If we have forgotten who we are as the people of God then it is time to remember. If our morale
is low because of the shallow Christian culture around us, then let us encourage each other to
difficult honesty, sincere faith, and better works. And if we need confidence to believe that our
church is critical to changing a street, a school, a neighborhood, or maybe even us, then for the
next five weeks, will you pray that God would renew your vision as his people, his kingdom, his
body. If, on the other hand, none of these apply to you, please pray with the rest of us that
God’s Spirit will make us strong in his love and anointed in our mission.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to
God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his
wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once
you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” I Peter 2:9,10
“The church, however, as the community of Christ’s kingdom, can show the world an
ethical integrity it must respect. When Peter describes the impact of Christian righteous deeds
in a pagan world, he is thinking not of isolated saints, but of the people of God, called out of
darkness into God’s light. Christian witness that is limited to private religious experience cannot
challenge secularism. Christians in community must again show the world, not merely family
values, but the bond of the love of Christ. Increasingly the ordered fellowship of the church
becomes the sign of grace for the warring factions of a disordered world. Only as the church
binds together those whom selfishness and hate have cut apart will its message be heard and
its ministry of hope to the friendless be received.
The need of the secular world is greatest at the very points where its criticism of the
church is most intense. Only God’s truth can set people free, for the church to concede the
secular assumption of a chance universe is to deny both Christ’s lordship and its own meaning.
The church is the community of the Word, the Word that reveals the plan and purpose of God.
In the church the gospel is preached, believed, obeyed. It is the pillar and ground of the truth
because it holds fast the Scriptures (Philippians 2:16)
-Edmund Clowney, The Church, pp. 16,17