But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…1 Peter 2:9
In the Gospel of Matthew, after Jesus teaches about life in His Kingdom from a mountain, He comes down and starts bringing the Kingdom into people’s lives by confronting the power of evil! He does this in two ways: first, He drives out the effects that sin and evil have had on humanity. He’s healing people of their diseases, casting out demons, and restoring people physically as a reflection of His power to restore them spiritually as well. Second, Jesus calls people out from their former lives to come and follow Him. In between these different miracles, there are two times when Jesus calls out for someone to leave behind the old and start life new with Him!
There’s an old saying, “You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.” There’s profound truth in that light-hearted phrase. We have been under sin’s heel for so long, so steeped in a broken and fallen world, that even after we’ve been liberated from its rule over us by Jesus, the imprint of slavery is still a powerful force in our lives. This is why, even though Jesus has “called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light,” (as Peter says), even though He’s brought us out of Egypt in a new exodus, even though He’s tied up Satan and taken the contents of his house (us), we still live as though we’re slaves to sin!
But Christ doesn’t just leave us there. He doesn’t stop at freeing us from judgment and wrath. He doesn’t call us out from one kingdom to another. Just as He summoned us out from slavery to sin, He is driving out the marks that slavery left on us day-by-day! Sin, fear, guilt, shame, hatred, sickness, even death; whatever has been damaged in us as a result of being slaves to sin, in Jesus Christ they are being cast out and restored! We’ve been taken out of darkness, and He’s taking the darkness out of us.
- Friends, we have been delivered in Jesus Christ, and we are being delivered every day! You haven’t just been saved, you are being saved moment-by-moment as the Spirit of Christ invades and pushes out the darkness that every single one of us is still prone to.
- You have been declared holy and perfect before God because Jesus’ payment covers you completely (this is called justification), and you are being transformed to actually be like Jesus in your every day life by the Holy Spirit (this is called sanctification)!
- Take a second to praise and worship Jesus for this gift of freedom, and the freedom He is still bringing us every day as we surrender ourselves to Him!