But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Comment: For clarity for myself, and I hope for you, I will make a list in the order which I see the passage making most sense for me. The bold words pick up the thoughts from the passage.
- We are all because of original sin and our own choices alienated to God. (you were not a people)
- Those who accept Jesus now are God’s people. (Now you/we are God’s people, having received mercy. We have become His possession.)
- We are chosen by Him and are called to be holy priests.
- To go between Him and those who are not believers We are to be examples of what He can do in people’s lives and thus bring praise to His Name.
- Therefore live in such a way, against all opposition, (abstain from the passions of the flesh) so that people will notice the difference in us. Give people no cause to call us ‘evil doers’. (That you may proclaim His excellence. ) The term ‘gentiles’ here refers to those who don’t accept Jesus.
Prayer: Help me to live up to Your expectations of me. Thank You for Your forgiveness when I don’t.