Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 24 Number 12 December 2022
Page 5

Christians Are a Peculiar People

Sunny David

Sunny DavidIn one of his epistles to Christians, the apostle Peter wrote, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar [“special” NKJV] people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV). How are Christians different or distinct from all other people of the world? They breathe the same air, eat the same food, drink the same water and enjoy the same sunshine. Then, how are they different, peculiar or special? Christians are different because they do not follow the standard set by the world; they are trying to live by following the steps or teachings of Christ (1 Peter 2:21). Christ taught that His followers are in the world but are not of the world, as He was not of the world when He was on earth (John 17:14-16). They are urged to not be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2). By becoming Christians, they have put off the old man of sin and have put on the new man, which is Jesus Christ, when they were baptized into His death (Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 4:17-24). Philippians 3:20 says our citizenship is in Heaven. Sure, on earth we are citizens of the countries in which we live, and as Christians, we are to live as responsible people in our nations. Our first responsibility, however, is to God, as Christ taught in Matthew 6:33. We must, therefore, try to live daily our lives on earth in such a manner that through our actions and words, God’s name may be glorified (Matthew 5:16).

As Christians, we are also responsible to our fellow beings. Jesus taught, “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them…” (Matthew 7:12 NKJV). We want others to speak well of us and do good for us, and so, we should do likewise to others. We don’t want others to mistreat us, and so, we should not mistreat them. We don’t want others to cheat us, to lie to us or to harm us in any way, and so, we must avoid harming them in any way.

As Christians, we owe a debt to our nation. We enjoy freedom and protection from evil and lawless men. Only a settled government can provide these things. Then, there are a wide range of public services all of us enjoy each day, and there is no way that each individual could provide for himself services such as water, electricity, roads, sewage, etc. This places us under obligatory debt. As responsible citizens, we know that to fail in good citizenship is to fail the Lord to whom we belong. We must, therefore, adhere to civil obedience. There may be things we do not like, or we might think those things should be handled or done differently than they are presently being done. Yet, instead of grumbling and complaining, we should be thankful for those things we have and enjoy each day.

Of course, if there is a law that violates the law or the will of God, the Christian should resist and have no part in it (Acts 5:29). However, the Christian should never take thought of vengeance or revenge. The Bible teaches:

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)

As Christians, we are taught to believe that the government is divinely ordained of God. This means we are to discharge our duty as law-abiding citizens, even if evil men are serving in high places. We believe that God is supreme and nothing is hidden from His eyes. As obedient children of God, we try to live peaceably with all men, taking no thought of vengeance or revenge. We trust in God, and even if a tyrant like Nero, under whose reign both the apostles Peter and Paul lived, is on the throne, we must follow what God has taught us in the Bible.

Again, we read:

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men – as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. (1 Peter 2:13-17)

God-fearing and law-abiding Christians, therefore, will never join those who are involved in civil disobedience. We may disagree when a law is contrary to the law of God and is against the people in general. In such a case, we can work to change that law so that it conforms to the divine law and for the betterment of all people, especially when we have the opportunity to exercise our constitutional right to vote. However, we must never seek to bring such a change by becoming lawbreakers.

I’m Busy!

Chad Ezelle

Chad EzelleYou know the type: that person who seems to always be busy, constantly running from here to there and from there to here, making tons of stops along the way. You see them at work, at soccer games and at the grocery store. You know the kind of person I’m talking about. Is it you? Are you the one who is just too busy for your own good? I’m all for getting things done, but there has to be balance in life. Even Jesus took time out to rest! I hope you see today as a gift. Even more, I hope you see today as your gift to your family. Instead of staying so busy, can you find some time today to be at rest with your family?

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