6.2.3.2 The people of God

The image of the people of God refers to the fact that God has chosen a single people from among all the various peoples: "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers ..." (Deuteronomy 7: 6-8).

The history of Israel is founded on God's activity of redemption. He liberated the people from slavery in Egypt and brought them into the Promised Land. It was to this people that He sent His Son, and it was in the midst of this people that God became Man. Israel, however, rejected Jesus as the Messiah and did not believe in Him: for God's people of the old covenant, the Son of God became a stumbling stone and a rock of offence.

By contrast, there are those who, as God's people of the new covenant, believe in Jesus: "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people ... who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy" (1 Peter 2: 9-10).

Here the church of Christ is shown both in its present state as well as in its intended form. At present it prefigures what it will be in perfect fashion in the future.

See also