When Jesus appeared the first time, the world knew him not and his own received him not. John 1:11, 12; 1 John 3:1-3. As many as received him, gave he to them power to become the sons of God. This power is given in the preaching of the gospel. Romans 1:16. Those who gladly receive the words of the gospel and are baptized for the remission of sins, become the sons of God. Today, the world does not know the sons of God because it knew him not. The true church of Christ is not recognized nor appreciated by the world. Should we be surprised? Are we better than he?
What, however, are some Christians and churches of Christ doing? In an apparent effort to be recognized and accepted by the world, they are becoming more and more like the world! Can we not see the folly of this? Where is our hope? We are not of the world even as Christ is not of the world. John 17:16.
We do not know what we shall be but we know that, when Jesus Christ shall appear the second time, faithful sons of God will be like him for they shall see him as he is. This being true, every one who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as Christ is pure. This is the great motivation for faithful, godly, Christian living in worship and in service.
As the New Year dawns upon us, may we all be resolved to present our bodies as living sacrifices holy and acceptable unto God. May we not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1, 2.
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