Called out of Darkness
Text 1 Peter 2 v9, "Called out of darkness into his marvellous light."
Reading 1 Peter chapter 2 v1-10
It can be said that every thing about the true Christian is marvellous. He is a marvel to himself and to all about him. Indeed he is vastly different from the person who adorns a false profession of salvation.
The false professor of salvation appears to go on with God for a season, when they are surrounded by favourable circumstances, but once testing & adversity come their way, then their false profession of Christianity, withers away. They are like the seed growing on stony ground, until it was scorched, by the sun. Then that seed which looked so promising withers & disappears. And so it is with the false professor of salvation.
However this is not so with the true believer in Christ, for he shows himself to be a marvel for even in the most trying of circumstances he proves himself true to God. And this is how it was with these Christians to whom Peter was now writing. They were going through a time of fiery trial yet in the midst of this they remained true & steadfast to the things of God. This was due to the amazing grace of God in their life.
Peter relates to the work of Gods grace within their life when he says at the end of 1 Peter 2v9 that God, " hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light. "
As it was with these Christians in Peter's day so it is with every true child of God. Christian, the Lord has saved you by His grace, and in saving you by His grace you have been called out of darkness into His marvellous light.
Now when Gods people are called out of darkness into God's marvellous light they are brought into a state of tremendous privilege. And Peter speaks about three of these privileges at the beginning of verse 9 when he says, "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:" Its these same privileges of all who have been called out of darkness that I want you to consider.
1. In being called out of darkness the Christian is called into a state of dignity.
V9 "But ye are a chosen generation;." This means a select or elect race. Just as the Jews are Gods chosen nation, so every Born Again Christian belongs to the company of God's chosen church on earth.
This truth means that every Christian has been chosen by God unto salvation. Ephesians 1 v4, says "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,."
Child of God before this world ever came into existence your salvation was planned by God. God planned it inspite of the fact that you were a hell deserving guilty sinner. The outworking of that plan meant that there was a time in your life when God began to work by The Holy Spirit. The result of this was that you came to that place of repentance toward God & faith in Christ for salvation. With the hymn writer you must say, "he drew me and I followed on charmed to confess that voice divine. You confessed that God was working in your heart by turning to Christ for salvation. Yes in calling you out of darkness God has called you to that state of dignity whereby you now belong to a "Chosen nation."
Now the reason for God calling you out of darkness was due to his sovereign & infinite love toward you.
Deuteronomy 7 v7 &8, says "The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen." Christian please understand that God has called you out of darkness to become part of a chosen nation because of His great love toward you. It was not because of any merit within yourself but its all been due to the fact that God loves you. Truly you can say with the hymn writer, "Loved with everlasting love led by grace that love to know. "
2. In being called out of darkness the Christian has been called into a state of devotion
Note in v9the words, "But ye are a royal priesthood." Now the Bible teaches that every Christian is a priest unto God because of the redeeming work of Christ in their life. Revelation 1 v5 &6, says "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; ."
Christian is being saved from your sin through the blood of Christ you are now a priest unto God. The Roman Catholic Church wrongly teaches that only certain ordained individuals within the church can be a priest. Well that teaching is not true. The Bible makes it clear that every Christian is a priest unto God. Also it reveals how in becoming a priest unto God the Christian has a responsibility to offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God. 1 Peter 2 v 5, says "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."
These spiritual sacrifices that we are to offer up to God are all made acceptable unto Him through Christ who is our perfect & great high priest. In dealing with this matter the Bible shows that when we are saved we are to offer up the sacrifice of a broken & contrite heart. Psalms 51 v17 says, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Christian this means a heart & will that is yielded to God in everything.
