What is the least I can believe and still be a Christian? Better still what is the least I can believe and do and still be a Christian? Is this question familiar or offensive? It is familiar to us because we are selfish and we want our lives for ourselves. We struggle to accept that we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23) and our lives are not our own. Taking up our cross each morning to follow Jesus as Lord is a selfless act and not an easy one. It can also be offensive to us because we are confronted with our selfishness. We might never say this out loud but what do our lives show the world. Fallen man, even those of us working out our salvation with awe and reference (Philippians 2:11), is bent towards selfishness.
1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
I like one of the phrases used in the KJV 1900 – a peculiar people. What do our lives show the world? Is the church a light that attracts people out of the darkness? Is it difficult to see the difference between the people in the church and the people of the world? Do people look at our lives and think – that person is peculiar? What can we do to change the church? Ahh, there’s the rub. We can only change ourselves but as we are changing ourselves into the likeness of Christ, we are changing the entire body of believers. We are becoming a holy nation together.
1 Corinthians 12:24b-26 – Instead, God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member, so that there may be no division in the body, but the members may have mutual concern for one another. If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it.
Thankfully God has blended together the body perfectly, even in our fallen state, so that He is glorified. As we strive towards the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14) together, we become the called out ones, the church, a peculiar people.