Monday, May 16, 2011

A People Set Apart from Worldliness

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all [humanity]. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

~Titus 2:11-14 (NIV [modified]).

This is a nutshell passage capturing somewhat the essence of what it means to be a genuine believer of the Lord Jesus.

Blessed Hope

Salvation has appeared to all; it’s no secret. In this global age it’s entirely conceivable that every living people group might hear the Word of God preached, and certainly be ministered to in the name of Jesus. Could this be the necessary precursor to the “blessed hope” Paul refers to?

And yet again, the blessed hope is hardly the real point of anything truly biblical as far as we’re directly concerned. It’s about how we live that counts.

Close to God – Far From Worldliness – A People of Character

This Spirit that permeates with gently pervading grace, teaches us; we’re empowered by the Holy Spirit to separate from the urgings of the world; to say “No” when we feel the Presence of God moving within us — that still silent voice pressing in at our conscience; the inspired conscious mind imploring.

“Self-controlled, upright and godly” people — those in Christ — are anything but self-righteous. They’re not proud or conceited, nor superior to anyone. Their identity is in the Holy One, and they see themselves, their world and everyone else in God’s glorious Light — they’re captivated by potential and possibility and positivity; not perversity nor moral paralysis.

They go beyond not only the wickedness of the world; they also go beyond the constraints of worldly thought. What other people might not see or believe or have any hope in, the Christian can consider such things, in godly wisdom. Their eyes, ears, hearts and minds have been opened. Healing has taken place and is constantly taking place. They’ve received this healing; they continue to receive.

Healed to Goodness – A Sign of Those In God and Given to Humility

This is, of course, a miracle — that one solitary human being can be enlivened in these ways. Humility generates the human transaction; it combines with Grace to complete the miracle that waits eternally.

Humility is the quality that sets the Christian apart; this is the cause of the effect. The effect itself is goodness — they’re eager to do good. They’re eager to please God, to be rightly related with God and all people, wherever and however that’s possible. This means they’ll enlist courage, compassion, kindness, resilience and perspective — all qualities endeared of humility.

Humility accepts life on life’s terms — the terms under God. Everything of true salvation begins from acceptance.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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