Living a Life Set Apart

Posted by on Oct 29, 2008 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

1 Pet 2:9-12

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (NIV)

Today’s post is not an easy one and I am sure to step on some toes. That is not my intent. I had another rather lighthearted post ready to go, but am convicted I would be remiss if I did not address this as one believer in Christ to another.

Please read the Scripture above and come back to the next paragraph so you’ll have God’s Word on your mind.

In verse 9, Peter reminds the readers of this letter that they as believers in Christ (whether Jewish or Gentile believers) are singled out by God to live a life as His royal priests. They are to be holy and set apart. They belong to God as His special and chosen people.

According to the Scripture, they are to declare His praises, His eminent qualities. In other words, they are to live so that their heavenly Father’s qualities are evident in their lives. They are to serve as witnesses of His glory and grace…being light in a dark world.

“Darkness” in this passage refers to a time when the believers were not believers, but were pagans. Pagans are lost and ignorant of God’s salvation.

God’s “wonderful light” illumines those who are His because they have received mercy.

So, those who are saved belong to God and are to represent Him.

Then in the next two verses (11-12) we see some more. Believers are to live as aliens or strangers in a world that is not their home. Just as their beliefs are rejected by the world, they are to not give in to the world’s sinful desires. They are to abstain from looking and acting like the world, like pagans. Remember, they are set apart.

They are to abstain from the world’s pull (paganism) not only for their spiritual well-being, but also to maintain an effective testimony before unbelievers.

Look at Isaiah 2 :5-6 printed here.

5 Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

6 You (God) have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans.

Sobering isn’t it? Isaiah is imploring Israel, the house of Jacob, to walk in the light of the Lord. Then he says that God has abandoned them. Why? In a nutshell, they are embracing the lifestyle of the pagans and that influence.

What’s the point of this heavy message? Well, Friday you have an opportunity to be light in the darkness. Will you live on a huge pagan holiday like a pagan? Or, will you shut them out of your house? Some reading this live where no one will knock on their door Friday because they are too difficult to get to.

Rather than focus on the history behind this pagan holiday we call “Halloween” or bash those who allow their children to dress up in witch costumes with dracula fangs or more pleasing butterflies and butterfly catchers, I propose you find a way to be light that night.

If you’re going to have trick or treaters, why not make your home the most welcoming rather than closing the door to the world that night. Light it up, burn a fragrant candle at the front door.

Carve your pumpkin with a happy face or a cross (see the picture at the top).

Prepare small bags of candy and in the bag , put a printed verse of Scripture that you like and that points the way to Christ (see John 1:1-5).

Have pleasing music in the background.

And as the trick or treaters leave your door, lift a prayer up to their Creator for them.

Wave to their parents standing at the foot of the driveway.

Abstain from watching the violent or even humorous scary movies that glorify the occult. Trade in the costume that glorifies the occult or sensuality for something that is pleasant, if you must. I saw on the Today Show this morning how parents are upset over costumes for their daughters that are quite “trampy” and I don’t mean like a hobo in a boxcar. Yes, every mother wants her 4-year-old angel dressed in a compromising French maid’s get-up. Get real. Who is coming up with this stuff?

We can find a way to justify anything. It’s just one day. It’s just one scary movie. It’s just one scary costume with a mask. It’s just one haunted house. It’s just…

It’s just One God whom we serve. Will we live a life set apart or will we confuse the world by looking and acting like the pagans?

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