February 11, 2014.
“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.”
(1 Peter 2:9-10)
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to remind us today not to forget our marvelous transformation in dying in Christ and raising anew like him, holy, receiving the promise of everlasting life that far outweighs the delights and pleasures this life has to offer. We are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” Sanctified, set apart, like the one who called us to his infinite glory.
Tonight I am wrapping up a three wee session of devos (they were not in a series, just three lessons I thought good to speak on) with this concept of holiness. I have written a short piece about our calling to be holy before, but there is so much more to say about it, though I do not believe words have the full ability to describe the concept.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
We are called to a new life. Not a new death. Not a new “I can’t do all these fun things anymore because God doesn’t want me to.” A new life. Paul says though we were once dead in our sins, now we are made alive in Christ (Eph. 2:4-10). Isn’t that a beautiful concept? Do you see how this new life and holiness are so interconnected? “Once you were dead to sin, but now you are alive in Christ,” and ” “once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” When we are raised through baptism to be united with Christ and take part in his life, the only true life regardless of what the world tries to sell, we truly are a new creature. Old burdensome, troubling, sinful things have past away and we are free to walk in tandem with our Savior who made it all possible. Take a deep breath, for you have been made free.
So now we are a holy people, one for His own possession. Our Lord said “Be holy, for I am holy.” (I Pet. 1:16) Let us each walk according to our calling, lest the name of Christ be disgraced and we put our soul in jeopardy. Paul writes on this concept time and again throughout his letters because he cares about the souls that are under his wing of instruction, as he set up many churches along his missionary journeys.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Take time to be holy. Holiness is not a concept for the “better than you” Christians, nor does it only apply to the preacher and church leadership. Each and every one of us has been made holy through the washing by the blood of Christ. Once we were not worthy to be called sons of God, but now we have been made worthy through his blood. Brethren, this is no light matter.
It is written, you shall be holy, for I am holy.
Suggested Daily Reading: Romans 6, Colossians 2, I Peter 1-2
Think on these things.