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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

CHRISTIANS ARE PECULIAR

Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

The gospel message of eternal salvation through, the Son of God, has been revealed to men and women of all ages, since the Christian dispensation began on the Day of Pentecost following the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back into Heaven of our Savior, Jesus Christ. By this act, the grace of God was extended to all mankind, bringing the hope of salvation to all that obeyed His will. All mankind has access to this hope - no one is excluded. Salvation is offered to both men and women, to masters and servants, to the well educated and the ignorant, to the rich and the poor, to all social classes, to all nationalities, and to people of all ages of life. All can have the hope of eternal salvation in Heaven.

The condition of eternal salvation is also given in the lesson text. The grace of God is only extended to those that faithfully obey His will, and have been added to His church, the body of Christ. Speaking of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, we find this assurance in the following passage found in the Acts of the Apostles: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (See Acts 4:10-12). Salvation is found only by those that are in the body of Christ, which is His church. We know this because we find in His inspired word that Godhath put all things under His (Jesus Christ's) feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all (Eph. 1:22-23).

The question that remains is "How does one get into His body, the church of Christ?" The answer is the same way those did on the Day of Pentecost. After hearing and believing Peter, and the other apostles, proclaim Jesus to be the Messiah, the Savior of the world, they asked, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). Obediently following this God-given requirement we find they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41).

The hope of eternal salvation can be found only in Christ Jesus, and the scriptural doctrine of His church. And after being baptized into His body, the hope of salvation can only be attained by those that remain obedient to His will. Continuing in the lesson text, we find this blessed hope can only be found by denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and by living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. To be obedient, Christians must avoid, and refuse to participate in, anything contrary to God's will, and also keep under complete control any innate desires for the things of the world. Our coveteous, envious passions must be restrained, justice must guide our interaction with our fellow man, and we must faithfully serve God, the cause of Christ, and the physical and spiritual needs of others, as we live here on earth.

With this Christian conduct guiding our lives, we can, with peace of mind, look forward to that blessed hope that will be fulfilled on the Day of Judgment - the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. It was He who gave Himself for us,that, by the sacrifice of His life on the cross of Calvary, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, reconcile us to God, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Indeed, righteous Christians are a peculiar people; they are distinctive, out of the ordinary, and different from other people of the world, because they belong to God. They are His family; they are His children; they are His heirs, and joint heirs of Heaven with His Son, Jesus Christ. Obedient Christians are a peculiar people because they alone are privileged to have the hope of eternal salvation. These things,the apostle Paul told Titus to speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Each obedient Christian must do the same, in order that no man despise thee.Christians have been sanctified by God - they have been set apart from the world.Christians are peculiar!