I am not a legalist. I believe that we do not have to follow a list of rules and rituals to follow Jesus. But we are called to a more noble life, and a higher walk. We are the sons and daughters of The Lord God Almighty, the King of kings and Lord of lords! We shouldn’t look or act like the rest of the world. We are aware of how much God loves us and our gratitude makes us want to please our Father and Lord. Verse 1 reads,
“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.”
We are saved by faith and covered by grace. (Ephesians 2:6-9). But that freedom doesn’t change the fact that we do have a higher calling and our lives should reflect that calling. Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to walk in conformity to Jesus. Verses 2-8 read,
“For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
When we choose to live like the world and let our flesh rule our behavior we ignore, disrespect, and quench The Holy Spirit. He makes it possible for us to live good Jesus glorifying lives. In Leviticus 20:7-8 The Lord said,
“Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.8 Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you.”
God separated us out from the world and made us holy, not so we could look and act like the world but so that we could reflect who He is to the world. He called us out and said we are peculiar, we are not typical, we are God’s own people. (1 Peter 2:9 KJV). The world might even think we’re odd. If they don’t notice our differences maybe we’re not being holy as God is holy.
In 1 Peter 2:9-10 Peter urges us not to behave like the world.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
What is it besides our self-control and abstinence from degrading our bodies that sets us apart as believers? We honor not only our own bodies as the Temple of God but we honor the body of Christ, our fellow believers because our brothers and sisters are also the temple of God. Verses 9-12 read,
“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
Our love for one another makes us stand out from the world. Our love glorifies Jesus. Our love as exercised in charity, kindness, and edification of one another tells people we are different. Our lives lived as holy, that is set aside and sacred, calls people to Jesus. It is a testimony to God’s awesomeness that we are changed and different from the rest of the world.
Believer, is your life a testimony to God’s awesome power? Or do you look and act like the world? Do you treat your body and the body of Christ with reverence, care, and love?