“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: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold glorify God in the day of visitation.”
When talking to His disciples in John 15:16, Jesus says, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” This message from Jesus remains the same for all of God’s children today. There are two big things that we need to see in this text today: first, God saves by His grace alone; and second, he saves us for a specific purpose. The first point, God’s grace, teaches us that God saves us simply because He wants to. This means that it is not because of our awesomeness (even though some of us are totally awesome). It is because of a Divine purpose that is greater than any inherent goodness within us; God independently chose us and saved us from the bondage of our own devices and from certain eternal destruction. So we see first that God saved us from something; secondly, we see that God saved us to something. God saved us according to verse 11 so that we can “abstain from (which means “live with out”) fleshly lusts.” This is the same idea that Peter already articulated in ch. 1, vs. 16, “Be holy.” Not only did God save us from the future punishment of sin in eternal hell and separation from Himself, but God also saved us from the present bondage to sin that epitomizes all of mankind. The liberty has become the mandate. We now can live holy lives, and according to God, we now must live holy lives. Salvation isn’t just an ethereal, eternal concept, no, salvation is a thing for here and now. He saved us to eternal life, starting now. The liberating decree that has brought eternal, victory-over-sin life is a commanding decree to eternal, victorious-over-sin living.Food For Thought: Read Romans 6:17-18. How do these two verses apply to the thoughts presented in today’s devo?