But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.
—1 Peter 2:9
The Israelites had been a chosen or elected race and were a special people to God above all other people. They were separated from other nations so that they might exclusively worship God. It was God’s will for them to maintain their identity and not be polluted with idolatry of other nations. God wanted them to protect and defend their heritage at all costs. The Jews had a unique identity as God’s treasured people.
Jesus Christ came and reconciled us all to God through His blood. When we accept God’s forgiveness and are saved from the power of sin, we become new creatures. We have a wonderful, new identity in Jesus Christ as citizens of the
kingdom of God. We have been chosen and are a royal priesthood.
People of the world are seeking for “identity.” There are bigots and people with prejudices against others. When people have that heart, it is often because they are not at true peace within themselves. Whether from hatred, insecurity, self-interest, pride, greed, misinformation, or ignorance, when one devalues another, it exposes an identity that is built upon a wrong foundation.
While we all have an earthly heritage and ethnicity, our primary identity should be found in God and in the fact that we are His children, for therein is true rest. Many struggle with who they are and what they look like. The Lord wants us to accept how He created us and to be at peace. We have been chosen by God and need not struggle with the vain identity issues of our society. It is our identity in Christ that will carry us through to eternity! ■