A Christian Always Stands Apart from the World

Now this is not a debatable matter; it is something that is absolutely inevitable if we really believe that a Christian is one who has become a partaker of the divine nature, if we really believe that a Christian is one who has been born again by the Spirit of God from above. If we believe that God has made this person anew, he is bound to stand out; he cannot be like those who have not been born again and who are not recipients of the divine nature. What always amazes and shocks me is that anyone making a profession of Christianity should be surprised at this or should object to it. The one person I frankly cannot understand in the world today is the type of Christian who is afraid of being called narrow. I can easily understand a person of the world who objects to that. I expect nothing better of him. He does not claim to be born again, he does not see himself as a partaker of the divine nature. He sees himself as a man of the world. But what I cannot understand is a person who claims all that is meant by being a Christian and who, at the same time, is afraid of being too good or too holy. That is a contradiction in terms – it is muddled thinking, and it is indeed a very significant confession. The fact is that the true Christian, because of what he is, must of necessity stand out in society; and it is because of that, of course, that Christians have ever had an influence and an effect on the world.

Expository Sermons on 2 Peter, commenting on 2 Peter 2:5-8, p. 151.

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