Against the milieu of this world’s wickedness stands the church of Christ. God’s Eternal Purpose (Eph. 3:9-11) is the establishment of the body of Christ as an entity in which man is at peace with God and his fellow man (Eph. 2:14-18). He wills that Christians live holy lives (Eph. 1:4-6) of sacrifice to His cause (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:9). The church of Christ is the body of people who have been called out of the world to meet this divine purpose.
Christians are commanded to…
“cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
As those who are not of the world (John 17:16) our aim is to be like our Heavenly Father in every way. We are to be perfect as He is perfect (Matt. 5:48) and holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:13-16). To be holy is to be separate–distinct from the world and everything in it. Our thoughts, our speech, our actions, our priorities, our worldview, and everything about us is to be uniquely shaped by scripture, and therefore stand in complete opposition to the common philosophies and practices of worldliness (Rom. 8:1-11).
Our call to holiness is for the purpose or praising and glorifying God (1 Pet. 2:9). The very existence of the church of Christ glorifies the great wisdom of our God (Eph. 3:21). We must present ourselves as living sacrifices to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). We must make His goodness known throughout the world (Ps. 107:2; Eph. 3:9-11). By applying the principles of New Testament Christianity to our lives daily, others are drawn to the Father, to His glory (Matt. 5:16). Godly living glorifies the Father and points others to Him that they may to the same (cf. 1 Pet. 2:11-12)!
To be a member of the church is a great privilege. Ours is a holy calling (2 Tim. 1:9) to serve the Lord and be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:28-39). This call is extended to all mankind by means of the gospel of Christ (2 Thess. 2:13-14). As the called out, we are tasked with the job of taking the gospel message into a lost and dying world so that they may hear and obey the gospel call and come out of darkness. May God help us in this task.