(NOTE: This is a ‘rough draft’ of a chapter of my finished book- available on Amazon via Title Link: Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!)
Chapter 3: A Holy Nation– Consecrated and Set Apart
1 Peter 2:9… But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Holiness is a difficult concept to wrap your head around. Too much of what’s been promoted as the Steps to Holiness has been a list of dos and don’ts; legalistic dead letters of the law– often from a self-righteous motivation. Of course, the primary list that mankind received through God’s chosen people– the children of Israel was the Ten Commandments. Even before Moses delivered the Tablets from the heights of Mt. Sinai, God’s prophet witnessed the depravity of man in going after idols and the ways of the flesh. They had broken every commandment at the foot of the mountain. Those who had seen God’s miracles of deliverance from 400 years of slavery and healing of every disease so that they all walked out of Egypt every whit whole, had grown impatient… tired of waiting for the man of God to bring them answers and direction from on high.
A good working definition of Holiness is the manifestation of a life where the Holy Spirit is in control, doing the will of the Father. He, the Holy Spirit– is doing the living through us as surrendered vessels. The law was therefore our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ:
Galatians 3:19-27 (KJV)… What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of our transgression, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator… Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
The law was given to reveal to us the futility of our effort in striving to attain such a level of obedience on our own, apart from the indwelling power of resurrection life. When human hearts are unsanctified, obedience to God’s laws and ways is impossible. Only through regeneration, which occurs after repentance, confession, and calling on the name of the Lord– does anyone have the the slightest chance of growing in righteousness. This is a surrendered walk of Holiness; not by our doing, it is God doing. And yet we have responsibility.
Philippians 2:12-16a (lsm)… So then, my beloved, even as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; For it is God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and reasonings– that you may be blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as luminaries in the world, Holding forth the word of life…
This daily salvation results from taking the very Christ whom we live, experience, and enjoy as our inward as well as outward pattern. What we need to do then is to obey the inner operating God who is working in us both the willing and the working needed that our daily salvation may be carried out… moment by moment. The willing is within, an internal process in our souls… in our respective will. This again indicates that God’s operation in us begins from our spirit and spreads into our mind, emotion, and will, and as we saw in Romans 12:1 &2 eventually into our physical body.
Murmurings from our emotion and reasonings in our will both frustrate us from carrying out our daily salvation to the fullest extent, which prevents us from experiencing and enjoying Christ’s life to the uttermost, and is disobedience to God. When we obey it allows God to slay all murmurings and reasonings and we are then blameless in our outward behavior, and guileless in our inward character. The Greek word translated luminaries refers to reflecting the light of the sun. We believers as luminaries when we are blameless, shine in the world. We do not possess any light in ourselves, but have the heavenly ability to reflect the light of Christ. I like the metaphor that says that Christ is the sun, the church is the moon, and the believers are the planets reflecting Him, holding forth the word of life.
As Paul says: Galatians 2:19,20… For I through law have died to law that I might live to God. I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The ‘no longer I’ in the verse does not mean a life where there is an exchange with Christ in and we go out. As regenerate people we have both ‘the old I’ which has been crucified, and ‘the new I’ which has God as life added to it. This ‘new I’ is therefore ‘the old I’ terminated, then resurrected and transformed with Christ living in me, one life and one living. The only time the old man manifests is when we succumb to the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
I reiterate: When human hearts are unsanctified, obedience to God’s laws and ways is impossible. Only through regeneration, which occurs after repentance, confession, and calling on the name of the Lord– does anyone have the slightest chance of growing in righteousness, which is a walk of Holiness, and yet it is not our doing, it is God. Our responsibility is submission… surrender on a moment by moment basis to the life-giving indwelling Spirit in our union with Him.
1 Corinthians 6:17;19… But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit… Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. We are to allow God who now dwells in us, to saturate our body and express Himself through our body as His temple. Therefore we agree that it is no longer about “I”, but all about Christ, and this reality in agreement and surrender allows us to say as Paul says the life which I now live in the flesh, I live in faith… the faith of the Son of God.
In three of the four gospels (Matthew 10:38;16:24, Mark 8:34, and Luke 9:23; 14:27) we have Jesus declaring If anyone desire to come after me, let Him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. Luke’s gospel (9:23) is the only one which adds take up his cross daily… This is profound! It is a daily dying that brings resurrection life. This gives new meaning to the call “Dead man walking…”. In not conforming to the world but being transformed, with the mind renewed, we present ourselves daily as the holy temple and holy sacrifice. This will give us true joy for it allows the Holy Spirit to fully guide our growth process in power. This life blossoms with the fruit and gifts of the Spirit released in manifestation.
