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1 Peter 2:10: Once You Were Not A People, But Now You Are God's People

1 Peter 2:10
[10] 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. (ESV)

In the previous verse the Apostle Peter has described those who believe in Jesus Christ as a royal priesthood, a chosen people, the possession of God. He now reminds them that they were previously not a people. This statement would apply not only to the new Gentile believers, but also the Jews who were believers in Christ Jesus. 

God spoke through the prophet Isaiah about Israel, who had wandered from God. In Hosea 1:10 he says, "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.” (ESV)

Peter recognizes that in Jesus Christ the Jews will find the fulfillment of this prophecy from Hosea. There were Jews who would have heard Peter's words and been infuriated. The Jews who loved Jesus Christ would have embraced Peter's words. They would have delighted to see that God was fulfilling his prophetic word and calling the Jews to himself again and calling them his people, his children.

The great challenge for all who would read Peter's words was to recognize that Jew and Gentile were now both considered to be the people of God. Salvation was for all people, not just the Jews. All this is possible because of the mercy of God. It is not because of the goodness of the Gentiles and their works. Salvation was not possible because of the Jews' efforts to keep the Law. Salvation is about the great mercy of God!

At one point in your life you were not considered one of God's people. Do you remember when you first received God's mercy? Give him praise. Share with someone how they also can be a part of the children of God. It's about mercy!