Sermons & Sunday Schools

The Destiny of the Christian: The Practice of Holiness – Part 3

In this sermon, Pastor Babij teaches from 1 Peter 2:9-10 on the various positional standings Christians have before God and the callings that Christians are to practice and enjoy as a result.

Full Transcript:

As we continue to look at 1 Peter, we will be focusing our attention on 1 Peter 2:9-10. Along the way, I have been saying that we belong to each other because we belong to Christ, in which we have believed Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. New life has been injected into the church by the living Christ. We were begotten by the enduring word of God, and by the word of God we grow spiritually. Therefore, Christians are living stones being built into a spiritual house, which is still being built while the Lord builds His church.

In the church, Christians meet, and the church constitutes a place where God dwells. In Scripture, that is referred to as a temple where God’s presence is, where God communicates with His people through the eternal, enduring word of God, and where God receives, from His people, gifts, sacrifices, worship, and prayers on a regular basis. Together, Christians are living stones in the same building, and we are royal priests serving in the same temple and worshiping the same God. Finally, Christians belong within the same community. 1 Peter 2:4-10:

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 7This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” 8and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10for 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.

Let’s pray:

Lord, as we look at the word of God, we would again, Lord, get the sense of what it teaches us today so that we can put it into practice. Lord, don’t allow us to become people who gain a lot of knowledge without practice. Lord, let us meditate on the word of God so it gets into our soul, so that we can digest it there. In digesting the truth, let it become a part in how we live our life. Lord, that is what You want, and I pray that You would do that, and help us to grasp and understand it for our lives today. In Christ, I pray, Amen.

Those who do not believe, have examined the same stone, which is Jesus Christ, and have determined that there is no value to the stone. Both believers and unbelievers examine the stone but come to different conclusions and outcomes. Christ is the only way of salvation, and He cannot be avoided or ignored. To the person who rejects Christ for whatever reason, will remain in a state of ruin and destruction.

As said in the last part of 1 Peter 2:8, “and to this doom they were also appointed,” which is a heavy statement that states the consequences of rejecting Christ. God punishes those who reject Christ, and the Jews, who have rejected God’s cornerstone, will have no mercy. Anyone who doesn’t receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will have no mercy. Therefore, they stumble because they will not listen or obey God’s word, so God’s mercy is only to be had when one believes whole-heartedly in Jesus Christ.

No longer are we unbelievers, so we gather as believers and as part of one of the stones in Christ’s temple. Because we have met Christ, we are different. We have believed in Christ and are now expected in the Beloved, so with our new life in Christ, we have a new identity. Therefore, who are you?

Possibly, you can answer the question by saying, “I am an American, a husband, a wife, or a teacher.” Many other things can be included in that answer, but I doubt that you included, “I am a saint.” We don’t usually say that because either we weren’t taught that we were saints, or we think that it would be prideful to identify ourselves as saints. Maybe because saints also sin, so we don’t like to equate those two things together. Also, we think of ourselves more as saved-sinners than as saints.

Being a saint, who is alive and free in Christ, doesn’t mean spiritual maturity or sinlessness, but it does provide to us the basis for hope and future growth. We must see ourselves how God sees us and how God made us. Matter of fact, if we go anywhere in Scripture, we will find out that believers, in Christ, are saints. Of course, being a saint means to be set-apart and sanctified unto God. To be holy is another way of translating the term saint.

Being a Christian is not just a matter of getting something, but a matter of being someone. A Christian is not simply a person forgiven and goes to heaven, but a spiritually born child of God – a divine masterpiece of God, a child of light, and a citizen of heaven. Being born again transformed you into someone who didn’t exist before. When you become a Christian, you are transformed into someone who did not exist before.

Today, society is in a terrible identity crisis as well as a role-confusion crisis. For the most part, people in general tend to be in conflict about who they are and what their role is in life. In 1970, according to Erik Erickson:

If you answered in the affirmative the following questions, then you are experiencing an identity crisis: Are you unsure of your role in life? Do you feel like you don’t know the real you?

Researcher, James Marcia, in 1980, expanded upon Erickson’s initial theory and he concluded:

The balance between feelings of identity and role confusion lies in making a commitment to an identity.

James Marcia came up with the method to measure identity, and this method looks at four different areas of functioning: occupational role, beliefs, values, and sexuality. Under that, he came up with four different identity statues. First, identity achievement, which occurs when an individual has gone through an exploration of different identities and made a commitment to one. Second, a moratorium, which is a status of a person who is actively involved in exploring different identities but has not made a commitment to one of those identities.

