CALLED out of darkness

The term ‘church’ (ekklesia) literally means, ‘the called out.’ It is a derivative of the word ‘kaleo’ which means a ‘calling out.’

I bring this to you attention because this is the word Peter uses in his 1st letter to us, the church.

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” (1Peter 2:9; emph mine seb).

Peter’s inspired letter says much about being separate, set apart, and different from the rest of the world. The comparison in this verse is light vs darkness.

This calling is to be heeded, but how? To understand what Christian must do to stay out of the darkness and be in the light can be seen in a study of chapter two.

Before we begin, it’s important to remember that the calling by God occurs through the word preached. “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Thess 2:14). We become Christians by obeying the Gospel. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4; 2Thess 2:8-9; 1Cor 15:1-4). After responding to this call, we can then continue to answer the call to walk in the light as He is in the light (cf. 1John 1:7).

With this background, we can now proceed to answer how to answer the call to come out of darkness.

CAST OFF

Beginning at verse one of chapter two we read, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings…” From this we see that we are to CAST OFF worldly behaviors. The Christian that is walking in the light has nothing to do with worldliness and sin. Paul wrote, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph 5:3). Paul also described the putting off as a putting to death these worldly attributes.

APPETITE for the word

Continuing on, Peter gives the source of knowing what is to be cast off and what our attitude should be toward it. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1Peter 2:2). The revealed word of God is the source book of information to teach us the difference between light and darkness, and that we need to develop an APPETITE for it as much as a newborn baby cries out for milk when it’s hungry. What a vivid description for us to see how vital the bread of life is to our growth.

LIVING STONES

From here, Peter describes who the called are. “To whom coming, as unto a LIVING STONE, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as LIVELY STONES, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1Pet 2:4-5, emph mine seb). This is important to understand for the Christian. Especially as we face persecution for being Christians. Peter will point this out in the remainder of this letter. We are the LIVING STONES of the Spiritual Temple of God.

LIGHT BEARER

Another thing to notice for those that walk in the light. We are to be LIGHT BEARERS to the dark world. “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” (1Peter 2:9-12). Notice that we are to “shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out.” We can do this directly through preaching, and also through our actions in the world. Note verse 12, “they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” The Christian that is CALLED out of darkness shines forth the Light of Christ in their words and deeds (cf. Col 3:17).

EXAMPLE

This walking in the Light becomes an EXAMPLE for others to observe and to follow. Peter lists several areas in which the Christian can shine the Light, “which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1Peter 2:13-17)

DO GOOD

Finally, those that are called out of darkness are to be DO GOODERS. People that continue to do good despite persecution. “For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God” (1Peter 2:18-25).

But this is not a do as I say, not as I do command. It is a “do as I did” command. Jesus Himself being the standard for those called to follow. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1Peter 2:21-24, emph mine seb).

It’s interesting to note that chapter two is not the only place in this letter that talks about our being CALLED (see 1Pet 1:15; 3:9; 5:10). The last one is given just before the closing greetings.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

(1Peter 5:10)

This gives us comfort as we suffer persecution because we walk in the Light. It comforts because the suffering is only temporary, but glory is Eternal!

Spencer

Spencer is an evangelist of the church of Christ in Borger Texas. He has been working with the congregation on Franklin and Juniper since 2014.

Living STONES

https://www.bible.ca/premillennialism-rapture-replacement-theology-supersessionism-kingdom-is-church.htm

There’s a common misconception about the Kingdom of God. It’s taught in error that Jesus will one day set up a physical kingdom, reigning in Jerusalem. According to the error, His plans were foiled by the Jews who rejected Him, and murdered Him. This is commonly called the doctrine of PREMILLENIALISM. Is this true?

It’s against scripture for Christ to reign from a physical throne in Jerusalem. “Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jer 22:30).

Never trust a doctrine based on the premise that mankind foiled God’s plans. LOL. “He shall not fail nor be discouraged,” (Isaiah 42:4).

His own disciples expected an earthly kingdom, but Jesus said, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21; cf John 18:36).

However, He does have a Kingdom and it does have a TEMPLE on earth, a spiritual house. In Christ’s Spiritual Kingdom, the church, there is a Temple and it’s being built continually with LIVING STONES. What does the bible say about these living STONES?

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1Peter 2:5).

God’s Temple today is a SPIRITUAL HOUSE. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1Cor 3:9-15; cf. 1Pet 2:5). The church of Christ is the Spiritual House of God, the individuals are the living stones.

The church of Christ is the TEMPLE of God and individual members are the living stones. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (1Cor 3:16-17)? “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own” (6:19; Eph 2:21-22)? Anyone that claims that there will be a physical kingdom on earth has overlooked that the Kingdom of God is the church of Christ. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col 1:13).

There is only ONE Kingdom, ONE BODY. “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph 1:22-23; cf. Eph 4:4). Since the church is the Kingdom, and the church is His body, then there is only ONE BODY (temple) in His Kingdom.

Every Temple has a foundation, and this Spiritual Temple is no exception. NO OTHER FOUNDATION exists except the Chief Cornerstone, which is Christ. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:20-21). Referring back to a previous passage about the Spiritual House, Paul said, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Cor 3:11; cf. Matt 16:18).

As was prophesied, this Kingdom is an ENDURING Kingdom if we keep His commands “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44). “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Heb 3:6).

Lastly, since people are the Living Stones, we are to STAND FIRM. “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel,” (Col 1:23). The stones that STAND FIRM are precious STONES, but those stones that are not of precious material will be burned. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1Cor 3:12-13).

— spencer

Spencer is an evangelist in Borger, Texas.

THE KINGDOM is the CHURCH:

The Same Beginning: Pentecost. (Mark 9:1; Acts 2:47)

The Same Duration: Forever.

(Daniel 2:44; Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 12:28; Ephesians 3:21)

The Same Ownership: God and Christ. (Ephesians 5:5)

The same historical period: During Roman empire.

(Luke 2:1; Acts 2:1; Colossians 1:13)

The same eschatological beginning: In the “Last Days” or “end times

(Hebrews 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20; Acts 2:15–17; James 5:1–3)

Kingdom and church used interchangeably: (Matthew 16:18)