1 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.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we died with Christ to sin and we were raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Therefore, we are to no longer let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For sin shall no longer have dominion over us, for we are now to be slaves to God and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10).
For we were chosen of God to be his holy people, (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being made to be like Jesus. He chose us to be his own possession, and therefore that means that he is to be Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives, and we are to be subject to him to obey his commands. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
God chose us to be his holy people, too, that we might proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness (sin, wickedness) into his marvelous light (Jesus Christ, truth, righteousness). We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we are to let our light shine before other humans. And we are to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations, teaching them to obey our Lord’s commands. For, Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.
1 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.”
Since we are called of God to be his holy people, we are to live as strangers in this world, i.e. we are not to be of this world. We are to live in the world, among the people of the world, and we are to be the light of the world to those who walk in darkness, but we are not to be one with the world. For God has called us out from the world to live lives which are unlike the lives of the people who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
Since we are called to be God’s holy people, we are to no longer live like we did before we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. We are now to abstain from the passions (lusts, desires) of our sinful flesh which wage war against our souls. And we are to walk in holiness and righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, in moral purity, uprightness, honesty, integrity, and faithfulness.
Our conduct, in practice, is to be honorable, not dishonorable. We are to no longer engage in such things as lying, cheating, stealing, hate, murder, adultery, idolatry, sexual immorality, pride, slander, and the like. But now we are to live as though we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and as though we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives of living in sin and for self.
But, when we live the kind of lives we are supposed to live, and when we hold on to the truths of the Scriptures regarding faith and obedience and submission to Christ and the forsaking of our sins, we will be hated and rejected, even by others who profess faith in Jesus Christ. For many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are living no differently than they did before they “believed” in Jesus Christ.
So, even many who profess faith in Jesus Christ are going to come against us, and they will speak evil against us because of our walks of faith, and because of our testimonies for Christ and his gospel, and because we are confronting the lies and we are proclaiming the truth of the gospel, of how Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, in the power of God.
For Satan is going to fight against us, because he wants to get us back for his kingdom, so he is going to do everything within his power to try to trip us up so that we will return to slavery to sin, and so that we will no longer live for the Lord as servants of his righteousness. So, we need to be on the lookout for him, and we need to know his tactics so that we can fight against them with the truth. And we must resist him even to the death, if necessary.
**The following song is a secular song about a physical revolution, but the Lord impressed it upon my heart to share part of these lyrics which can also be taken in a spiritual sense, for we are indeed in a battle for our freedom, but it is not physical freedoms, but the freedom from the control of sin over our lives.
And our enemy is Satan who is trying to make us slaves once again. And we do not fight our enemy with physical weapons of warfare but with the armor of God, which God supplied for us to defeat our enemy so we can remain free in Christ and not return to being slaves of sin (Ephesians 6:10-20).
Do You Hear the People Sing?
By Alain Boubul and Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
From Les Misérables
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!
Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!