Edited: Aug 5, 2018
날짜: 2018년 7월 29일
제목: 나는 누구인가?
올리브연합감리교회 김배선 목사
20180729 Sunday worship sermon
Who am I?
1 Peter 2: 9-10
One of the most important things in our lives is how we look at ourselves.
Depending on how you look at yourself, you may say you have a happy life or you might say you have an unhappy life.
If a person thinks of his life as happy, he lives his life as a happy person.
In contrast, if a person thinks of his life as an unhappy life, he sees himself as an unhappy person.
Anyone can be happy when he thinks of himself as a decent and good person.
However, if he always complains and grumbles comparing himself with others, he is unhappy no matter how much he has.
Yes, the quality of life depends on how a person thinks of himself with his heart.
A man is dominated by his own thoughts for a lifetime.
So it is important for us to have the right perspective about ourselves.
It is important for us to be proud of ourselves and have self-esteem.
Do not look down on yourself.
Avoid having a sense of inferiority.
Among the causes that make us unhappy is the sense of inferiority.
Some people are oversensitive about how other people might view them.
They cannot stand a thought of being ignored by others.
That kind of inferiority complex is damaging to our lives.
Brothers and sisters, you are all good.
You are all great masterpieces of God.
You are all the beloved beings of God.
Through the words in 1 Peter we read today, I would like us to think about how God sees us.
1 Peter is a letter written by Apostle Peter.
Peter wrote this letter with compassion to the Christians who were persecuted, suffered, scattered and living like strangers due to hardships.
The first chapter is a record of the Word that comforts these persecuted Christians.
In chapter 2, Peter tells us how precious we are in God’s eyes.
It tells us the identity of Christians.
Let’s look again today’s text.
“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. 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…” (verses 9-10) (ppt)
Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to meditate on these verses more deeply.
There are great things about our identity in today’s text.
First, it says, "you are a chosen people.” (ppt)
God has made us a people whom He has chosen among all men.
In other words, we are specially chosen by God.
This is an amazing privilege.
Today’s scripture says that we are a "chosen people," a people who have been chosen for salvation.
When we see who we are, what our identity is, we realize how much privilege we have in God.
Also, it says that we are called "royal priest." (ppt)
As we know, a priest at that time refers to a person who is representative of the people.
It was the priest who acted as a mediator between God and people.
Therefore, we are like a priest or a king who represent the people and mediates between the people and God.
It is a surprise that God called us as the priest.
God called us as the priest not because we are suitable for the responsibility, but because we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we have become mediators of reconciliation with the world and with God, such as priests.
God also called us, "A holy nation, a people that belonged to him." (ppt)
No country has no people.
Who are the people of God's nation?
We, the believers of Christ, are the people of God’s kingdom.
We are the holy nation, the kingdom of God.
It is not that we are more moral or clean than others, but we have been called as people of God’s kingdom only by His grace.
Therefore, the responsibility is great.
We must live holy as citizens of the kingdom of God.
The Apostle Peter tried to tell the Christians at that time that they are precious and great people, even though they are persecuted and suffered.
So by having this identity, he wanted them to overcome suffering and persecution.
And this word is the same for us who live today.
The scripture is giving us the same message.
It is crucial that we know who we are.
We need to be aware of our identity right now.
That way, we can live a dignified life even in this difficult world.
When I say that we need to know who we are and our identity, I don’t mean that we should think we are better than others.
In fact, we are lacking just as much as others, but what thrills us is that even though we are weak, God has accepted us and made us a part of His kingdom and called us priests.
It is grace of God to accept us without any conditions.
We must know this clearly.
I do not know if I am qualified enough to be accepted and honored by God.
I do not deserve it.
Neither do you.
It is God. God gave us this privilege.
He has chosen us to be his people and priests.
What kind of life will we have when we truly understand our identity?
We will live confidently.
Nothing will hinder us in this world.
Even if the people of the world do not recognize us, it is not a problem anymore.
We may be seen as nobody but we are the chosen ones of God.
Children of God, a people of the kingdom of God.
We are the one God has entrusted with His vision.
We are not good enough but God still accepted us as we are.
Even though we may lack in many things, God has accepted us as the people of the kingdom of God.
As the parents acknowledge and accept their children, no matter how small and weak their children are, God knows that we are vulnerable, but he has accepted us as His children.
This is amazing grace.
And even more surprising is that God not only tolerates us and accepts us, but He regards us as worthy. (ppt)
Brothers and sisters, do you know how valuable we are?
How rich we are or how poor we are, does not determine how valuable we are.
The social status or power we hold in this world does not determine how valuable we are either.
What determines value?
There are two factors that determine the value.
First, the value is determined by the worth. (ppt)
If you are going to sell a house that you live in, the price of the house is just as valuable as what is willing to be paid for it.
