The Expository Files

Now, Isn't That Peculiar?

Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:9

A young man was searching for a church home in his community. Week after week he visited one denomination after another until one Sunday he  found himself worshiping with a very peculiar congregation.

When it came time for the music portion of the service, the entire congregation sang together, singing Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual songs
accompanied by no choir or mechanical instruments of music. (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) Now that was peculiar!

The Lord's Supper was offered to all present, no questions asked. Each person was asked to judge themselves whether or not they should eat the
Supper. (1 Cor. 11:28) This was not a social meal; those were held away from the time and place of worship. (1 Cor. 11:22) The visitor came to understand that the Supper was offered each Lord's day. (Acts 20:7) Now that was peculiar!

Later on in the service the congregation took up a collection and invited the visitors to NOT give, as the collection was the responsibility of that
congregation. (1 Cor. 16:2) This congregation neither received nor sent funds from nor to any institution outside of the local church. Now that was

He noticed that no women were taking a leading part in the service. He later found out from a flyer that was handed to him that the leadership in the
congregation consisted of only heterosexual males. (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6). When reading further in the flyer he came to understand the congregation was completely autonomous and neither controlled or was controlled by any outside congregation or convention. Now that was peculiar!

As the service drew to a close the visitor was impressed by just how much Bible had been read and referred to in the hour he had been there. The
speaker invited each person present to get themselves right with God. For those that were not following Christ- they were urged to study the Bible,
reach a faith in God and Jesus as His Son, making a confession of that faith, and be baptized for the remission of their sins. (Acts 2:38) Now that
was peculiar!

Examples of how to come into a right relationship with God were shown from the book of Acts. The visitor was very interested in the conversions of Saul of Tarsus, the Philippian Jailer and the Ethiopian Nobleman. (Acts 16: 25; 9:1-22; 8:26ff.) It was all very peculiar!

The visitor understood that the congregation was reading through the Bible together and studying the readings on Sunday evenings. He was interested in studying the Bible himself so he began attending the congregation on Sunday evenings while he continued his Sunday morning search for a church home. One Sunday evening the congregation was studying in the epistles at: Titus 2:14: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. And 1 Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

A light bulb came on in the visitor's mind. Upon arriving home he consulted his Bible dictionary for the word Peculiar: "as used in the phrase "peculiar
people" in 1Pe 2:9, is derived from the Lat. peculium, and denotes, as rendered in the Revised Version ("a people for God's own possession"), a
special possession or property. The church is the "property" of God, his "purchased possession" (Eph 1:14; R.V., "God's own possession")." [Easton's Bible Dictionary.]

Now he realized why everything seemed peculiar - it was supposed to be!

By Carey Dillinger
From Expository Files 11.9; September 2004