Christ’s Peculiar People
Titus 2:11-14 says: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
“Peculiar” here is from the Greek word that is #4041 in Strong’s Concordance.
perioúsios, per-ee-oo’-see-os… being beyond usual, i.e. special (one’s own):—peculiar.
The word peculiar can refer to something odd or unusual in a way that is not pleasant. Yet the word is used in Titus 2:14 as a reference to something distinctive and special to God which He is pleased with.
The Apostle John obviously had the same thing in mind in addressing the Christians of the churches in Asia in his introduction of the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 1:4-7: “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
Those who are washed from their sins in Christ’s blood are who have been made kings and priests to God and His Father. There is no distinction between these. Both phrases describe Christ’s peculiar people. And you just have to read the rest of the Book of Revelation, especially chapters 2 and 3, and the final two chapters (21 and 22), to know that there is a character and a manner of life which must characterize anyone who would be considered among, and endure continually as one of Christ’s peculiar people. Study the phrase “he that overcomes” in the Book of Revelation and see that the only alternative to walking in keeping with the descriptions of Christ’s peculiar people is being under the condemnation of the world, the condemnation of those who are not among Christ’s peculiar people, those who do not exercise and walk by a living faith in Him.
Revelation 12:11: “And they (referring to those among Christ’s peculiar people who endure in a living faith in Him until the end) overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Jesus spoke of the same in the Gospels when He was questioned regarding the afterlife.
Luke 20:34b-36: “The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”
Along the same lines, the Apostle Peter wrote the following to the Christians whom he oversaw.
1 Peter 2:9-12: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
Peter is exhorting Christians to run their Christian race faithfully. Evangelical Christianity now tells people to think their Christian race is as good as over and won as soon as they are born again (the new birth properly understood though is the entrance to the Christian race). And evangelical Christ now typically doesn’t lead people to an authentic new birth in Christ either (usually related to teaching counterfeit repentance, which practically is easy-believe-ism, and does not lead people to the surrender to the painful crucifixion of the flesh in coming to Christ which is necessary to enter into new life in Him. Authentic birthing of life is painful, not easy.
The Apostle Paul thus wrote what we know as Romans six to the Roman Christians. Note that there is of necessity an identification with Him in His death to sin and living to God- yet there is also a daily reckoning of this in practicality which must be walked out amidst the trials and temptations of life. This is in general the repentance one must exercise to be reckoned among Christ’s peculiar people, and the manner of life which must be followed through on for one to endure among Christ’s peculiar people and to inherit eternal life through Him that one might be counted among His peculiar people in eternity. This all goes back to Titus 2:11-14 which study opened with.
Revelation 19:4-9: “And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
How does one come to be among the blessed who will rejoice and not be ashamed when Jesus Christ comes back to rule and reign? The answer is not mysterious (in the sense of the logic to it and the practical outworking of it).
Romans chapter 6: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin (Paul is writing to Christians who have already been born again), live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (those so abiding in Jesus Christ are not under the law’s condemnation- the very essence of doing righteousness before God is walking in His law and the very essence of sin is transgressing His law- 1 John 3:4- Paul is making it clear in this very passage that Jesus has not made God’s law void- if He had done so, then we could indeed continue in sin that grace might abound). What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity (lawless deed unto lawless deed); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? (true Christians are ashamed of the sins they have committed in the past and their heart is to not continue in sin) for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life (before we read the last verse of the chapter, consider the context at this point and understand that those who quote the final verse of the chapter rarely honestly and accurately speak of the context it is quoted in- they usually don’t even make any attempt to bring up the context of the verse at all- it would destroy the 1, 2, 3, easy salvation scheme which they promote). For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Exercising faith in Jesus means identifying with His death to sin on the cross in order to live to God and be in His grace (in truth) through Him. Christ’s peculiar people walk in newness of life.
Aaron’s email is: [email protected]