Today we reflect on Peter’s address about being God’s special people. As a new creation, born into the family of God, old things have passed away and all things become new. Peter speaks to the old things, describes the new reality, and proclaims the believers new identity.
Peter, like the writer to the Hebrews, states that certain things must be left behind. They are part of the old life and have no place in the new. What things are they? These are characteristics that don’t line up with being children of our Father who is love. He lists malice which is the desire to hurt someone, all guile which is being duplicitous in the attaining of goals, hypocrisy, saying one thing and living another, envy, wanting someone else’s good things, and all evil speaking. Peter says “laying aside.” It is a process of putting these behaviours away.
Instead, he writes, if you have tasted that God is gracious, long for God’s word the way a new baby wants milk so you can grow up into Him. You are different. You have come to a living stone, “the chief cornerstone”. Though chosen by God and precious, He is the starting place of God’s house despite His rejection by men. You also are like living stones being built together into a “spiritual house” a “holy priesthood” for the purpose of offering spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ.
He furthers speaks to the believer’s new identity. You are “a chosen generation, a holy priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.” Your purpose is to proclaim His praises. He is who called you “out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Now you are God’s people when you were not a people. You have now obtained mercy when you had not experienced mercy before.
Put away the old ways, they don’t fit your new life. Don’t be disobedient to the word and stumble. You have a position within a new reality. You are a new creation being built up in the Lord Jesus for the praise of God. You have experienced mercy and become people of God.
Peter speaks still, to the old things, describing the new reality, and proclaiming the believers new identity.