He Called Us Out of Darkness

I Peter 2:4-5 ESV

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

The church is the body of Christ comprised of all people of genuine faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old selves were crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with so that we would be no longer enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24).

Now this church is not a building built with human hands, but it is a spiritual building (house) made up of living stones, which are us, Christ’s body, with Jesus Christ as our cornerstone and as our head. And we are to grow up (mature) into Christ into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, i.e. we are now kingdom priests because we now can come directly into God’s holy presence. And to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ.

And we are to offer to our Lord spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. First and foremost in these spiritual sacrifices is that we must surrender our lives to Jesus Christ as living sacrifices to him, holy and acceptable to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but now transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God (Romans 12:1-2). He is now our Lord and Master, and we now belong to him, and he is the one now who is to be directing our lives and leading us where we are to go.

I Peter 2:9-10 ESV

“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.”

We are God’s possession and our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want. Jesus is now the ruler of our lives, and we are to submit to Christ as Lord of our lives. And we are now to walk in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant). But not only are we to now live for our Lord and no longer for ourselves, but we are now to be those who are proclaiming the excellencies of our Lord who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.

We are to be sharing with others the truth of the gospel of our salvation, that we who believe in Jesus are to die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And we don’t just die to sin once, but daily by the Spirit we are to be putting sin to death and walking in obedience to our Lord. And we need to tell them that turning from sin (repentance) and obedience to our Lord are required as part of our believing faith for salvation. For if we do not obey our Lord, and if we make sin our practice, we do not have eternal life with God, and heaven is not our destiny.

For we were called out of darkness (sin, wickedness) into his wonderful light (truth, righteousness). If our faith is genuine, we died with Christ to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? Sin is not to have mastery over our lives now that Jesus set us free from addiction to sin. So, God’s mercy to us is not just in forgiving us our sins, but in freeing us from our slavery to sin, and in empowering us now to live godly, holy, and upright lives to the glory of God. So, if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, we have no part of God.

I Peter 2:11-12 ESV

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

Therefore, we as followers of Jesus Christ are to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against our souls. Sexual immorality, lying, cheating, stealing, committing adultery, murdering (even if just in our hearts), and slander, gossip, drunkenness, idolatry, pride, bitterness and the like are to not be what we practice. They are to be cut out of our lives. And instead we are to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives for the glory and praise of God. For we are to be his holy people.

For we are to keep our conduct honorable among all people, really, but especially among those whose lives are not committed to Jesus Christ, and who are not walking in his ways, but who are still walking in sin, and as a testimony to them of what the Christian life is supposed to look like. For in America many people profess faith in Jesus Christ, but it appears that the majority do not take the gospel message seriously, and so they feel at liberty to continue living in sin while claiming heaven as their home.

But, again, please know what the Scriptures teach. Read them for yourselves, but read them in context and prayerfully and carefully, asking the Lord to guide you into all truth. For they do not teach that we can make a one-time profession of faith in Christ which secures us salvation from sin and eternal life with God. We must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will not have eternal life with God. Heaven is not our home.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Praise the “I AM!”

An Original Work / February 24, 2012

Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!

I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!

He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”

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