God’s plan for affecting the world and seeing His influence grow has always been to have a people who will host His presence in such a way that others are drawn to Him. In the Old Testament God called Israel to fulfill this purpose, to be set apart for Him. At the heart of Israel’s public life was the Temple, which was regarded as the place where God lived and the place where He could be encountered. The priests who served in the temple had the role of bridge builders between God and people. They represented God to the world and offered sacrifice to take away the sin which ruined the lives of people, disrupting their relationship with God.
These unique symbols and motifs which nurtured Israel’s sense of identity and calling, Peter now takes and applies to the Church of Jesus Christ. We are the community at whose heart is the presence of God. We are set apart by God to be His unique possession and to advance His Kingdom. We are chosen and blessed by Him for the benefit and blessing of others.
The objective of this Bible study is to help the Church understand more clearly our calling to be God’s servants entrusted with responsibility for serving others on His behalf. To help us in this, we reflect on some of the key pictures the Bible uses to help us grasp our unique role.