Scripture : 1 Peter 2:9-10
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”
A Chosen Generation
One of the most important definitions of the church is a chosen generation of God’s people. A generation is not only a people who live in the same period of time, but a people who pursue the same calling during that period of time as well. The church is a people chosen by God whose calling is to proclaim the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
The Specific Calling of a Generation
The church has been around on this earth for about two thousand years since her birth on the day of Pentecost and has been going through many generations. While the ultimate and general calling of the church remains the same throughout all generations, the specific fulfillment of that calling is different in each generation. While the ultimate calling of an individual believer does not change throughout the church age, that is, to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29), the specific fulfillment of that calling is different in each generation. For example, the specific calling of the 16th century generation of the church is to be justified by faith (Romans 1:17), which is the first step to be conformed to the image of Christ. It is know as the reformation period or the generation of reformers.
A Prophetic Picture of the Church
The journey of the children of Israel going out of Egypt through the wilderness into the land of Canaan in the Old Testament is a prophetic picture of the church’s journey on this earth. Egypt represents the world where we are enslaved by sin and the flesh, wilderness represents the place where we are humbled and tested through trials and temptations, where we learn to depend on God in our daily life ; whereas Canaan represents the kingdom of heaven where we experience abundant life and the fullness of Christ.
The Crossing Over and the Fulfillment of A Prophecy
Where are we now as the church in the 21st century? What kind of generation that God would like us to be? At this moment, God is raising up a new generation of His church who possess a different spirit (Numbers 14:24), a people who dare to be different from the majority for His sake and for His cause. This new generation will be different because they have crossed over from the wilderness to the land of Canaan in their consciousness. They are ready to fulfill the prophecy spoken by the officers of the children of Israel who commanded the people when they were about to cross over the Jordan:
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.” (Joshua 3:3-4)
From the Wilderness to the Land of Canaan.
In the prophecy of the officers of the children of Israel, the ark of the covenant represents the Lord Jesus and two thousand cubits represents two thousand years. As the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus received the Spirit without measure from His Father (John 3:34) that enabled Him to manifest the fullness of His Father and took dominion over all things on this earth two thousand years ago. Now, thousand years after the Lord Jesus, for the first time, the church with a new generation of believers, will follow Him, crossing over from the wilderness to the land of Canaan to receive the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13) by the Spirit and take dominion over all things on this earth. The wilderness consciousness is a state where we struggle with our needs and wants, and where God tries to remove our love for the world completely from our heart. The Canaan consciousness is a state where we no longer struggle with our needs and wants because we have seen that God truly supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and that by delighting ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). We are ready to go into the world and take dominion of the world by the kingdom of heaven because the love of the world is no longer in us.
Remembering the Spiritual Basics
The new generation of the church will not forget the spiritual basic, which is the covenant of circumcision (Joshua 5:2-3). Circumcision is the cutting off of the flesh of the foreskin. For the church, this circumcision is not that which is outward in the flesh, but that which is inward in the heart (Romans 2:28-29). This new generation will let the cross of Christ cut deep inside their heart that they are able to put off the body of the sins of the flesh (Colossians 2:11). Moreover, in regards to lawful things, they will not allow themselves to be brought under the power of any nor will they allow just anything in their lives, but only those that are helpful and edifying (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23).
Living by the Wealth of the Word of God
When the second generation of the children of Israel had entered the land of Canaan, which was described as a land flowing with milk and honey (Joshua 5:6), they no longer had manna as their food, but they ate the the produce of the land (Joshua 5:12). Manna was the children of Israel’s food given in portion for their daily survival in their wilderness whereas the produce of the land was the children of Israel’s food available in abundance for their nourishment and enjoyment. The new generation of the church will no longer live just by the little portion of the word of God everyday for their spiritual survival, but by the wealth and abundance of the word of God for their spiritual nourishment and enjoyment (Jeremiah 15:16).