Who Are You Anyway?

“The Fish,” “W.W.J.D.,” “a cross,” and a growing number of t-shirts and other paraphernalia are being used more and more to identify ourselves as Christians.  Some of this is marketing and some of it is, I think, an effort to witness. Many of us slap a Christian symbol on the back of a car and throw on a t-shirt with a good Christian message and head out into the world proud to be a believer.  These things can be great witnessing tools, but we also have to be careful about what it is we are giving witness to. Especially preachers and teachers. I saw a car the other day that had a Jesus sticker on his car. As I watched this guy drive my first thought was, “He shouldn’t drive like that!”  Then I thought to myself, no matter what we wear, and I do wear Christian t-shirts, nothing speaks as loudly as our actions.  Our actions tell people quite clearly who and what we are, sometimes in spite of what we say or wear.  John MacArthur said, “Your lifestyle is your most powerful message.” Peter said it like this, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us” ( 1 Peter 2:12). In the verses previous to this verse the Holy Spirit tells us who we are to be in God’s eyes. Check out 1 Peter 2:2-9. Let’s spend a couple of minutes realizing who we are and how to live: like new born babies (2:2-3) – We are to crave intake and growth.  We are to be as eager for nourishment from the Word as babies are for milk. Living stones (2:5) – This phrase is a reminder to us that the church is not a building, but it is people.  On Monday morning our church has 350 different addresses.  This really is true. Holy priesthood, a royal priesthood (2:5, 9) – What a tremendous truth and identity here.  It takes some Old Testament understanding.  A priest is one who represents people to God and God to the people.  In the Old Testament system, not everyone sacrificed or served, but rather it was the priests.  What Jesus did for us on the cross means that we are all priests.  This is not referring to preaching and teaching, but rather it means through the cross, every Christian is a priest, that is, every Christian has immediate access to God.  No one has to send a priest in to do business on his or her behalf before God.  We now each have equal access.  A chosen people (2:9) – To correctly read all the descriptions in this verse of who we are, we need to see them in contrast to verses 7-8.  Verse nine begins with “but.”  In contrast, we are not the people of verses 7-8 who rejected Christ and disobeyed His message.  We were chosen to believe and obey. Holy nation (2:9) – We are a group of people who are holy. Holy means set apart.  Our behavior and our lives are set apart for God’s use. A people belonging to God (2:9) – God owns us.  That’s right!  That is certainly not a popular thought in an American way of thinking, but we are His and He bought us (1 Cor. 6:20).  We are to live, think, breathe, and act like a people who belong to the Most High God.  We are to bring glory to God. Live like who you are!!!

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