God’s Peculiar People

by APC on March 01, 2018

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 Saviour 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 (Titus 2:11–14, KJV).

A Peculiar People

Jesus died on the cross so He could purify us to become a peculiar people. Peculiar means special or strange; we’re strange in the eyes of the world because we’re different. God called us to be distinctive in our attitude, communication, dress, manners, love, and our priorities—just to name a few!

Being Separate

The Holy Ghost working in us make us different. It helps us to live a lifestyle of separation and change in such a way we don’t have to tell the world we’re peculiar. We’re charged not to be like the world. God didn’t call us out of darkness into His marvellous light for us to dwell in the darkness of the world. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. We can’t disconnect from sinners, but we can disconnect from sin.

The World vs. the Church

The book of Exodus gives us a clear picture of the peculiarity of the church vs. the world. Moses is a type and foreshadow of the called-out church. He went up on the mountain (higher with God), above the carnality of life. He spent 40-days in prayer and fasting, received instruction from God, and kept his focus on the Kingdom. The rest of Israel was at the bottom of the mountain; they represented the world. They were partying, complaining, building and worshipping an idol, engaging in promiscuous activities, and were not connected with their Creator.

The Strong Desire to be Like the World

God has called us to come out from the world, be separate, and not to touch “unclean” things (II Corinthians 6:16–18). Likewise, He’s also commanded us not to love the world, or the things in the world (I John 2:15). If there is any desire in us to be like or apart of the world, the root of this unction is idolatry. We must be careful to life a separate lifestyle so the stronghold of the world does not get rooted in our spirit. We must desire to be like Jesus!

In Scripture, the elders of Israel told the prophet Samuel they wanted to be ruled by a king. Their eyes were on the world and wanted what they had instead of following the man of God (I Samuel 8). Samuel prayed, and God instructed him to give warning as to what would happen if a king ruled over them. The king would take: (1) their sons, (2) their daughters, (3) their fields, (4) their olive-yards, (5) one-tenth of their seed, (6) vineyards, (7) their menservants, (8) their maidservants, (9) their best young men, (10) their donkeys, (11) one-tenth of their sheep, and (12) them as his servants. But, Israel still chose to have a king so they could be like the other nations (I Samuel 8:19). Don’t desire worldly things! Desire to be set apart with God!

God’s Desire for Us to Come Out from the World

When Israel went into the Promised Land, God instructed them to destroy the pagan people and not make covenants or marriages with them. Furthermore, they were to tear down their pagan altars and groves because God had called them to be a holy and special people (Deuteronomy 7:1–6). But, we find in Judges 1 where tribe after tribe didn’t heed the Word of the Lord—they didn’t drive out the inhabitants of the land. Because of this, their next generation worshipped Baal and Ashtaroth and didn’t know the God of their ancestors (Judges 2:10–15).

In the New Testament, those that sought after the world were finally given over to their vile affections and sinful lusts (Romans 1:21–27). If we do not be separate from the world, we will become what’s in the world. God knows we’ll be attracted by what surrounds us, and it will influence us. Instead of surrounding ourselves with the world, we need to surround ourselves with the church and His peculiar people!

The Benefits of Being Peculiar

When the Egyptians saw the Nation of Israel place blood on the lintels and doorposts of their homes, they seemed strange. But, when the death angel passed over that night, their first-born was spared from death. It was peculiar, but beneficial. Noah was told to build an ark for 120 years. When the flood came, he and his family was safe while the rest of the world was destroyed. It was peculiar, but beneficial.

Jehoshaphat was being attacked by 3 different armies, and he sent for people to praise and worship. God responded and destroyed the enemy. It was peculiar, but beneficial. God’s people marched around the walls of Jericho, and on the seventh day, the walls fell down flat and they overtook the city. It was peculiar, but beneficial.

Jesus spit in the dirt to heal a blind man. He turned water (used to wash dirty feet) into the best wine at a wedding. And, He allowed mankind to crucify Him on a tree. It was peculiar, but beneficial. The Gospel doesn’t always make sense to the world, but it makes us into Saints of God—and that is peculiar, but beneficial.

How to Become Peculiar

We must guard our eyes at all times. We cannot put anything wicked before our eyes (Psalms 101:3) and turn our eyes away from anything evil (Psalms 119:37). We are in charge of what we see. The average American spends 7 hours a day watching TV, and those shows are not programmed by Holy Ghost-filled people. If what we watch isn’t pleasing to the Lord, we must turn away and get our eyes on something Holy—let’s get in the Word!

We also must guard what we hear. Scripture tells us faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Our subconscious picks up on what’s around us and it influences the way we think and act. If we are going to be influenced by what we hear, we need to surround ourselves with good and lovely things. The more we spend listening to the voices in the world the harder it will be for us to hear and distinguish the voice of God.

Lastly, we must focus on other people. God instructs His church to choose to act with compassion, love, and mercy. This seems contrary to what the world deems appropriate, but we must free the oppressed, remove the chains from the blind, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, etc. It is only after we become a peculiar people that God will pour out blessings on our life (Isaiah 58:6–11).

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on February 28, 2018 with Pastor Melder