Isn’t it amazing when you get chosen for something? Sadly, I was usually picked last at school for anything sports related and so I know what it feels like to not be one of the chosen ones.
I’ll never forget a time though when I was at school when we teams were being picked for a football game and miraculously I was picked first. It was an amazing moment for me that left me on a real high for the rest of the day.
I certainly wasn’t chosen for my skill or ability to play the game, but I was chosen.
The Church is ‘a chosen people’.
You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” (1 Peter 2.9-10)
Just to be clear, when I say the Church I don’t mean a building or a group of people in any one building on a Sunday morning. Although their might be many churches that exist, there really is only one Church and it includes all followers of Jesus.
The Church is special and precious to Jesus and he calls each member royal priests. We no longer have to come to God through a priest or intermediary, we can connect with him directly and what is more, we each have the privilege of fulfilling the priestly roles of leading people to and teaching them about God.
God has chosen a people and we can be a part of them.
The Church is holy (means set apart or just different). When we become Christians, we go from being ordinary people to becoming a part of God’s very own possession.
A few years ago, Real Madrid signed Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur for a record £85 million transfer fee. Gareth is now signed to them and is under contract, he has become part of their carefully selected team. Real Madrid try to sign the best players, but God’s strategy is more varied than that. He accepts all people into his dream team if they turn to him.
The Church demonstrates the goodness and kindness of God who adds us to his team because of his great mercy.
God has called us out of darkness into the light. The Church are a group of people who are drawn to follow the light of the world. As we come to him, we realize what life is all about and we can see more clearly how to live in the light.God has given us an identity as a part of his people.
When Kate was born in 1982, I doubt that her parents thought that one day she would be a member of the royal family.
In 2011 she married William and now she is no longer just Kate, she is the Duchess of Cambridge. Her life and her identity are changed forever all because of her marriage to William.
So, the Church is chosen by God.
Some Christians have very low opinions of the Church and if we do, we need to repent and ask for God’s forgiveness.
How can we have a low opinion of, or be derogatory about God’s chosen, holy and special possession?
Some Christians feel like they are no one special and if we do, we need to repent and ask for God’s forgiveness.
How can we have a low opinion of, or be derogatory about ourselves if we are a part of God’s chosen, holy and special possession?
This is the third in a series of posts exploring the pictures/metaphors for the Church that are used in the Bible. If you missed them, you can check out the first two pictures in the series:
The Church is a Gathering of People
To say those who have a low opinion of church need to repent is to completely ignore all the reasons why they have a low opinion of the church. It’s to ignore all the abuses, the discrimination, the harm it has perpetrated and continues to perpetrate today. It may be God’s chosen people (something I would dispute but that’s another discussion) but that should never be used to shield it from criticism or from being held to account from the harm it has caused and continues to cause.
I think you will find that I said ‘Just to be clear, when I say the Church I don’t mean a building or a group of people in any one building on a Sunday morning. Although their might be many churches that exist, there really is only one Church and it includes all followers of Jesus.’ We should love the one true Church in the world that is the followers of Jesus.
We should deplore discrimination and harm that are caused by churches and we should seek to bring about change where we can so that churches better reflect Jesus in the way that the people within them live and treat each other.