By GF Herrin
Have you ever been called out or recognized for something you have done? Maybe you did something at work that involved going the extra mile or you worked extra hours to get a project finished. Or maybe you just happened to be in a situation where you helped someone in need or offered someone some help when their car broke down on the side of the road? It is kind of humbling to be recognized for work you have done isn’t it? With that recognition comes a gratitude for being singled out for doing the right thing. Sometimes, though, when you are recognized, you feel a certain obligation to keep on doing the right thing since you might feel that more attention will be given to you for how you live your life.
If you are a Christian, you have also been called out. Not to live like everyone else but to live in a Christ like way.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but just as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all that you do, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16).
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul (2 Peter 2:9 – 11).
Notice in these passages that there is a clear delineation between the behaviors of the people before they are saved (red font) and the behaviors that they exhibited after conversion (green font). Before they were saved, the people that Peter was writing to were conformed to the lusts of the world. When we think of lusts we automatically think of sexual lust, as it is the most prevalent. However, lust can occur for any object that is worldly. It may be a lust for food, money, power, clothes, real estate, or temporary distractions such as music, TV, movies, or sports. But it is important to note that these “lusts” were things that were clearly marked as former distractions or diversions that the unsaved occupied themselves with in the past.
So, clearly, there was a sharp distinction between the actions that the people engaged in before they were saved by Christ and after they got saved. Similarly, if you have truly been saved you should be able contrast your present style of living to the one that you lived before you were born again. You should be able to point to a particular time when you repented from your sins and began a relationship with God. This is not to say that you have mastered all of your sins or are perfect. However, in your present life, you should have a conviction or guilt within yourself when you sin. Also, if you are leading a changed life, then you should be regularly reading God’s Word, the Bible. For it is in the Bible that we understand what holy behavior is and what it is not.
In two weeks: The Bible, where did it come from, and how is it relevant to us today?
Next week: September 2015, is it shaping up to be a prophetic time?