But 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;
for 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.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. ~ 1 Peter 2:9–11
I write this as one who was a prolific sinner. I was one of the best, er worst, depraved wretches that walked the streets of Southern California from 1979 to 1989. Oh there was plenty of sin up to '79 but I began to master it in the '80's. Until one day the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ penetrated my cold, dead, black heart. Some may say, 'just how bad were you?' Well, in reality I was an average kid/young adult who looked and acted most likely just like you. To this day I am being conformed to Christ's image and remain a work in progress not that I have
already obtained or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:12
So this is written with an earnest love for my Savior, an earnest love for His church, an earnest love for my Christian friends now and all the way back to 1989, and last but most, an earnest desire to live holy before My Glorious Redeemer.
To what has our Gracious Master and our Friend saved us? Did we simply believe on His Son for salvation from eternal judgment and torment and separation from His love? Did He not come to deliver us from the kingdom of darkness and bring us into His marvelous light? How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Shall we sin more that grace may abound? ~ Romans 6:2, 6:1
It is an utter embarrassment to the name of Christ that many in His church participate in the deeds of darkness. We are to expose them! (Ephesians 5:11) So why, oh why do I read my friends posts and hear my friends talk of the debauchery they see on TV or go pay to sit and watch? What of the music that entertains your ears?! Quickly the cries come, "ease up brother", "relax man!", "don't be so quick to throw stones", "you're a legalist!" Oh really?
Then what say you to Your Lord and Master?
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”~ 1 Peter 1:14–16
The time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. ~ 1 Peter 4:3
"Hey man, I said easy! I'm not DOING those things!" No brother, no sister, you are not but you are enjoying them as entertainment to your flesh! Can I get personal? Can you really tell me why you can watch celebrities slink around a stage with not enough clothing on for a cheap window in Amsterdam as they virtually have sex on their feet? Can we "like" Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears? Are we cool with watching Beyonce prostitute herself on stage? Are we down with the vulgarity of Hollywood on screen and as they spew their filth on awards shows? Will we drag the Lord Jesus Christ into the places of vile filth with us?
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? ~ James 4:4–5
Have you completely ignored that we are to let no immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting. ~ Ephesians 5:3–4
because it is for these very things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. ~ Ephesians 5:6
I know that many who read this have memorized Titus 2:11-14. You were or perhaps you are an AWANA leader. This is burned into your noggin'. The grace of God has appeared
instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
This is not an option, it is an imperative! We are to deny ungodliness not be entertained by it! We are to deny worldly desires not enjoy them and laugh at them! Your Savior bought you at a price, the precious blood of Christ! (1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 Peter 1:19) We are to be a people for HIS own possession, not ours, and zealous for good deeds, not ho-hum here we go 'round the mulberry bush!
Do you truly understand that Christ, God very God, came down to earth, this little spinning rock that He holds in His hand, and clothed Himself in human skin? Your Savior subjected Himself (He who controls the winds) to hunger, to thirst, to cold, to fatigue. He who formed the earth and the seas. The One who creates light. This King, this All-Powerful who hung on a cross by allowing sinful, puny man to nail spikes into His hands and His feet, that would jam a crown of thorns on His brow, who mocked Him and cried, "if YOU are the Son of Gooooodddd, come down from that cross." He who could call down fire and wipe out every rebellious enemy in a nanosecond. He who could have opened the very earth beneath their feet and swallowed them up for their treachery. This Jesus chose "Father forgive them them, they know not what they do." ~ Luke 23:34
Can you in light of all He has done for you remain enjoying the very sins you were saved from? Again the cries come, "it's not that bad", "you're making a big deal out it", "it's just a little harmless pleasure", "to each his own." Then tell me why did you come to Jesus, if you came at all? For He Himself told you
take up your cross daily and follow Him while denying (yourself). ~ Luke 9:23
We are just excuse factories billowing out justification for our many sins,
denying the power that saved us, if it indeed saved us. The guilty sinner exclaims "you think you're so much better", "what makes you so special?" The penitent sinner says "oh Lord, cleanse me of my sin", oh Lord, make me more like you!"
If you're Savior has the power to save you from the penalty of sin but not it's power you have two options. Either He is not powerful enough to make you holy or you're not indwelt by the Spirit. And that my friend, is not two options but in reality, one.