We Are A Called People
The relationship of the Christian to God is likened to that of a precious jewel. We are precious people to the Father. His love for us was so great that He willingly sent His Son to die in our stead. The glory received when we come to the cross and obey His will is an abiding love that can never be measured in human terms. The apostle Peter describes our relationship in 1 Peter 2:9-10 when he writes: "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."
Christians are chosen, they are royal, holy and "His own special people." What makes us special is that we have been called out of darkness where hope is gone and life is lost. We rejoice in the knowledge of our salvation and how treasured we are before God. He has blessed us with "every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3) We have been called into the light by the power of His love.
The joy of being a child of God is knowing that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) The Father will mold us into the image of His Son to justify and glorify us. We have been saved and called according to a holy calling by "His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." (2 Timothy 1:9)
This calling, which brings us out of darkness into His marvelous light according to His own purpose is to share in the fellowship of the Son of God. The fellowship of Christ is to be in harmony with Him and to follow His footsteps. Our calling to be a special people is to radiate the image of Christ in our lives to show people the glory of God. "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:9) "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps." (1 Peter 2:21)
We are called people for we are part of the great Kingdom of God. Our calling has brought us into the greatest Kingdom ever to exist. No other Kingdom has a King, no other Kingdom has a law, no other Kingdom has such hope - as the Kingdom of God. The glory of our salvation is the presence we share in this kingdom. The glory of Jesus Christ is the eternal spirit of the Kingdom of God. Our lives follow the Savior as we seek to walk in a manner worthy of the blessing God has bestowed upon each and every one of us. Even in the face of suffering or tribulation, we can know we are special people. "That you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory ... But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you ... to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:14)
The perfection of our calling is knowing that God has called us to be holy. Our lives are changed by the grace He bestowed upon us in the salvation of our sins. The lust of the flesh is no longer prominent in my life. The lust of the eyes will not be what I look through. The pride of life cannot be my walk of life. Our calling has set us apart to be pure from sexual immorality, to posses own bodies for the glory of God. "For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness." (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
God has called His children to be holy and not to conform to the lust of the world. Without knowledge, we did not know how to possess ourselves in sanctification. Only through Jesus Christ can we find the power of the promises made by God. "But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.' And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Peter 1:15-19)
The Christian is a special person before God. Filled with the knowledge of the royalty of our priesthood, as holy priest and the people of God, we walk in fellowship in Christ. As our example, Christ sets the pattern for our lives as part of the kingdom of God. We can see the glory that is to be revealed when Christ returns and therein we are called to the one hope. "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling." (Ephesians 4:4)
The hope of the Christian is the reality of the promise of eternal life. As called people, we endure to receive the crown of life. Understanding that we are called of God, we rejoice in the knowledge of His love for us to prepare a home where will dwell with Him - "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God." (Revelation 21:3) As called people, we have the promise to be with God!
Does it make you feel special to be in the family of God? Is there not cause to "Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice." (Philippians 4:4) We rejoice because we have hope and our hope is given to us because we are called of God. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1,2)
As called people of God, we have peace, faith, hope and the love of the Father that continues to bless and bless us each day of our lives. The hope we share in Christ Jesus is found in our desire to present our lives as worthy of the love God has extended to us. As Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, we find our challenge as called people of God: "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called." (Ephesians 4:1)
Our manner of life is founded upon the blessing of being delivered from the power of darkness. We no longer walk in the course of the world but in the steps of the Savior. We should walk in such a way that people will see our good works and glory the Father. (1 Peter 1:11,12) As called people of God, we posses His image in our hearts, His Spirit in our lives and His Son in our walk.
Our manner of life is to follow the virtues given by the Father in 2 Peter 1:5-11 for if those virtues are ours and we abound in them, we "will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ," as we are even more diligent to make our calling and election sure, "for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." As called people of God, we are blessed. We have a relationship with Him who made the world and He who sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. Through the blood of His dear Son, we have the forgiveness and the hope of eternal life. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1)
Are you of the royal priesthood or the holy nation? Can you claim to be God's own special people to proclaim the praises of God? Are you still in darkness? Come to the kingdom of God and obey His word. Upon your confession and change of heart, be baptized for the remission of your sins to be God's special people. As Jesus told His disciples, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15,16) Would you obey?
By Kent E. Heaton Sr.
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