These two verses from Isaiah 42 have been stuck in my head for over a week! As I was studying in preparation for last Sunday’s sermon text on 1 Peter 2:1-10, I discovered that Peter clearly referenced these verses. He says, “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, emphasis added). What a powerful combination of ideas. Peter’s reference of Isaiah 42:6-7 is clear, but he adds a layer to it. In Isaiah, it is God the Father who has called us through his servant Jesus, who takes our hand and keeps us in Jesus, who gives a promise of salvation to us and to those around us by Jesus, who gives us eyes to see, sets us free, and lights up our world—and all in Jesus! All of this is present in Peter’s writing, but there is now proclamation by the ones set free. We proclaim all those excellencies, so others might experience the same thing. There is no way around it.
We are to take part in that which God the Father is doing through Jesus Christ the Son by His Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus was getting at in the final chapter of Matthew. He told his disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Paul is on board with this same concept. He says, “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:19, 20). God entrusts what to us? What a wonderful and scary responsibility!
And here’s the point to all this: don’t balk at that responsibility. Own it! If God has given you the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, then you have a story to tell, and there is power in personal testimony. As you dive into God’s Word, attend our Wednesday night dinner and study time, come on Sundays to Sunday School and morning worship, you will grow in your knowledge of God. And as your knowledge of God grows, you will be surprised to learn that your articulation of what God did and is doing in your life grows, too. It is a wonderful cycle of blessing and responsibility—and all in the Lord! Get these verses stuck in your head for a while. Think on the wonderful excellencies of the Gospel. And every step of the way, remember that Jesus is an ever-present reality in our lives. The light has been turned on for us who believe. Let’s proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Blessings,