The apostle Peter gave us the phrase “chosen generation” but the idea of a chosen people is an Old Testament concept. The idea of a nation being set apart goes all the way back to Genesis 12.
What is a Chosen Generation?
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The phrase chosen generation refers to the Israelites who were set apart by God to teach the other nations about Him.
Why Is Israel the Chosen Generation?
In Genesis 12:1-3, God spoke to Abraham and made him a promise.
“Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.3I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (NLT)
The Bible doesn’t record what Abraham had done nothing, if anything, to distinguish himself from the people around him. We only know that God called him to separate from his family and friends in order to obtain a future inheritance.
In fact, God would later tell the Israelites that they had been chosen simply because He loved them.
The LORD did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the LORD loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the LORD rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt (Deuteronomy 7:7-8 NLT).
What Does Chosen Race Mean Today?
But maybe you’re not one of Abraham’s descendants and wonder who is the chosen generation today. The good news is, when Jesus came and died for our sins, He gave us the ability to be adopted into the family of God.
But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Ephesians 2:13, 19 NLT
And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:6 NLT
As members of the family of God, we have been chosen by Him and have a responsibility to act in a way which shows the world that we have been chosen.
Qualities of a Chosen Generation
In Peter’s first epistle to the believers, he wrote these words,
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 marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9 ESV
But what does it mean to be a royal priesthood? Hod’s people are both holy and royal. As such, there are some distinct traits that will be visible in God’s chosen people.
1. God’s chosen generation is holy.
When God chose the Israelites above all the nations, He intended for them to teach others about Him. They were set apart to be a kingdom of priests and a holy people.
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” Exodus 19:5-6 ESV
After 430 years in slavery, the Israelites practiced idolatry just as the nations around them did. This was one of the reasons God had them settle in at Mount Sinai region so He could teach them about Himself. God spent a year or so expressing how He expected the Israelites to act.
One of the things that kept coming up was that He was holy and they needed to be holy too. If they kept the standard He had set, He would bless them so much their neighbors would want to know more about their God and serve Him too.
2. God’s chosen people show gratitude.
Like the Israelites, there was nothing special that we had done to be chosen as God’s people. The death of Jesus, the Son of God, is a gift freely given to all. As people of a chosen generation, we should express gratitude for the sacrifice Jesus paid so willingly on our behalf.
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
3. God’s chosen generation embody the fruit of the Spirit.
The most telling quality of those who belong to the family of God is the way they treat each other. God’s chosen people love as God loves and this is evident in their actions.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:12-16 ESV
Do you have the attitude of a chosen generation? God’s chosen people are not puffed up with pride. They are humble and have an attitude of service.
We Are A Chosen Generation
As Christians, we are called to be separate. While God created us as social beings and wants us to have great friendships, we have to keep our priorities straight.
God calls us a chosen generation, a royal priesthood in 1 Peter 2:9. He wants us to be different. He wants us to separate ourselves from the crowd.
Have you ever seen royalty that is not in some way differentiated from the rest of the population? Isn’t a priest easily identified even among the other members of his congregation?
That’s because they were called to be separate. As Christians sometimes we have to step away from other people in order to do what God wants us to do.
After all, we can’t serve a King if we are still rolling in the mud. At some point, we have to allow ourselves to be cleaned up so that we can fully function in the role to which we are assigned.
We are a chosen generation – a people set apart. We are royalty. We are holy. We have to admit that. Accept it and step into our new identity in Christ.
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