Then there is the foreclosure status, which is when a person has made a commitment without attempting to identify any exploration of an identity. Marcia’s last one is identity diffusion, which occurs when there is neither an identity crisis nor a commitment to an identity crisis. I hope you are getting confused, which is exactly what happens when you deal with psychology.

Now, researchers have found that those who have made a strong commitment to an identity tend to be happier and healthier. Those with a status of identity diffusion tend to feel out of place in the world since they don’t pursue a sense of identity. It is suggested: those who remain in the state of an identity diffusion, without meaningful self-definition, may be perceived as in need of counseling.

Apart from all this psychological mumbo-jumbo, let’s allow the word of God council us as to who we are and what we should do, which is where we find our real identity. In fact, we do have a real identity, and today, people are in identity crisis. Today, they don’t know who they are, what their supposed to do, or even what gender they are. The world has so confused them, and Satan is right behind it all to keep that confusion going. If he can confuse people as to that, then he can confuse the whole society and country, and there it goes all down the tubes.

Apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the word of God, it doesn’t seem like the world makes sense. God wants us to know who we are, so that we can start living accordingly. Being a child of God, who is alive and free in Christ, should determine what we do. Then, we are working out our salvation, not working for our salvation. Therefore, understanding your identity in Christ is essential for living the Christian life.

It is not what you do as a Christian that determines who you are, but who you are that determines what you do. Before you can know what to do, you must know who you are, which leads to our fourth point: together, Christians belong to the same community with a specific spiritual status, or spiritual identity. The status is telling who we are before God.

In the next passages, we are given four characteristics of who Christians are in their new position in Christ. Once you know who you are, then you ought to behave in accord with your new character. Before you can behave properly, you must know who you are, so who are you before God and what do believers have as God’s people?

In breaking down 1 Peter 2:9, you are an elect people, and who you are is contrasted to who you were as a pagan. We’re chosen by God for three things. First, for privilege. Through Christ, there is offered a new intimate fellowship with God. Christians are God’s special and elect people. When we are in that new people group, God is willing to make a road way in the wilderness and a river in the dessert if He needs. If His people need that, He will do so because we are His people. Similarly, this language is used in Isaiah 43:20-21:

The beasts of the field will glorify Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.

21“The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise.

I call Christians Heavenalonians, which is a word I am coining. One commentator said, “We are heaven dwellers,” which is in line with Philippians 3:20:

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ

Also, we are chosen for obedience. 1 Peter 1:2:

according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

His people listen to His word and desire to obey it, so we are willing listeners to the word of God. Then, we’re chosen for service, not to sit by as spectators. We are the servants of the most-high God, and we will be used for the purposes of God, and we desire to be used for God’s purpose. As Christians, we are a chosen race.

Secondly, we are a priesthood of believers. A priest is someone who serves God, has the right access to God, and offers spiritual sacrifices to God. Remember, this was restricted to the one tribe, the Levites, and now it extends to all members of the church, who are the priesthood of believers. It is an echo of what God said to the people in Exodus 19:6:

and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.

We are not a ritual priesthood, but a royal priesthood. Now, that is very strange language. Jesus was the only royal priest, and in the Old Testament, He is referred to as Melchizedek, who was a picture or type of Christ. Melchizedek is a very interesting character in Scripture. Hebrews 5:10:

being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

This passage is referring to Jesus Christ. If you know anything about Biblical chronology, then you will conclude that Melchizedek was in the order of high priesthood way before the ironic priesthood ever came on the scene. Hebrews 7:1-3:

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.

This doesn’t sound like somebody who is normal in terms of the human realm. Melchizedek was a type of what Jesus Christ would be, and the eternal priest-king would be Jesus Christ. Melchizedek’s priesthood is superior to every biblical and reasonable way the Old Testament referred to the Levitical priesthood. It was only a type of the ultimate superior priesthood our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christ is the anti-type, which supersedes it just as the living reality supersedes a statue or a photograph.

The point being: it is not Jesus who represents or resembles Melchizedek, but Melchizedek who represents the Lord, Jesus. All types point to the reality, and in this case, it is Jesus. Christ is greater than the Levitical priesthood because He is not from the line of Aaron, who died. Jesus is related to the priesthood of Melchizedek, which has an eternal aspect. Meaning, Jesus is a priest of God eternally.

When the Bible calls us a royal priesthood, it is calling us something that is only unique to Jesus Christ. In other words, you must be connected to Jesus Christ to claim this characteristic of a believer. When we are connected to Jesus Christ, there is an eternal aspect to our priesthood because of Christ’s connection, which is an eternal priesthood, not an earthly one.

