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;- 1 Peter 2:9
Contrast is the ability to compare things to show their differences. In this world the body of Christ is called to be a contrast to the body of non believers. The word of God calls us a peculiar people. The word peculiar is another word for special or distinctive we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation therefore we should be distinct from the rest of this world. We are called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light to show forth the praises of God who has called and chosen us. We have come from darkness and the contrast of darkness is light, because light is the absence of darkness. Jesus said it best in Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The world is full of darkness and we are the light that Christ speaks about. We are supposed to be sanctified or set apart from the world. Jesus was praying unto his Father about us and said “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” -John 15:15-17
What does being light exactly mean? It means that we should be a people without compromise. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”-Ephesians 5:25-27 Christ has cleansed us by his word, and will present us his church as his glorious wife, that he sacrificed his life for as a bride perfect and beautiful on her wedding day. There is so much trouble in the world and so many new practices amongst mankind that the need for the light of Christ is increasingly growing. How can we be witnesses to a filthy world if we dress ourselves in the same filth? Why would anyone want to serve our God if he has done nothing to make us look different from what the world is offering? The world is angry, then as a member of the body of Christ I should show joy to the world. When the world is arguing, I should show restraint and exercise love.
On our jobs, at school, amongst our friends is their a clear distinction from the way we conduct ourselves than the body of nonbelievers. How is our water cooler conversation? What do we discuss at lunch? What is our topic of discussion in the break room? Where do we spend our late nights? When the world looks at you are they seeing a picture of Christ or a picture of someone who says they love Christ but still does everything they do? Where are the peculiar people that the word of God spoke about? How do you handle trials and tribulations? Does the world look at you strange when you go through difficult times because of how you deal with them or does the world relate to you? When we go through problems people should be inquisitive about how we deal with them if they don’t know God. You might lose your job and people may ask why are you smiling you just lost your job? You can respond I trust in Jesus. On fight night, superbowl Sunday, or New Years when everyone else is getting drunk are you sober?
The word of God says “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;”-2 Timothy 3:1-4 People are becoming lovers of themselves, selfish individuals everyone is looking out for the person in the mirror. Covetous always looking to gain more never content or thankful for what they have now, and always looking to see how they can get what someone else has. Boasters are always telling great stories about the things that they have accomplished giving no glory to the God that has done it. Proud people have taking pride to a level in which many have lost their lives look at racism and the effect it has taken. People unwilling to humble themselves, unwilling to be on the same level as their brethren but rather be self exalted. Blasphemers to speak or act with total irreverence, and so many people are irreverent to each other and to God. Without natural affection so many people abandon their children, so many don’t know how to give a hug, or handshake no ability to show natural love to one another. Trucebreakers we should look no further than marriage and the divorce rate so many truces broken and the affect it has on the people that break that covenant. Incontinent or without sexual restraint, this world is growing increasingly wicked. Have we done all we can to take a stand? Do we dare to be different even at the cost of people not liking you? Jesus Christ said “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”-John 15:18-20
As the world pushes towards this direction it will be impossible for the true believer in Christ to hide. I believe the proposition 8 battle in California has proven that, the church was forced to expose itself and reveal its true identity and has caught a tremendous backlash. The world will begin to continue pushing the lines and boundaries and all those true believers who refuse to compromise will eventually be ostracized, ridiculed, and force to even make the decision between God and family. There are believers in Beijing, China who have been arrested because of bible studies. There have been terrorist attacks in India and Iraq simply because people believe in Christ. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.-Matthew 5:11-12 We must embrace the fact that we are different and it is that very difference in us that causes our coworkers, friends, and family to ask who is this Christ that you are so obedient to. A friend asked me is Jesus Christ black or white? For years there have been so many debates and arguments over the race of Christ. I simply could have explained to my friend that Jesus Christ is Jewish, but I simply looked at my friend and said “Jesus Christ is neither black nor white. Jesus Christ is light.”
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.-John 8:12