Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Holy Nation

Three months after the Exodus from Egypt, two million Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai. Before the Ten Commandments were given, God spoke to Moses (recorded in Exodus 19):

“‘Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ The people all responded together, ‘We will do everything the LORD has said.’”

After the commands were given (three times), the people had 40 years in the wilderness, several years of conquest, 400 years of judges, 400 hundred years of kings, and 600 years of captivity and occupation until the time of Christ. All of this, except a few years of light, was saturated with sin, gross wickedness. That was about a total of 1480 years. This was the holy nation.

There is a similar statement made to another group of chosen people.

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (1 Peter 1:1-2)

Here is the statement:

“In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time...For you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care.” (1 Peter 1:3b-5, 9-10)

The people of Israel had been set free from slavery in Egypt. This second chosen people have been set free from slavery to sin. We have had 2,000 years of being set free from sin. Is our record much better than Israel’s record before Jesus came? Some better, but the history of Christianity doesn’t look like it.

Our answer is simple: much of the “Church” has been made up of unredeemed sinners. That may be a given. But why is it? We have had the message, the authority, the Holy Spirit, and the command. We still have them.

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