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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 9, 2015

What's the difference?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

How does God describe those who are called today? In the apostle Peter's first letter we find an answer to this question:

"You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5).

This verse, along with other similar ones, conveys the impression that those called today are something special. Being special means being "out of the ordinary, unusual". And Peter tells us that those called today are an holy priesthood.

Something holy has been set aside or apart for a special purpose. Yes, those called today are indeed special!

However, Peter's description might give us the "big head" and cause us to emphasize the difference in an inappropriate manner between ourselves as those called today and those who are not yet called.

What's the difference between those called today and those who have not yet been called? Are those called today "by nature" morally better than others? Were they more interested in the Bible than others? Were they "seekers"?

God's reason for calling Israel out of Egypt can be a lesson for us:

"For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt" (Deuteronomy 7:6-8).

In his letter to the elder Titus the apostle Paul addressed the same topic concerning those called by God:

"We ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:3-6).

So what is the difference between God's holy people – those called today – and those who have not yet been called?

The grace of God.

Those called today have already experienced the grace of God, and those not yet called have yet to experience that grace. They will, however, at the time determined by God.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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