Also the Lord would have His people to offer up the sacrifice of prayer. David speaks of this in Psalms 141 v2, "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." Child of God in your daily life there is to be the sacrifice of prayer. Also God would have His people to offer up the sacrifice of praise & thanksgiving. Hebrews 13 v15 says, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
As Gods people we are not to be always murmuring & complaining rather we are to rejoice in the Lord giving thanks for everything that he sends our way. Psalms 34 v1 says, " I will bless the Lord at all times His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Then God desires that his people offer up the sacrifice of themselves for His service in the extension of his kingdom. Romans 12 v1 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Child of God daily you are to lay you life on the altar of service for God. This is what it means for you to be called out of darkness and to be called into a sate of devotion and into a Royal Priesthood.
3. In being called out of darkness the Christian is called into a state of distinction.
Note in 1 Peter 2 v9 the words, "An holy nation. " This means to be set apart unto God, to be different from the ways of this ungodly world. This purpose of distinction was God's will for His people in the Old Testament. Exodus 19 v6 says, "And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
This was also God's will for His people in the New Testament 1 Peter 1v15 say, "so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. "
Speaking of holiness in the life of the Christian the puritan Thomas Goodwin said, "Holiness is first an internal quality and then an external manifestation. Believer in Christ holiness is to mark your life as you live for God in this ungodly age. Holiness means that there is to be difference between your life & those who are unsaved. Holiness means that your thoughts & attitudes are to be different from the unsaved. Philippians 4 v8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." This verse shows that you are not to fill your mind with the ungodly things of this world.
Holiness means that your speech is also different from the unsaved. Colossians 4 v6 says, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt." In speaking to others you should be gracious and your words should be pure & truthful. Holiness also means that your actions should be different from the ungodly, rather they should follow the example of Christ in all things Philippians 1 v27, "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:
Holiness also means that we are not to frequent the ungodly places of this world. David points this out in Psalms 1 v1 when he says, " Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stinted in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." The Public house, the disco, the gambling casino is no place for the Christian to be in. John Newton said , "I make it a rule of Christian duty never to go to a place where there is not room for my master as well as my self."
Now it is true to say that this is an age many frown at the very mention of the word holiness. Well Christian holiness of life is important for all who are saved. For it is by a holy life that you will maintain blessed communion with your Lord This is inferred by the Words of Hebrews 12 v14 which says, " Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: ."
Also by a holy life you will be a good witness for Christ, 1 Peter 2 v12 says, " Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Then by a holy life you will; reflect the glory of God. In 1 Peter 1 v16 the Lord says, "be ye holy for I am holy.
Indeed as it says in the middle of v9 by a holy life you will be showing that you belong to a people who are peculiar or unique. You will be showing the world that you belong to Christ and that you have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. Your life will bear testimony to the words of the hymn writer who says, "Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, redeemed by the blood of the lamb, redeemed through His infinite mercy his child & forever I am. "
By such a life you will show the world that you have been called out of darkness into Gods marvellous light. By such a testimony you will be showing that this world is not you home and that you are but a pilgrim progesswing on the way to heaven. Peter reminds us of this fact in 1 Peter 1 v3&4, when he says " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,."
There was an old Christian woman who was dying in a poor house. As she was lying on her bed she was praising the Lord. The doctor who was tending to her said, how can you praise God when you are dying in a poor house. To this she replied, " its wonderful to go from a poor house to a mansion in the skies," she was looking forward to heaven. Likewise child of God you too can look forward to heaven for this is the final destination for all who have been called out of darkness into God's marvellous light.
Surely when you think of all this you can say that it is a most blessed thing to be called out of darkness into Gods marvellous light.
To you who are still unsaved let me say that if you too are to enjoy this same blessing then you must heed the gospel message which says, in Acts 16 v31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." This means you most come to Christ acknowledging your hopeless condition as a sinner before God. With this acknowledgement you must call upon Christ to save your you sin through the precious blood that he shed at Calvary. Follow the example of David in Psalms 51 v7 who prayed, " wash me & I shall be whiter than snow." When you come to Christ trusting in him for salvation you will find him to be no disappointment for in John 6 v37, he says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." May you come this day to Christ & be saved. Amen.