled by so glorious a king as is this holy nation. Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (KJV) Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (KJV)
1. While other kings and presidents must sit helpless when floods and hurricanes strike their country; our king rules the winds and waves and they perfectly obey his will. Matthew 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (KJV)
2. He has his way in the whirlwind and in the storms and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:3 The LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds [are] the dust of his feet. (KJV)
3. He rules his people through the influences and power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Psalm 110:3 Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (KJV) Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure. (KJV)
B. No nation has God so near to them as does this holy nation of which we are citizens. Deuteronomy 4:7 For what nation [is there so] great, who [hath] God [so] nigh unto them, as the LORD our God [is] in all [things that] we call upon him [for]? (KJV)
C. No nation has such a perfect system of law as does this holy nation. Deuteronomy 4:8 And what nation [is there so] great, that hath statutes and judgments [so] righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? (KJV) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV)
D. No nation is composed of as free a people as this holy nation of which we are citizens. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (KJV) John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (KJV)
E. No nation is composed of as happy a people as is this nation. Psalm 33:11-12 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. 12 Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (KJV) Psalm 144:15 Happy [is that] people, that is in such a case: [yea], happy [is that] people, whose God [is] the LORD. (KJV)
F. No king or President protects his people as securely as does our King. Psalm 33:18-20 Behold, the eye of the LORD [is] upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he [is] our help and our shield. (KJV) Psalm 37:23-25 The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth [him with] his hand. 25 I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. (KJV)
G. No nation has such grounds for unity and peace as does this holy nation.
1. There are no racial or social barriers to divide us. Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all. (KJV)
2. There are no walls partitioning us off into racial or social distinctions in this nation. Ephesians 2:11-18 Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (KJV)
3. We are all fellowcitizens of heaven. Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. (KJV)
H. No nation has a surer promise of a permanent homeland than does this holy nation.
1. It is a better place than was promised to Israel. Numbers 10:29 And Moses said unto Hobab, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel. (KJV)
2. It is a place that is better than any thing this world could offer any nation. Hebrews 11:14-16 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (KJV)
3. It is a country which will never have a crime of any kind committed in it, there is no sin there. Revelation 21:1-8 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV) Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (KJV) Revelation 22:1-5 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (KJV)
III. TRUE BELIEVERS COMPOSE A NATION THAT IS HOLY
A. A thing or person may be called holy because of having been set apart by God for holy purposes.
1. Jeremiah was sanctified before he was ever born in this sense. Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (KJV)
2. All the tabernacle, its furniture and vessels were sanctified in this sense. 1 Kings 8:4 And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that [were] in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up. (KJV)
3. Paul was sanctified in this sense. Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called [me] by his grace. (KJV)
4. The nation of Israel was holy in this sense. Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth. (KJV)
5. True believers are a chosen generation and therefore a holy nation because God has marked us out and set us apart for the holy purpose of revealing the glory of his marvelous grace in us. Ephesians 1:4-6 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (KJV Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (KJV)
B. A true believer has an inward holiness because of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
1. This is the hidden man of the heart. I Pet. 3:1-5
2. This holiness is the result of our union with Jesus Christ. Heb. 2:11; Jn. 15:5
3. This holiness of the new nature is the reason one truly born of God cannot go on in a habitual life of sin. I Jn. 3:7-9
4. This holiness is essential if we are to see the Lord. Heb. 12:14
5. This holiness causes one to delight in the Law of God. Rom. 7:22
6. This holiness causes one to see God as always right in every thing he does, says, or has written. Psa. 119:128
C. A true believer, because he has an inward holiness, will follow after a practical, progressive holiness. Jn. 17:17; Gal. 5:24-25
CONC: What a blessed privilege it is to be a part of this Holy nation. We ought to be a happy people because God is our Lord. We ought to be a peaceful people because we are all one in Jesus Christ who is our peace. We ought to be contented people because we have all our true needs assured. We ought to be an expectant people because God has provided us with a homeland from which we shall never be moved. We ought to be a humble, grateful people because we are so unworthy of all these blessings that are ours. We ought to be a holy people practically because we are born of one who is perfectly holy and this inward holiness should manifest itself in an outward, practical, progressive holiness.
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