"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 marvelous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
As we enter into 2017, we do so with a sense of reverence, awe and anticipation to see what is about to unfold in God's agenda. We are very mindful of the current season and choose to better prepare ourselves for the coming events and the end-time move of God. We are declaring 2017 to be The Year of Holiness Unto the Lord. The Apostle Peter admonishes, "But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy" (1Pet. 1:15,16). The writer to the Hebrews also exhorts us to follow after holiness, because without it no man can see God. (Heb. 12:14). Our desire for God must be matched with a desire for holiness. This is an invitation for the Bride of Christ to be properly clothed and arise to meet her Lord.
Our introductory Bible verse (1 Pet. 2:9,10) tells us that God has selected us as His special people. This is a awesome privilege and honour, that should elicit great joy and jubilation, as we are seen as special treasures in the eyes of Almighty God. It is however very important for us to recognize that His special people have been called "out of the darkness...". In the Bible, darkness symbolizes evil, sin, wickedness and all the associated effects of these. In as much as Peter here states that God has called us out, it suggests that we have to respond to this calling. We must come out of the darkness! This requires action on our part. We would have to exit and resist any form of darkness that may appear in our life. Whether it is a sinful habit, attitude, behaviour or some debilitating vice, we must choose to respond to God's call OUT of these.
It is absolutely clear that God wants His people to be separate from ungodliness, unrighteousness and every thing that may be unholy. He issued the clarion call "...come out from among them, and be ye separate...touch not the unclean thing;" (2 Cor. 6:17,18). His promise in response to this call, is that He would receive us and be a Father unto us. Our Heavenly Father loves us dearly and wants us to follow Him, and "walk as children of the light" (Eph. 5:11). According to the Word of God, some actions, behaviours and attitudes that may be common place in this corrupt and decaying world, must not be named even once among us (Eph. 5:3-5). These works of darkness are unfruitful, and private engagement in these are shameful and disgraceful.
God calls us out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. He wants us to follow His light. Jesus boldly proclaims, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (Joh. 8:12) Jesus is the marvelous light that we must follow. The key to coming out of the dark, therefore, is coming into Christ. We have to follow Jesus - His words, His teachings, His Spirit, His light. We have to come into the light of Christ. We must choose to follow Him. Once we follow Him, and continue doing so, we would not walk in darkness. Our journey toward holiness, therefore, would have begun!