Declaring and Displaying the Excellencies of Christ

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October 14th, 2018

I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country & to help others to do the same - C.S Lewis

Main Idea: God redefines our story in Christ and then commissions us to declare and display the gospel   


Peter quotes a series of different OT texts that were originally used to identify Israel and now applies them to the church. 

 The church is identified as:

1.     A chosen race (Isa. 43:20-21; cf. Deut. 7:6-8)

2.     A royal priesthood (Ex. 19:5-6)

3.     A holy nation (Ex. 19:5-6)

4.     A people for his own possession (Ex. 19:5-6)

5.     God’s people who have received mercy (Hos. 1:6-10, 2:23) 

In Jesus Christ, the true Bridegroom, our true husband, God came into this world and entered the marketplace of the world and bought us, not with money, but with his own blood, not at the cost of emotional pain, which is what Hosea did, but at the cost of infinite suffering on the cross. That’s your wonder. There’s your identity - Tim Keller

God names people and then conforms them to this new name. We are being shaped to our new name in Christ. - Russell Moore


The purpose of our salvation is that we may proclaim the “excellencies” of the one who has called us into salvation. The church is a royal priesthood that declares, meaning that the prophet, priest, and king roles see in the OT and in Jesus himself is now expressed in the church. 

 We are naturally wired to be a “proclaiming people:” 

  • What are we proclaiming and celebrating with others? 

  • Does this fit with our story being redefined by the grace and mercy that God has shown to us in Christ? 

The church collectively is called to be a proclaiming people. All of God’s people have a role to play as we are commissioned to declare the gospel and to make known the excellencies of Christ. 


As “sojourners and exiles,” our lives should reflect our true country and or true home. Therefore, as we await our true home, Christians are to:

1.     Abstain from the passions of the flesh (lit. "over-desire") because they wage war against our soul

2.     Keep your conduct among the Gentiles (unbelievers) honorable ("attractive" or "beautiful")

Peter assumes that we will be accused of being “evildoers” who will be mistreated and misrepresented. The way to overcome this is by living exemplary lives that are attractive to unbelievers. 

 Peter expects that our displaying and displaying of the gospel will result in unbelievers being drawn into the good news of the gospel, leading them to glorify God when Jesus returns. Peter calls for a hopeful expectation in this life of the gospel going forth and bearing fruit.