Updated: May 17, 2020
Theme: “Chosen by God"
Bible reading: 1 Peter 2: 2-10
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Today is the first Sunday after the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). It is indeed a good thing to celebrate this day in honour of those men and women who did the ultimate sacrifice to give this nation freedom. This is the day when the sounds of war fell silent on this continent. And “as we remember the many soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives restraining evil and opposing tyranny, so we also come in thanksgiving for the years of peace that the nations of Europe have enjoyed since the Second World War.” We are, therefore “grateful for the laughter and love that followed times of sadness and loss.”
There is no doubt that our world is full of all manner of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, self centeredness, and all slander. But the Apostle Peter admonishes us as Christians who have God as our Father to rid ourselves of these things. He says “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind (1 Peter 2:1). He then moves on to encourage us as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to be like new-born babies by the craving for pure spiritual milk, so that by it we may grow up in our walk with the Lord.
It is common among Christians to be craving for status or positions or possessions. Nevertheless, Saint Peter is admonishing us that just as babies demand to be fed, so we Christians should constantly yearn for spiritual food that would enable us to grow as believers in order to become more like our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. This spiritual nourishment comes from both knowing and becoming deeply rooted in the Word of God.
The Apostle Paul ran into believers in Corinth who refused to grow up and he said this to them, “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly” (1 Corinthians 3:1).
A preacher man once said a baby Christian on the spiritual feeding bottle is a darling. But twenty-year old believer who is still on the same spiritual feeding bottle just as the infant believer is not only sad but very pathetic.
Unfortunately, it happens very often that we refuse to grow up to maturity as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ by our thoughts, utterances, and behaviours, which are sinful before the Almighty God who has chosen us individually and collectively as the body of Christ to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s special possession.
This, therefore, calls for a radical departure from our old ways of life that were not pleasing to God by clothing ourselves with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5: 22-23). We are to do these things because according to Saint Peter, “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2: 10). Hallelujah!!!
It is dangerous to be a believer with a very little knowledge of the Word of God.1 This is because, as Paul observes, you are likely to be tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching or doctrine (Ephesians 4:14).
As a chosen people, and a royal priesthood, we must grow to maturity in our faith so that we cannot be easily discouraged by things happening around us. Jesus compares believers whose faith is not grounded on the Word of God to the seeds planted among the thorns in the parable of the Sower. They allow life’s situations to distract them from their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and drag them back into worldly ways (Matt. 13:22).
Today, many people are wondering where God is when COVID-19 is devastating God’s precious world and those created in God’s image. And this is affecting many people’s faith badly. But we don’t want to let go of our faith; do we?
The good news is that God is willing and able to grow each one of us into beautiful, solid food eating spiritual adults if we are willing to allow God to do so.
As a chosen people of God and a royal priesthood, we have tasted and we know that indeed the Lord is good all the time and all the time the Lord is good. Let us, therefore, endeavour to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit both as a church, and as an individual.
Don’t forget to be loving, joyful, peaceable, patient, kind, faithful, self-controlling, gentle, and good to others. By this, we may be able to declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light in Christ Jesus our only Lord and Saviour.
I pray that God will continue to strengthen you so that you can always remain steadfast in your walk with Him.
Rev. Confidence Bansah (Ph. D.)
Minister of St. George’s and Christ Church