December 4:      The Church - a Holy Bride

By Bassey Ekong
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When God told Israel to be holy in Leviticus 11 and 19, He was instructing them to be distinct from the other nations by giving them specific regulations to govern their lives. Israel is God's chosen nation and God has set them apart from all other people groups. They are His special people, and consequently they were given standards that God wanted them to live by, so the world would know they belonged to Him. When Peter repeats the Lord's words in 1 Peter 1:16, he is talking specifically to believers. As believers, we need to be "set apart" from the world unto the Lord. We need to be living by God's standards, not the world's standard.

God isn't calling us to be perfect, but to be distinct from the world. That means we are to be set apart and different from others around us who don’t believe in the God we serve. 1 Peter 2:9 describes believers as "a holy nation." It is a fact! We Christians (the Church), are separated from the world; we need to live out that reality in our day-to-day lives, which Peter tells us how to do in 1 Peter 1:13-16, “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 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.”

Jesus Christ, the only son of God, came down to live with men in the form of a man so he can fulfill all righteousness to save mankind from eternal damnation. He showed us how to be holy and righteous in order to claim the kingdom of God. This is the message of the gospel. The Church, the body of Christ, must be holy to prove worthy of all that Christ did for her. We have been bought and set free to claim our heritage with God. Heaven belongs to holiness; without holiness we will not be able to see or have a relationship with God, and of course, we cannot inherit His kingdom. Note: God is holy, let us ask God for His grace to help us be holy just as He has advised us to be like Him.

Let’s pray: O Lord Jesus, thank You for the gospel, the Good News of eternal life in Your kingdom. Please Lord, give us the grace to be holy like You so we will be able to live with You in eternity. Amen.

Today’s reading: Daniel 1-2; 1 John 4
Christ's Holy Bride is the Church on Earth.