A Separate People


One thing that you will notice in both the Old and New Testaments is that God has always required His people to be a separate, distinct people, different from others who are not His people. People who rejected His will, who rebelled against His precepts. In the New Testament we read, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people..." (I Peter 2:9). The word "peculiar" doesn't mean eccentric, strange, ridiculous, or odd in a negative sense, but rather distinct, different, set apart; a people belonging to God! God's people are not to be of the world, like the world, or conformed to the world (Rom. 12:1-2). Thus, God's people belong to, and are to be like Him.

Here are a few ways we are to be a separate, distinct people:

1. SEPARATE IN LIFE. God's people are to be holy, as He is holy. God has called us to a life of righteousness and holiness. In the Bible, Christians are called "a holy nation."  Different characteristics distinguish various nationalities; but consider God's people are a nation of holy people. That is quite a distinction and involves a great responsibility. Holiness relates to our standing with God; we belong to Him. It describes our manner of life, our attitudes and our relationships. Maybe the word "holy" sounds dated and maybe considered by some, as out of fashion. But regardless, God requires-not suggests that His people be Holy!

 2. SEPARATE IN DOCTRINE. Paul wrote to Timothy, "Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim. 1:13). There is a clear pattern to NT Christianity: the pattern of sound words, delivered by the apostles (Acts 2:42; Eph. 3:3-5). God's people will be different from others in that they will teach and practice only what God has revealed in His Word. That sets His people apart from those who hold to traditions of men. We must strive not for what is popular, but for what is true and right according to God.

 3. SEPARATE IN SPEECH. We are commanded to speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11). The word "oracles" means utterances or words. If we speak God's oracles, we speak what God has already spoken-we say what God has said. We find God's word in the scriptures (Heb. 4:12; II Tim. 3:16-17). There is an old saying that is simple, yet profound: "Speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent; call Bible things by Bible names." That is the charge put upon us, and the responsibility we must fulfill.

 If being a Christian makes you a little different, somewhat out of step with others; cheer up: that is exactly what God calls us to!

If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.                                  
God Bless-Todd



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