1 Peter 2:9-10 "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."
Peter uses several descriptive phrases to remind us who we are and why we are here. The same expressions were applied to Israel in the Old Testament. The church of Christ which consists of both Jews and Gentiles is the true Israel of God (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 3:26-29; 6:16).
Hear these words from an experienced veteran soldier of the cross of Jesus and an inspired preacher of the gospel: “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:5-6). The apostle Paul commands us to be wise so that we can make the most of every opportunity; so that we might know how to speak to people.
“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Just as God brought physical light into our physical world, so He has brought spiritual light into our spiritual hearts. We received this light when we believed and obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ. It looks like Jesus.
The world still lies in the darkness of ignorance and sin. They need the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. We must show them Christ. Let them see Him in your words and actions. Shine the light of Jesus to the world every day and to everyone.
There are many challenges facing the church today. The sinful morals and attitudes of the world have greatly influenced the church. We are fighting both liberalism and anti-ism from within. There are always the problems of hypocrisy, envy, discouragement, indifference and neglect among church members.
Such challenges are not new. The first century church faced the same. Much of the New Testament was written to churches, Christians and ministers to help them meet these challenges. We, too, can learn how to successfully face these same challenges as they appear in our day.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135