Scatterlings are God’s people who live to glorify Him

1 Peter 2:9-12 – Scatterlings are God’s people, who live to glorify Him. A sermon by Rev. Colin Pretorius.

About halfway into the first act of the stage production of the musical Les Miserables, the paroled convict Jean Valjean confesses his identity in the song “Who am I?[1] If you’ve seen the show or per­haps watched one of the movies, you’ll remember how in this powerful song, Valjean acknow­ledges who he is. And that acknowledgement in a sense sets him off on the next part of his journey – the continuing journey of a man who was redeemed from the terribleness of the life of a paroled con­vict by the gracious act of a benevolent bishop. The bishop had prevented his re-arrest and had re­minded him that he now had to live like one belonging to God.

In a very real sense this is what the apostle Peter is saying in the section we’ve just read. In the pre­vious chapter he reminded his readers who they are. Remember that this letter was originally writ­ten to believers who were scattered across a large area. And Peter’s telling these scatterlings that they’re the people chosen by God, sprinkled with the blood of Christ and sanctified through the Holy Spirit.[2]  They’ve been born again[3] and they’ve been ransomed from the futile ways of their fathers[4] And because of that, he goes on in the first couple of verses of chapter 2, they are to live in a parti­cu­lar way. They’re to set aside all malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander. In­stead they are to seek – no, they are to long for the spiritual milk of God’s Word as they live for Him.[5] And as we saw a few weeks ago, Peter then pointed them to Jesus, the living stone rejected by men but chosen by and precious to the Father.[6] It is in Jesus that they will be built up, and if they believe in Jesus they will not be put to shame no matter what their circumstances.

In verses 9-12 Peter expands on this theme of living for God by reminding his readers – and that of course includes you and me today – who they are. He reminds them of their identity in Christ. Then he gives them two examples of how they are to live and finally he reminds them why they are to live that way.

  • In verses 9 and 10 he tells them who or what they are;
  • In verses 11 and 12 he tells them how they are to live; and
  • In all the verses he tells them why they are to live that way.


[1] Herbert Kretzmer, Claude Michel Schönberg. Who am I? Les Misérables: The Complete Symphonic Recording, 1989.

[2] 1 Peter 1:1-2.

[3] 1 Peter 1:23.

[4] 1 Peter 1:18-19.

[5] 1 Peter 2:1-2.

[6] 1 Peter 2:4-8.