who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:14 KJV
Did God just call us to be a peculiar people? Is that what we have to look forward to as a Christian, to be strange?
Peculiar as someone who loves God, strives to please Him, and do good works for the glory of Him. Why do we have to be odd? We are already trying to find our place in this world and God says we get to be His odd people. Is it possible to shine a light on God’s love, compassion and hope to someone who doesn’t know God if we appear to be oddballs ?
Recently, I made a commitment to dig deep to understand God’s word. I read a New American Standard Bible. When I feel stumped I first look at different versions, specifically King James Version (KJV). You may have heard, as I have, the KJV to be more accurate,. It’s also a harder to version read. That is why there are many versions available to help us understand God’s word. I actually started this post with the KJV instead of my NAS because I loved where it took me and I wanted to share!
who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:14 NAS
What does God mean when He calls us His own possession? As a believer, I know I am faithfully His. But what does that mean to God? How are we God’s possession when He gives us free will? When a non-believer sees this verse, how do we explain that we are God’s property? Again, I look at the world today where if one is told they must do something (outside of work, and even that is under debate), or are submissive to someone they revolt against it. Gone are the days of just walking away – there is rebellion over it.
From my Bible app I noticed the KJV says ‘a peculiar people’ instead of ‘possession’ . Being peculiar is something I have tried not to be. I’ve always been a little strange to others. Maybe I can take this as I have been God’s peculiar child since I was young? I suppose I could take that as a win!
It wouldn’t be hard to justify seeing ourselves as a strange, wonderfully made in His image, faithful because we are His symbol of possession. Yet, I still don’t know how to explain this to a non-believer. I have many friends and even relatives who don’t trust God. I can only imagine these words wouldn’t help them want to know God. I want to understand. What am I missing?
Recently, I learned of Biblehub.com. I’m not gonna lie, I was confused on how to use it at first, BUT…I love it! Words matter – and in the Bible words really matter. I use this site to translate words to their Hebrew/Greek meanings to better understand the context of words. I searched Titus 2:14 and looked up the word peculiar. Here’s what I found.
Peculiar comes from the Greek periousios, meaning of one’s own possession. It’s used to identify something that is costly, treasured, select, specially chosen. The only time it’s used in the Bible is in Titus 2:14. Biblehub.com says: what exists in abundance (plenteousness) and hence of surpassing value. This describes believers because they belong to the Lord as His prized treasure.Biblehub.com
We are not strange, we are His prized treasure!
Mind blowing moment for me! Peculiar means something that is costly (worth a lot), treasured, select (one-of-a-kind) specially chosen! Not strange or odd? His people exists in abundance and are of surpassing value! As a follower of God, you outrank value! Can you imagine the most expensive thing on earth and you surpass it’s value? How did I not know peculiar also had this meaning?
I had to fully dig deep into Titus 2:14. I wanted to know if there was more. Back to Biblehub.com where I found more encouragement:
- Iniquity: the utter disregard for God’s law (His written and living word). Greek: anomia: includes the end impact of law breaking – i.e. it’s negative influence on a persons soul (status before God)
- Purify: cleanse, make clean, literally. Ceremonially, or spiritually, according to context. Greek: katharizó: make pure (“clean”) removing all admixture (intermingling of filth.)
- Zealous: as one who is eagerly devoted to a person or thing. A zealot. Greek: zélótés: boils over with passion.
- Good: beautiful, as an outward sign of the inward good, noble, honorable character; worthy, and seen to be so. Greek: kalos: attractively good; good that inspires (motivates) others to embrace what is lovely (beautiful, praiseworthy); i.e. well done so as to be winsome (appealing).
- Works: work, task, employment; a deed, action; that which is wrought or made, a work. Greek: érgon: (“work”) is a deed (action) that carries out (completes) an inner desire (intension, purpose).
When I first read Titus 2:14, I was thankful in an, “I am happy to be a believer and I know I am different from the world” kind of way. Now, after digging deep, I see I am much more than just a number for “team God”. I am God’s possession! I am specially chosen!
who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all disregard for God's law, and remove all filth unto himself a prized treasure, boiling with passion to do a praiseworthy purpose.
I know what I would tell a non-believer. When you trust God, and believe in Him and His Son, Jesus, who died for your sins, you become God’s possession. To God, you hold a value that surpasses our understanding – you have a worth greater than you can imagine. God purifies your soul. He wipes away your filth. You may not forget our own filth, but your desire to follow God’s word boils over with a distinguishing passion. When you believe, you are filled with the Holy Spirit who reveals to your your purpose. You are God’s peculiar people. You are His prized treasure. You are His possession. He gave Himself to us, you are eager to give yourself back.
Lets show off our spunky faith!