Read Exodus 19.
The description of God coming down to meet with the people is truly chilling to imagine. It is awesome in the truest definition of the word. Imagine the sight and sound. The display filled every one of the human senses with God's voice, smoke, fire, earthquake, trumpet, and thunder.
Before issuing what will later be known as the Ten Commandments, God issued His intentions for His people. This description of
Israel is only
intensified in the New Testament in regard to who believers in Jesus are.
1. God's people are His treasured possession. (v.5)
A prime characteristic of a treasure is its high value to the owner. There is intrinsic worth. And, as Owner of everything, God's people are His special possession.
The Apostle Paul stated, "...do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
2. God's people are a kingdom of priests. (v.6a)
The LORD is the King of kings and His people are working on expanding His kingdom. A priest represents God to people and performs certain tasks on God's behalf. In the Old Testament they offered sacrifices to God, including those to cover sin.
The New Testament makes a very clear distinction about believers in Jesus under the New Covenant. First, there are no more sacrifices for sin. Jesus died on the cross, once for all (Hebrews 10:12). He is our High Priest and He alone intercedes for us to the Father. 1 Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
Then, the Apostle Peter explains, "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. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
3. God's people are a holy nation. (v.6b)
The world has too many people saying they are Christians when their lifestyle is no different than those who know nothing of Jesus Christ. Their speech, their relationships, their use of money, their habits, their thinking, their desires, and the investment of their lives betrays what they say they believe. God's people are different than those around them.
1 Peter 1:14-"As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you holy, you also be holy in all your conduct."