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Living in this world is one of the hardest thing a follower of Christ can do. Everyday we have to mix with non believers be it at work, at home or socially. Unless we lock ourselves away we will cross paths with many many non believers. We therefore have to hold fast to our faith and live as Christ like life as we can. Even things like voting presents a problem to believers. Here in Scotland we have at present 3 gay party leaders. Do we abstain from voting for them solely on the basis that they are sinners despite the fact that their policies are good? We certainly must not condone sin, any sin. We also must remember that we too are sinners albeit repentant ones. However we must strive to do God's will in our lives and refrain from taking part in sin or promoting sin. First Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." We live in a world of darkness, but we are not part of that darkness. We are not of the world because we are in Christ; we have the light. And while we are still in the world, we are called to be set apart, to shine the light that others might know Him and be saved (Matthew 5:13-16).
We are like a boat in the water. We are in the water, but the water is not supposed to be in the boat. I grew up spending summers in northern WI, boating a lot, but we hated it when our boat starting taking on water, and we had to bail. Jesus had prayed, "I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world" (John 17:14). This verse gives us a clue as to why we are "not of this world"—because Jesus isn't. --S. Michael Houdmann at compellingtruth.com How can believers be in the world, but not of the world? We are in the world but not of the world, and we must not live like the world. We cannot “but live in the world as aliens.” (MacLaren). 1 Peter 2:11 in the New American Standard 1977 says, “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers [pilgrims] to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.” There has to be a certain separation from the world! 1 Pet. 4:8 says, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” Peter calls us to love each other. And to let love cover the offense that can ruin the camaraderie that holds the alien community together. Now it's true that we are to love our enemies, and all the people of the world. It is true that we are to love in a special way all the fellow-aliens. But here in 1 Peter 4:8 Peter seems to call for something very special: "Keep fervent in your love for one another." Here is a special degree of love. Fervent, earnest, strong, ardent, strongly felt. (Piper) 1 Pet. 4:9 says, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” That is, open your home cheerfully. The strategy in verse 1 Pt 4:9 goes like this: "Be hospitable to one another without complaint." And then 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (ESV) Use your gift for the good of others. Finally the strategy of 1 Peter 4:10 for maintaining your alien identity is the use of your gifts to minister God's grace to others. "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
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