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Every disciple of Christ is also a saint of God, and part of the elect company (i.e. the church) who has been called out of the world’s darkness and into God’s light.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:19)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9)
The redemptive work of Christ both saves and sanctifies us, positioning us to be holy, even as God is holy.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (2 Timothy 1:8,9)
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father (Galatians 1:3,4)
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Colossians 1:12,13)
The work of Christ has made possible our obedience to God Father, and our submission to Him as Lord. We are holy, and can be holy in every aspect of our life. Sin no longer has dominion over us. We do not have to yield ourselves to our “former lusts.”
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:14-16)
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:20-22)
Jesus declared that believers should not remain in the darkness of their past.
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46)
Our calling in Christ defines our walk in Christ.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8)
Since Christ calls the church the Light of the World; it is our duty to shine as such. If we don’t, Christ calls us “good for nothing.”
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)
In light of what God has done for us, He expects us to “stand out” in distinction to our generation, and not be like them.
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.
Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? (Deuteronomy 32:4-6)
Every generation of believers has a special responsibility to shine in and to their own generation.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life … (Philippians 2:12-16)
nation > Greek – genea > KJV – generation 37, time 2, age 2, nation 1; 42
Each individual “generation” faces unique temptations and is beset by their own distinctive sins.
There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. (Proverbs 30:11-14)
Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. (Heb. 3:10)
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38)
God’s people of each generation are specially positioned to serve their own generation.
For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers … (Acts 13:36)
David knew that his ability to teach and reach others was dependent upon the state of his own heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (Psalm 51:10-13)
An encounter with a holy God gives us new eyes to see any aspect of our lives that is incompatible with His nature. To be effective, those who God commissions to minister to transgressors, must be cleansed of those same transgressions.
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. (Isaiah 6:3-7)
We cannot take another any further than we ourselves have come. The blind cannot lead the blind.
To have the ability to “pull out the mote” from anyone else’s eye, we must first have the beam in our own eye removed. A heart full with good treasure overflows with a personal knowledge of Christ’s saving and keeping power.
And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:39-45)
A demonized world and a compromised church need the ministry of saints who have overcome the sins that are plaguing their time.
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. (Romans 15:14)