Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
It feels good to forgo a few Saturdays each summer from playing our normal golf game in our regular group in order to play with our spouse, our children, or other friends. This selflessness should be given in many of our endeavors which tend to occupy a large portion of our free time. Whether we fish, run or golf, taking the time from the normal “game” and doing it with loved ones is time well spent. The competitive fire may not be present, but a deep appreciation will result.
Jesus submitted himself in the most selfless act imaginable. In providing for our salvation, He selflessly became the perfect sacrifice for the remission of our sins. We are purified and cleansed the moment we acknowledge and repent of our sins then place our full faith in Him.
A “peculiar” person is one who is willing to separate himself from the world no matter of the consequences. This “peculiar” person has a desire to produce fruit as he truly appreciates the sacrifice of Jesus. In turn, we become selfless as we transition to a “peculiar” person who gives all the glory to Christ for every triumph or victory within our life. The believer realizes the importance of the health to be able to swing a club more than the tallied score after the final putt. The believer appreciates the healthy son or daughter more than his or her performance in an athletic event. The “peculiar” person smiles to just bear witness to a setting sun on the vacant golf course on an August evening rather than rush through the final two holes to beat that sunset.
“Good works” are selfless works. When self is involved or motivates a particular decision to act, we put our desires and credit on the forefront. Selflessness is something many in spiritual leadership positions deal with daily. They take certain results or lack thereof personal. Conversely, when we take the negative personally, it is easier to take a portion of the credit for accomplishments.
The flesh is difficult to neutralize as the believer is invested in his mission. No one wants to be rejected. However, we cannot save souls or put our friends in the pews. We can only selflessly give our testimony and tell them what God can do. This is why salvation is the most extraordinary miracle. We have a Savior who wants to save the soul of a person who has intentions and a mentality in direct conflict to the nature of the free gift of salvation. The sinner cannot “clean himself up” before coming to Christ. This attempt is man again putting his abilities above that of Christ. The sinner must submit himself to Christ who then selflessly performs the clean up. We all struggle with the desire to place importance on our own abilities. By fully submitting ourselves to control of the Holy Spirit, we are able to discern his miraculous power, strength and provision.