Key Verse: “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.”
—I Peter 2:9
I Peter 2:1-12
THE WORDS OF OUR KEY Verse are addressed to the footstep followers of the Lord, those who have responded to the call, “My son give me thine heart.” (Prov. 23:26) All who have made a full consecration of themselves to God should seek to let their light shine out to their fellow creatures through all the avenues and means available to them, so as to glorify their Father in heaven.
Christians who have made a full dedication of their lives to God are anxious to know the divine will that they may conform their lives to it. They have entered into the school of Christ. They desire to be taught of him, and to apply the things learned to faithfully walk in his footsteps. (Luke 9:23) As sincere students of the Bible, they seek to know the secrets of the Lord and understand them more fully, because they love him supremely and appreciate his glorious character, plans and purposes.—Matt. 11:25; I Cor. 2:10-12
Concerning our privilege of also being light bearers, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) As the Bible is the “lamp” provided by God to all those who walk in his Son’s footsteps, so each of us in turn should “shine as lights in the world,” fueled by the symbolic anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. (Ps. 119:105; Phil. 2:15) As sympathetic and helpful lights in the midst of a dark world, we have an admonition to “show forth the praises” of God, who has called us out of spiritual darkness.
While keeping our lamps properly trimmed and burning, and while seeking to glorify God as shining lights to all people, at this present time we will not be successful in converting the world. Concerning Jesus, the Apostle John said, “The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:5) Nevertheless, as Paul admonishes, we are to “preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season.”—II Tim. 4:2, New International Version
The Master’s words concerning his followers continues to be true even as we near the end of this present age. “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” “Ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (I John 3:13; John 15:18) The reason for this is that it is only the true church, not the world in general, which is being tested and tried at this time.
In God’s kingdom, soon to be established, Christ and his “bride,” the church, will constitute the great “Sun of righteousness,” which will “arise with healing in his wings.” (Rev. 19:7,8; 21:2; Mal. 4:2) Mankind themselves will have the privilege of being lights one to another, as each one learns, and puts into practice, the righteous precepts and principles of God’s law of love.
If faithful, the class spoken of in our opening text will realize their heavenly hope of “glory and honour and immortality.” (Rom. 2:7) Those of the remainder of mankind who, in the next age, develop an upright character under the righteous rule of Christ, will gain everlasting human life here upon the earth. God will “dwell with them, and they shall be his people.”—Rev. 21:3