Jesus Christ, who perfectly qualified as a High Priest from an eternal order, can and will provide salvation to all who ask, which makes His ministry different from all those who have gone before Him. His ministry is eternally effective, so our royalty and priest-likeness are derived from our salvation to Jesus Christ alone.

In Israel, one could be royalty or priesthood, but they could not be both. As a believer, we are both royalty and priesthood. We are kingly priests, and we occupy so high a position that no man or person can be higher in this life. A royal priesthood means we are not part of a dying priesthood, but an eternal one, which also belongs to a kingly order that does not pass away. As Christians, this is who we are, and this is how God sees us and how He made us.

Third, we are a holy nation. Christians are set apart from this world to be God’s special people, which is separated from the unholy and dedicated to God. We are God’s different people because we are dedicated to God’s will and service. Then, we must live as children of God and citizens of heaven, which demands a lifestyle of holiness.

For a child of God, holiness is to take on a noticeable difference in how we live by imitating the nature of God, which becomes visible when God’s people are being abused, mistreated, misunderstood, or marginalized by others. It becomes apparent that we are living a different life since the Christians response to opposition is to be a person of good works with attitudes of blessing. 1 Peter 2:12:

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

You have nothing to do with the sinful practices of your neighbors or of your society. You live lives of goodness among those who mistreat and misrepresent you. In all your social relationships, you maintain a desired conduct of holiness. As believers, we are a people who are of a holy nation. We are different than the other people around us.

Fourth, we are people for God’s own possession. We are a people who belong to God as objects of God’s special care, and specifically, a people for God to possess. Malachi 3:17:

“They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.

God is going to treat His people in a way in which they are His own special possession. If God owns us, has put His seal upon us by His holy spirit, and has sealed us until the day of redemption, then no one can mess with us, not even the demons can mess with us without the permission of God.

However, the value of the thing lies in the fact that someone significant possesses it. For example, I have a painting in my living room of Vincent van Gogh. He was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, who is the most famous and influential figure in Western Art. He has notable works such as The Starry Night, which I possess, Café Terrace at Night, and The Potato Eaters. What makes these paintings famous is the one who made it and possessed it, which was Vincent van Gogh himself. Unfortunately, Vincent van Gogh suffered from epilepsy and mental depression most of his life, and he ended up committing suicide at age thirty-seven.

Also, a baseball bat that is owned by either you or I don’t mean much unless it’s owned by Mickey Mantle, who was an outfielder for the New York Yankees and famous for his five hundred and thirty-six homeruns and batting average of two hundred and ninety-eight. His bats became famous, and they are behind glass. It is just a piece of wood, but because he possessed it, it made that possession special.

Of course, there is also the quill pen John Hancock used to pen and sign the Declaration of Independence. The quill is so important because John Hancock possessed it and signed his name to it, and he became famous for that. Therefore, these things are of value because they are possessed by a great person.

The Christian may be a very ordinary person but acquires a new value because he belongs to God. God has put His stamp upon that person. Believers belong to God and are objects of His love, care, and constant vigilance because they are His. In our text, it may point out the full salvation of believers and the process to bring them to God and His intended end.

Remember, we have been talking about the whole realm of salvation, and God’s intended end for us is for Him to be our God and for us to be His people, which is all over the Bible. In the Old Testament, the New Testament, and in Revelation, you find out the result is God dwells with His people with no obstacles, nothing blocking our worship with Him, with no more sin natures, and with glorified bodies. We are His people and we dwell with Him forever and ever. Jesus paid the ransom and He paid the ransom for His own. They are His and nobody could take them from Him.

Together, we are His people. In 1 Peter 2:9, our responsibility as believers is to proclaim the excellencies of God. Christians bring the exclusive message of the Gospel to the world. Along with that, an ever-growing characteristic of a transformed life. They are different, they seem different, they talk different, they do different things, they hold this book in high regard, which is called the Bible, and they have a high standard of God.

Christians bring to the world the standard of Jesus Christ, which is clearly different from the persons of the world. Thus, the Christian is a kind of conscience to any society in which he or she exists. The world and its system doesn’t like when their conscience is pricked by truth. Therefore, we are an alien society living within a society.

We are members of the kingdom of God, but aliens on the earth, and we are different because we are governed by the word of the living God. We are different because we obey a higher authority, who is God. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. We are given the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, as aliens in this world, we have been called by Christ to bring the word of God, the Gospel, to a world that is steeped in spiritual darkness.

