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When God had delivered the nation of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, He led them to the foot of Mount Sinai. There He entered into a covenant with them: "'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" (Exo. 19:5,6). Similar words were spoken on other occasions. In Lev. 26:12, for instance, God said, "I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people." Clearly, it was God's will for the nation of Israel to enjoy a unique relationship with Him.
But as special as the relationship was that God entered into with the physical nation of Israel, that relationship was only meant to foreshadow and prepare for the even more special union between God and spiritual Israel, which is the church of Jesus Christ. Today, those who are in Christ through obedience to the gospel are "God's people" (1 Pt. 2:10). Peter says to us, "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 Pt. 2:9). In Jesus Christ, we are the unique possession of God.
It is impressive to see that the blessings we enjoy as Christians (blessings we sometimes take for granted) are the very blessings that God promised as far back as Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 22:18; etc.). We are the heirs of everything God was working toward in the Old Testament, the recipients of the grace that was the culmination of God's eternal purpose. Speaking of the great people of faith in the Old Testament, the Hebrew writer says, "All these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect" (Hb. 11:39,40). For the theme of our study this week, let's consider the idea that as Christians, we are God's own special people. With the blood of His dear Son, God has purchased us to be His possession (Ac. 20:28). As God's people, we ought to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called" (Eph. 4:1).
Monday: Genesis 22:15-18
Key Idea: God promised that He would bless all nations in the "seed" of Abraham.
Questions for Family Growth: How had Abraham's faith been tested in this chapter? What did God mean by saying that in Abraham's "seed" (NKJV) He would bless all the nations of the earth? What do we learn in Gal. 3:15-18 about God's promise to Abraham?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:26.
Tuesday: Galatians 3:7-9,25-29
Key Idea: Christians are the recipients of the blessings of God's promise to Abraham.
Questions for Family Growth: Who are those identified as the "sons" of Abraham and "heirs according to promise"? In vv. 7,9, what does it mean to be "of faith"? According to v.27, what does baptism have do to with being "in Christ"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:27-30.
Wednesday: Hebrews 11:39,40
Key Idea: We today can enjoy the fulfillment of all that God did in past ages.
Questions for Family Growth: What is meant by the statement that God "provided something better for us"? Who are "they," and how is it that "apart from us they should not be made perfect"? In Hb. 12:1, how can their faithfulness be an encouragement to us?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:31.
Thursday: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Key Idea: Physical Israel foreshadowed the relationship of God to His people in Christ today.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the basic instruction that Christians are given in this passage? How does Paul use quotations concerning Old Testament Israel to support his exhortation to New Testament Christians?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:32.
Friday: 1 Peter 2:9,10
Key Idea: Christians are "the people of God."
Questions for Family Growth: In what sense are Christians "a chosen race"? A "royal priesthood"? A "holy nation" and a "people for his own possession"? As the people of God, what are we to "proclaim"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:33.