“We, the people.” What do you think when you hear that phrase? My heart does a little pitter-patter and I swell with pride that I am blessed to live in these United States of America. I tend to get sappy and all goose bumpy when I hear that phrase because I know all that has been sacrificed for me to have the freedoms that we experience by living here. I am proud to be an American!
Then I pause and think about what does it mean when I apply that phrase “we the people” to the church? “We” being the people of God. Again, I get all emotional and realize that I have done nothing to deserve the freedoms that I have in Christ Jesus. But I know that because of my baptism, my obedience, I have been chosen to be a part of a people for God’s own possession. A holy people.
Moses told the people in Deuteronomy 7:6, “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” He tells them they are a holy people.
Then in the New Testament we hear the words of Peter as he uses phrases from the Old Testament to remind them of who they are. 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
First in the Old Testament and then again in the New, we have God’s people referred to as holy. We are a holy people. We are holy because we belong to God. We are holy because we are “in Christ Jesus.” We were made holy by our obedience. But do we really understand the depth of what it means to be holy?
Leviticus 11:44, “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy.” So we see here that holiness separates us from unholy because we have been made holy because we belong to God. It also shows us that we must consecrate ourselves. Consecrate means to dedicate or perfect. It is not just the resulting state of being holy but also the conduct that is befitting to those who are separated. We can see this in 1 Peter 1:15 where it says, “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.”
Satan works so hard to deceive us and stirs that desire in us to “fit in.” We see it in the way Christians dress, in the way they talk, the way that they set their priorities. Satan is doing a very good job in his effort to keep us from being a holy people. And most of the time we don’t even realize that we have allowed Satan to win. Oh, he’s not getting God’s people with sex, drugs and alcohol. He is blinding them with worldliness. He has made them forget what it means to be holy.
We should be striving each day for holiness. Remember we are made holy because we belong to God, but our conduct MUST reflect a holy people! We must let those around us SEE our holiness! Turn Satan and the world off! Quit listening to that voice that tells you that you need to fit in to this world. It’s a lie! We don’t want to be “of this world.” Jesus knew the world would hate us. He prayed about it in John 17:14-16. “I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
For us to save souls and to glorify God we MUST be in the world, but we have to remember that we ARE NOT of this world! We are a holy people!
I challenge you to be holy! When you hear the phrase “We the People,” remember that you are part of a holy people! A people chosen by God to be His! Let your holiness be reflected in all your behavior! Be proud to be a Christian for you are part of the people chosen of God!
By Tami Roberts
Tami and her husband, Wayne, serve with the Parker church of Christ* in Parker, CO. Wayne serves as the minister and evangelist. Tami and Wayne are both instructors for the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. They have been married for 30 years, have five children and three grandchildren. More than anything, they enjoy spending time with God’s people.
* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).