Our culture and generation need the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The one and only institution, who has been mandated by God to bring the message to the world, is the church. As the temple of God, we are to bring this message to the world. In the church, the followers of Jesus Christ are found. Jesus has entrusted to His followers His message of salvation by grace alone and through Christ alone. Therefore, we are not merely chosen for heaven, but for earth.

The destination of the elect, while they’re on the earth, is to move through this world, demonstrating an alien lifestyle, with the goal to proclaim the Gospel, and live out our ambassadorship as citizens of the kingdom of heaven. We are representing God from heaven on earth, so we better make sure that as ambassadors we represent the message of the king correctly.

Secondly, believers have a privileged position, but also have been people who have been called from darkness. In 1 Peter 2:9, it states the inward call of the Gospel, where God, the Holy Spirit, calls His people to Himself effectually by working a miracle in their hearts. He brings them from spiritual death to life, and from spiritual darkness to spiritual light. The Holy Spirit transforms the heart, the mind, and the will.

When the general call of the Gospel goes out, there is that inward call that you cannot refuse, which is that irresistible grace. For the text is saying, you are called out, and as a result, you are being called out into God’s marvelous light. Darkness is ungodliness, opposition to God, estrangement from God, and includes all the dreadful evils, which are involved in an evil state of heart and mind.

The power of sin, the tyranny of error, and the slavery of corruption is everywhere we look in this world. People without Christ are caught in a black void where there is a loss of sense of spiritual realty and perspective, which is why they have no identity. They are living in sheer darkness.

Not many years ago, the blackest substance known on earth was discovered. It’s called VBx2, which is better known as Vantablack. Vantablack is a color that can absorb 98.65 to 99.965 percent of light in the visible spectrum of both infrared and ultraviolet light. When light enters Vantablack, the light gets trapped in nanotubes where it bounces around and turns into heat.

If you were to paint a car with Vantablack and drive it into the powerful rays of the sun, it would cook you like a french-fry. If you were to wake up in a room painted with Vantablack and with no light source available, you would wake up in a mind-melting void. It would be like you are standing in nothingness. Vantablack reflects so little light, and anything covered with it effectually vanishes, especially since it produces no shadows, no contours, or any gleams. Meaning, you would never gain your night vision. You would experience endless blackness.

If the senses are deprived of light for too long, one would begin to hallucinate and become extremely anxious as if they are standing on the edge of an extremely deep and dark hole. Eventually, there will be a loss of maintaining equilibrium due to a lack of visual ques. Finally, there will be a loss of a sense of time, perspective, and reality. Ultimately, a person locked in a room painted with this color will go insane.

Hopefully, I painted a dark picture for you and for this reason: spiritual darkness will be even worse. 2 Peter 2:4-6:

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; 5and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter.

2 Peter 2:9:

then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment

The Bible describes that when a person is cast into hell, they are going to be cast into utter spiritual darkness, which is what it means to be separated from God. If you are separated from God, there is absolutely no light. Brethren, I said all of that to give you a sense of the precious and value of physical light; more so, spiritual light. In our passage, our spiritual existence depends on this.

In our passage, there is the superlative adjective marvelous. This word is so grand, great, and penetrating that you cannot add anything to that word. God called us out of this pit of darkness where we did not know God into light where we see things as they are. We see what God wants and who He is. To be Christian means to be taken out of this horrible darkness, out of this life of sin, shame, and evil, and to begin to live a new life. To have a new start means that now you belong to Him. John 8:12:

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.

Christianity is to belong to God, who is light. 1 John 1:5:

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

When you come to Christ, He illuminates everything and exposes everything by the light. Thus, a Christian has their sin exposed when they are living for Christ Jesus. The light doesn’t allow you to hide anything, and it brings it right to the surface. It is a realm of light, glory, holiness, purity, and peace everlasting. Ephesians 1:18:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints

If you are a born-again believer, you are also light. You never had light in you before, and without Jesus Christ, you never could or would have acquired any light. Ephesians 5:8:

for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

Darkness is where everyone lives without Christ, and it doesn’t matter what religion they are from. If they are in these religions that claim enlightenment, they are in darkness. The only way that you can be delivered from any of the darkness that we have been so used to is when you come to Christ. When you come to Christ, everything is different. Since you have come to believe in Christ, you are Light in the Lord, which is the difference between a Christian and a Non-Christian.