If someone is willing to pay $ 300,000 for the house, it's worth $ 300,000.
If someone pays $ 500,000, it's worth $ 500,000.
I know someone who runs a small shoe store.
He sells sneakers.
Some are new but some are used.
I was surprised at the price of some of the sneakers.
They look just like normal used sneakers to me but the price was unimaginable.
Some sneakers are not marked with a price at all.
Such sneakers are usually handmade limited items, which are said to be priced when the buyer calls the desired price.
Artworks such as painting and sculpture are just as valuable as how much is paid for.
Picasso's paintings go up to millions of dollars because there are people who would pay such price for his paintings
Therefore, the value is determined by the price which a person is willing to pay for.
Second, a value is determined by who owns it. (ppt)
For example, the same used car will have a much better value depending on who used to own the car.
It is important who drove it.
Elvis Presley's cars are incredibly more expensive than other used cars in the same condition.
Why? Because Elvis used to own the cars.
The clothes are the same.
A dress worn by some famous actress will have a huge premium.
At an auction house, a pair of smelly sneakers were sold for $ 7000.
It is said that the shoes were worn by basketball hero Michael Jordan.
Yes, a value of something is determined by how expensive it sells and who owns it.
If so, who are we?
In 1 Corinthians 7:23, Paul says:
“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.”
Who bought us?
To whom do we belong to?
Jesus bought us, and we are His.
In today’s text, Peter says,
“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…” (verse 9) (ppt)
We are the property of Jesus Christ.
And he bought us.
How much did Jesus pay for us?
Jesus bought us with a huge sacrifice that could not be measured by a price.
He paid with his blood and bought us on the cross.
He had paid a great price for us.
Brothers and sisters, was there any value in us that is equivalent to the life of Jesus? // No.
We were not worth it.
Then, what was the reason why Jesus paid His life for us?
It is just unimaginable, overwhelming, one-sided love of God for us.
After all, we are so precious that Jesus had to pay with the cross for us.
God gave us His Only Son, Jesus.
He loves us that much.
Therefore, we are a worthy being who is not exchangeable even with the whole world.
Let’s look at verse 10.
“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.”
We were not God's possessed people before, but now we are God's possession through the cross of Jesus Christ.
God's possession is priceless.
Then we can see how valuable our existence is.
There was this one member of a church who always lived a pessimistic life before.
She often thought that she should not have been born into this world.
She has a beautiful face, good cooking skills, and many talents and strengths.
Regardless of all the good things she has, she used to view herself as useless.
There was a reason why she felt in this way.
When her mother was conceived with her, her mother wanted to abort the baby after she found out that the baby was a girl.
When she heard the story later, she felt that she was unwanted and useless.
She began to think that it would have been better if she was not born.
Such thought influenced her in many ways in her life.
Her self-esteem was very low.
Then one day, she participated in a spiritual training in the church and experienced the touching of God.
The realization of being beloved by God made her feel precious.
After she realized that she was a precious person, she began to live a life of faith.
Now her perspective of life has changed and she lives a different life than before.
Brothers and sisters, we are all precious to God.
God has called us a God-possessed people.
God paid the death of Jesus, the Son of God, for us.
Therefore, we are precious.
And we are all great.
It is unavoidable that others do not recognize us.
We may be ordinary people when others see us.
But we are not ordinary people.
We are the chosen people of God, the royal priests, the holy nation, and his people.
When we realize our identity, we cannot have an inferiority complex or be small before anyone in this world.
Therefore, I urge you, never to be depressed.
I hope that you will live as the people of God.
What do we do when we live with such a thought and dignity, but when others do not?
Please do not mind them.
But the important thing is that we have to "live true to our identity". (ppt)
We have a responsibility to live like God's people.
We must demonstrate our self-respect and pride as God’s people.
Don’t let anyone laugh at us or look down on us.
Look at verse 9 again.
“you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light…”
This is our responsibility and our duty.
In other words, how should we, who have been called out of the darkness of this world, and have lived as the people of the marvelous light of God, should live?
It means we must live like a priesthood of God and demonstrate a beautiful virtue like a priest. (ppt)
Brothers and sisters, you are children of light and your status has been changed to a people of the kingdom of God.
With this privilege, you should live your life accordingly.
Live a life worthy of the Gospel.
We are not ordinary people.
That does not mean we should be arrogant.
God not only chose us and called us kingly priests, but He called us to His own nation and His people.
Now we must live according to the will of the one who called.
We have to live like children of light.
We must live a life with honesty, appreciation, and loyalty to the Lord.
Who are we?
We are precious beings, great people.
I pray that in the name of the Lord we will realize what we are and dare to live a holy life worthy of the purpose of the Lord’s call. Amen.