Belonging to God [Part 1]
By Alan Wright — August 28, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
In Christ, you are holy not because you are better than others but because you belong to God!
Today’s Text: “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.” (1 Peter 2:9–10, ESV)
I labeled our new sermon series on the subject of holiness “Belonging to God” because to be holy means to be “set apart” to the Lord. Holiness isn’t a goal for Christians to aspire toward; it is a reality to adjust to.
I was a young minister in my first church, when a delightful, blond haired two-year-old girl who passed by me in the hallway and whimsically, thoughtlessly blurted out: “Hi God.” That’s a lot of pressure!
It’s comical that people think I’m more holy because I’m a minister. I’ve played golf with men who didn’t know me as clergy until about the seventh hole.
“So, Alan, what do you do?
“Well, Fred, I’m a pastor.”
I’ve watched them swallow hard as their minds start whirling, Oh no, what have I said up til now?
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I am holy. But just not in the way that most people think. Most people (including most Christians) think that holiness is about moral standards, ethical behavior, and honest living. While those things are surely noble and important they are, by no means, the definition of holiness.
When Peter gloriously penned “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” the apostle was announcing that the promise God made to Moses about His people being a treasured possession had been fulfilled for all in Christ. To be holy is to belong to God. This truth is both glorious and utterly life altering. It means that you are not called to overcome sin in order to be holy; it means that you are empowered to overcome sin because you already are holy. Wake up every morning and remind yourself that you are holy – you belong to God – and you’ll watch your life grow more and more to match the truth. And that’s the Gospel!