A Christian is a person who undergoes the most vital change, which effects their being, the seed of their personality, and their inner person including the affections, mind, and will. Before conversion of Christ, we were full of darkness, dead in trespasses and sin, ignorant of God, ignorant of your need of salvation, and ignorant of eternal destiny. According to John 3:19, we liked it:

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil

Also, we hid away from the light lest our evil deeds would be exposed. We led a spiritually unfruitful life leading only to destruction and eternal death. However, we didn’t know it was leading there, and all of us used to live that way by following the passion, desires, and inclination of our sinful nature.

By our very nature, we were subject to God’s anger just as everyone else. However, after conversion and coming to Christ, we are no longer in darkness, dead in trespasses and sin, ignorant of God, ignorant of ourselves, ignorant of the purpose of life, ignorant of our need for salvation, ignorant of our eternal destiny, and no longer do we fear death to the extent that we did before.

Our lives were brought into the light and we saw things like they really were and like we never saw them before. When you read the word of God, don’t you get the sense that this is amazing! As said in Ephesians 5:8, we walk as children of light. In Ephesians, it is saying not that you shall be light, hope to be light, you may become light, but that you are light. You are something that you were not before.

In fact, there is a philosophy called the Law of Identity, which simply states whatever is, is. For example, A is A, iron is iron, and stone is stone. The premise of this principle lies in the fact that if any knowledge is possible at all, the character of things must remain fixed. Meaning, if A is A, iron is iron, and stone is stone, then the Christian is light, which is the fact of Scripture.

Secondly, believers have a privileged position and they have been called from being nobody to being somebody. 1 Peter 2:10 quotes from Hosea 1:6-10:

Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. 7“But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.” 8When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. 9And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.”

10Yet the number of the sons of Israel
Will be like the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered;
And in the place
Where it is said to them,
“You are not My people,”
It will be said to them,
“You are the sons of the living God.”

Back then, that is what the Scripture promised, and that’s who we are. Not only are we called out of spiritual darkness to God’s marvelous light, but believers, who used to be nobody, are now somebody.

Thirdly, believers have been called out of no mercy to mercy. In 1 Peter 2:10, it contrasts the long state of unbelief and darkness and a single event of conversion, which ended unbelief and darkness to belief and light because of God’s mercy. Another way of defining mercy would be that of having compassion. Hosea 2:23:

“I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’

All people either receive justice or mercy. If they receive Christ, they receive mercy; if not, they receive justice. Ephesians 2:4:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us

If justice means people will get quite accurately what they deserve from God, then a God, who is rich in mercy, is pleasant to our ears. God is not going to give us something that we deserve. Mercy means God will not give you what you deserve, and everyone deserves God’s justice and wrath.

The Greek term for mercy recalls several synonyms, which is clemency, compassion, and pity. Therefore, mercy indicates an emotion aroused by someone in need, or an attempt to relieve the person and remove his trouble, so God saw us in our need and moved with mercy towards us and saved us. Titus 3:5:

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.

In Ephesians 2:4, it tells us something more about mercy, which is that God is rich in mercy. Meaning, He has a lot of it, it never runs out, and it’s available to anyone who comes and asks Christ to save them. God is right there to give you mercy. Therefore, today, you either stand under God’s justice or you stand in God’s mercy.

Brethren, all of this has been describing who you are as a believer. All of this has been describing your identity, so, brethren, I pray that your identity crisis has been cured by the council of Scripture today. If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, then this is who you are as Scripture has described.

You are chosen people, who form God’s new people. You are Heavenalonians. You are priesthood believers. You are a people holy and different. You are a people for God to especially possess. You are light. You are somebody. You have God’s mercy.

Brethren, if you have that, you are different, and it changes what you do. God wants us to know who we are, so that we can start living accordingly. Understanding your identity in Christ is essential for living the Christian life. It is not what you do as a Christian that determines who you are, but who you are first that determines what you do. Let’s pray:

Lord, I Thank You for the word of God and what is contained therein. I pray, Lord, that You would impress it upon our heart to the point that we not only truly grasp it and understand it, but that it digests there. In the spiritual digestion process, that it would get to transform our very being and practice. Lord, so that we would not only be a hearer of the word of God, but a doer based on who we are in Christ. I pray that as we understand that, then, Lord, Satan can fling every lie against us that he can, and it will roll off us. When he comes against us with all his lies, slander, and manipulation, we know that is not who we are. Lord, he breaks us down, but we must go right back to Scripture, and say, “No, you are lying to me. This is what the word of God says and who I am before God, so thank you and goodbye.” I pray, Lord, that You would use the word to make us strong in the faith. I pray, in Your name, Amen.