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"Peculiar"

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.


The study of the Bible is the study of language. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through the means of language. God originally made choice of the Hebrew and Greek language to reveal his written truth to mankind. Since then, he has been pleased to bless the translation of His word into many other languages.


This section will be designed to glean Wisdom from the Words of the Holy Bible, in its Greek and Hebrew context.



The Bible declares that God's people are a "peculiar" people. When we think of the word peculiar we think of that which is odd, or weird. This is not the meaning of the word peculiar here.


The Greek manuscript form of the word (The actual word found in your Greek NT) is


περιούσιον

periousion


The Greek lemma (dictionary form) used here for peculiar is


περιούσιος

periousios






Here we have a special and a specially chosen people who are

adapted to or

reserved for

a particular purpose.




Titus 2:14 is the only place where this particular word is found in the entire

New Testament!


This Greek work is actually a compound word, meaning it is composed of two Greek words joined together. Those words are:


1. περί - pĕri, (per-ee´) - meaning "around"


and


2. εἰμί ĕimi, (i-mee) - Meaning "to be"





Kenneth Wuest describes the understanding of this word by giving us a picture.




We are His special treasure
Captured By Christ


Wuest indicates that "as the circle is around the dot, so God is around each one of His saints. The circle monopolizes the dot, and has the dot all to itself. So God has His own all to Himself. They are his own private, unique possession. He has reserved them for Himself.


I Thessalonians 1:1 has the same idea


1 Thessalonians 1:1

Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.


So then, as you can see, this is a place of unique and precious privilege. That word "precious" brings to mind another verse and another thought....


Look at I Peter 2:7-9


1 Peter 2:7–9

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 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:



Certainly, Jesus is precious to those of us who believe, but did you know that there is a "deeper level" of "preciousness" here described? Believers experience something here with Christ, that you and I simply MUST understand.


The Bible, in the end of this passage, states that we have been (because of our relationship and unique position with Christ) called into something ("his marvelous light"). Because of our unique position as his "peculiar" people, we share some things with him that no one else in the world shares. We have entered into some things that are indeed unique. Those things are symbolized as "marvelous light."


One of those things relates to the word "precious." There is none so precious to the Father as His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. That is a fact! But it is also a fact that we, as believers, find ourselves enjoying that place of preciousness with Jesus, because of our unique relationship with Him! Because we are in Jesus, the Father sees us as just as precious as Jesus! In fact, everything that Jesus is to the Father, so are we. The Father loves us as much as He loves His own Son! We should pillow our head tonight with gratefulness!


Alright, lets get back to the "peculiar" people of God in greater detail



We are peculiar in one way because of the means through which we were purchased (by his sacrificial death).


Titus 2:14

14 Who gave himself for us......


We are peculiar for another reason, in this passage, as well. Look at Titus 2:13


Titus 2:13

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;


We are peculiar people because of the way we will be getting out of this world. Only believers have such a hope to look forward to.




We are a costly treasure and a precious possession to Him. We are his very special, private, and prized possession! Can you imagine this?


Inside that circle is indeed a place of rare privilege, but it is also a place of great protection.


This does not mean that we will always be shielded from harm or difficulty, but it does mean that nothing can get to us in that circle except God Himself allows it. It also means that when we do face trials or temptations, everything we need, we have for our victory.


Consider this diagram



The circle around the "dot" represents God
The Central Dot is us

Nothing can get into this place of privilege unless God allows it.


Dr. Wuest describes this unique position as follows:


"God in His wisdom plans the test, and limits the temptation.

God in His love sends the test, and permits the temptation.


God in His grace meets the test and overcomes the temptation.


In his wisdom He plans and limits.


The purpose of Christian suffering is that it is a means whereby sin is put out of our lives and likeness to Jesus produced."


In this view, Christian suffering shows God's love for that saint. (It is the picture of a doctor who has to treat that which is wrong with that which is painful or distasteful in order to effect a cure or an improvement in health).


The saving enabling Grace of God (described in Titus 2:11-14) is sufficient to surmount every difficulty, comfort any sorrow, overcome any temptation."



I Cor. 10:13

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.



There is one other thing that I want you to see about this passage in Titus 2:14. Paul is actually referencing / quoting from the Old Testament.


Paul, in using this word, "peculiar," is making a very important comparison. He is using "Covenant" language.


Look at Exodus 19:5. Who, in this passage, is identified as God's peculiar treasure?

Exodus 19:5

...then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:


The covenant language is echoed in Deuteronomy......



Deuteronomy 7:6

6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.


Deuteronomy 14:2

2 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.


Deuteronomy 26:18

18 And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;


A partial quote from one of my commentaries. helps bring this truth into focus...


"In Titus 2:14 Paul uses laos periousios (“chosen people”) to allude to the deepest traditions of God’s interaction with Israel......Paul is looking both backward and forward with the phrase “chosen (Peculiar) people”: back toward a history where God has made Himself known to Israel and forward toward a future where “the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11)


The depths of understanding here suggested in this simple phrase, "peculiar people," are profound. Paul intended this to be a vast reservoir of meaning and purpose.


References:


Douglas Mangum and E. Tod Twist, Titus, ed. Douglas Mangum and Derek R. Brown, Lexham Research Commentaries (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2013), Tt 2:14.


Herbert Preisker, “Περιούσιος,” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 58.


Kenneth Wuest, “Word Studies in the Greek New Testament - Volume III” (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1973), 15.

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