Belonging to God [Part 2]
By Alan Wright — August 29, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
You’re not holy because you are more moral than others; you’re holy 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)
The Biblical word for “holy” literally means to be set apart unto God. It means to belong to God uniquely.
I have a lot of golf hats but one is particularly special. A friend bought it for me at the famous Masters golf tournament at Augusta National golf club in Georgia. The winner that year was a South African golfer named Trevor Immelman. A few weeks after the Masters (and after I had received my Masters golf cap) I attended a practice round at the PGA event in Charlotte at the Quail Hollow golf club. While there, I happened to be in the vicinity of Trevor Immelman. There was a crowd around him, of course, because of his recent fame. Nonetheless, I instinctively held out my Masters cap and he signed it. So, I have a Masters hat from that year signed by the Master’s winner of that year.
That hat is different. It is set apart. You don’t do yard work in such a holy hat.
That’s the idea (but much more so) of the Biblical notion of holiness. You’re holy to God (but much more so) like that hat is holy to me. You’re set apart to God.
It means you are treasured. We take care of all that we treasure. You won’t be handled carelessly. You won’t be overlooked or lost or abandoned. You’re God’s treasure.
It means that you belong exclusively to God. You aren’t to be shared with other gods. In the way that my wife is holy unto me and I unto her, you are made exclusively for God. It is because you are holy that you must have no idols.
It means that you have a special place as a priest of the Lord in the world. In the prior day, before the New Covenant, only those of proper lineage and protocol could be priests. But now, in Christ, you are a priest. You have full, intimate access to God directly. You can enter the holy of holies.
One of most beautiful, powerful truth statements you could ever confess is simply: I am holy. At first, it feels uncomfortable to say it. We’ve wrongly been conditioned to think ourselves no saints; a people aspiring toward, but never reaching holiness. But, in the New Covenant of God’s grace, you have been made holy. And that’s the Gospel!