. . . that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Immediately preceding the quote above, Peter declares that the people of God are a chosen people. We are, in his words, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” In other words, we are distinct from the world. This is all because of the work of God through Jesus Christ. As Peter goes on to say, there was a time when we were not God’s people, and there was a time when we were not recipients of the mercy of God. In Christ, however, this is all changed. This is good—it is very, very good.
Being a “holy nation” and a “royal priesthood” has implications. It means that we are, as mentioned above, a distinct people. We are not only distinct from the world, but we also are distinct from any and all false narratives that work to lead us away from the true gospel. We are also distinct in that we are sanctified—we are made holy through the work of God in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are a people set apart as God’s own possession. We are special and precious to him.
God initiates and effects the long, arduous process of transforming us into the likeness of Christ. God’s work in our metamorphosis is meant not only to allow us to be near to him in
holiness and righteousness, but also that we may be a light in this world. He has called us out of our darkened past—as Peter states—in order that our light-filled lives may have an influence on the world. Through his gracious gift of salvation, God has given each of us a story, and he has empowered each of us to bring the light of Christ into dark places. He has fitted us to declare his excellencies.