“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.” – Vs 9
This is who we are. It’s our identity. As believers, we no longer belong to this world, but we are “aliens and strangers” (Vs 11). We are “free men” (Vs 16). We are “living stones” (Vs 5). We are a people who have been handpicked, chosen by God Himself. We are a royal priesthood, set apart to serve Him. We are a holy nation, serving a new King. We are a people who belong to God and Him alone.
Sure, we still live in this world and we are susceptible to its temptations and trials. But the fact is, we are no longer of this world. We can and should live lives that are different and distinct. We can say no to the desires of the flesh that tempt us to do what we know we shouldn’t do (Vs 11). We can live good and godly lives that produce acts of goodness (Vs 12). We can submit to those in authority over us, whether we think they deserve it or not (Vs 13-14). We can enjoy our new-found freedom in Christ without using it as an excuse to snub our noses at those in authority, whether it’s the president of our country or the boss where we work (Vs 16). We can show honor to ALL people, not just those who are honorable (Vs 17). We can patiently put up with undeserved suffering (Vs 20). We can die to sin and live to righteousness (Vs 24).
Why? Because we are His. We belong to Him. We have His Spirit within us. We have His power available to us. We have His nature. So we have the capacity to live as who we are. And when we do, we “show others the goodness of God” (New Living Translation). Our lives become living proof of God’s grace, mercy, and transformational power. We live differently because we are different. We stand out because we have been set apart. And together we create a spiritual temple where we offer up sacrifices to God as we live out our lives in faithful obedience and service to Him.
“Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service.” – Romans 12:1
Father, help me to live as who I am. May my life be increasingly more reflective of my set-apart nature, my alien status in this world. I want my conduct and speech to reflect Who I belong to, and to literally shout Your praises as I live my life. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men