Holiness is not a divine suggestion… it is mandatory
1 Peter 1:13-16… Therefore girding up the loins of your mind and being sober, set your hope perfectly on the grace being brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As children of obedience, do not be fashioned according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but according to th Holy One who called you, you yourselves also be holy in all your manner of life; Because it is written, “You shall be Holy because I AM Holy.”
In biblical times when men who wrote long robes were going to get busy working, or moving rapidly, they would pull the long length of their garment and tuck it into their belt which allowed for greater freedom of movement. This expression of girding up here implied focused single minded obedience, not vacillating between opinions and carnal reasonings. Calm and clear in mind, without being disturbed by cares, fear, or anxiety. Not being fashioned by former lusts is parallel to Romans 12:1,2 quoted earlier. It also refers indirectly to the path of our daily walk as God’s elect in this world.
Verse 15 is therefore critical: The Holy One (triune God) is the choosing Father, the redeeming Son, and the sanctifying Holy Spirit. The Father regenerates His elect, and imparts His holy nature into us. The Son redeems us with His blood from our former manner of life, and the Spirit sanctifies us according to the Father’s holy nature, separating us from anything contrary to God. This is the only way that via the Holy nature and presence of the Father, that we may be holy in all manner of life, even as God Himself is holy. The Holy One as the Father has called us, and in regeneration has produced a holy family; He is a Holy Father who wants and has holy children. Therefore we must walk in a holy manner of life. If there is unholiness, the Father will become our Judge, and will deal with us appropriately but definitely strictly. As stated earlier the Royal Seed line has stricter requirements of conduct. The fear that is stated in the verse is directly to our rebellion causing our Holy Father to judge us.
This is all related and in line with The Kingdom; God’s governmental rule in His household, the family of God– and through us to the outermost parts of the earth. He rules by example which is the Image of Christ and His character revealed in the Four Gospels primarily but also throughout the Scriptures. He desires to mature each of us family members to represent in His Image. That is the only way the world will turn and be saved, delivered, healed, and translated from the bankrupt kingdom of darkness to the unfathomable riches of the Eternal Kingdom of God.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ” stated in verse 13 has a double meaning: Ultimately it refers to His Glorious Appearing at the 2nd Advent (Second Coming); but more personally it speaks in a prophetic layer of meaning as in Paul’s statement in Galatians 1:15, 16… But when it pleased God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, To reveal His Son in me that I might announce Him as the gospel among the Gentiles…
and also Galatians 4:19.. My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you…
This is it! This is deep beyond measure!! This is greater that any Fantasy story, Science Fiction, or any other historical reality… The Greatest Universal Drama of all time is being played out on th stage called planet earth. The Holy Angels of the Trinity; the rebel forces of darkness that tremble because they all know the time is short; the unfallen worlds of beings that are yet hidden in the bosom of th Father… should He privilege them with the awareness of this- now approaching 7,000 year Epic- are hanging on with bated breath to see what the Church will do! Will the Church arise and shine in one accord and fulfill the prophecy spoken by the Father to the Son?–
Matthew 22:44; Psalm 110:1(KJV)… The Lord [Jehovah Father] said to my Lord [Jehovah Lord Jesus the Son], Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies You footstool…
Romans 16:20… Now the God of Peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
1 Corinthians 15:23-27a… But each one in his own order: the firstfruits, Christ; then those who are Christ’s at His coming; Then the end, when He delivers up the Kingdom to His God and Father, once He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until God puts all His enemies under His feet. Death, the last enemy, is being abolished. For He has subjected all things under His feet…
The mystery that the unsaved world does not fathom is that Jesus Christ is the Head and the Church is His Body. He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding in our behalf while we His Body are to live and breathe and have our being and all activity under the anointing of the expansive Holy Spirit working through us in unity. God promises that He will crush Satan under the feet of those who live the Body life, the Glorious Church; which is why local church activity is so critical. We must be embedded in the Greater Body of Christ via the local church– fitly joined together with one mind, one heart, in one accord worshiping and serving by expanding and advancing Christ’s Kingdom in the earth… as it is in Heaven.
Isaiah 60:1-5… Arise! Shine! For your light has come, and the Glory of Jehovah has risen upon you. For, behold, the darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; But Jehovah will rise upon you. And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes and see: They all gather together; they come to you; Your sons will come from far away, and your daughters will be carried on the hip. Then you will see and you will beam, and your heart will be in awe and swell with joy, For the abundance of the sea will turn to you. The wealth of the nations will come to you.
The sea of humanity and the wealth of human capital… treasures out of darkness!
This speaks of the mission of Christ and the Church… His Holy Nation!
‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ by Dwayne Anderson