Similar or Unique?

A good counterfeit bill can look very much like the real thing. However, a careful study of the bill will reveal some important differences. A genuine bill is unique from all fakes. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 7:17-18: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” He was comparing those who were real with those who were fakes. What of those who are real, but look like fakes? There are some who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord who, nevertheless, look very much like your typical unsaved person. It can be a painful and prolonged process of correction, chastisement and disciplining to produce a crop of holiness in these lives. They are to be unique people! Paul addresses this in Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar (unique) people, zealous of good works.” Paul, in II Corinthians 6:17, admonishes those whose behavior and values much too obviously resemble that of lost people; “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” Elisha A. Hoffman understood this. In his hymn, “I’ve turned my back upon the world,” he testifies: “I’ve turned my back upon the world with all its idle pleasures, and set my heart on better things, on higher, holier treasures; no more its glitter and its glare, and vanity shall blind me; I’ve crossed the separating line, and left the world behind me. I’ve left the old sad life of sin, its follies all forsaken; my standing place is now in Christ, His holy vows I’ve taken; beneath the standard of the cross the world henceforth shall find me; I’ve passed in Christ from death to life, and left the world behind me. My soul shall ne’er return again back to its former station for here alone is perfect peace, and rest from condemnation; I’ve made exchange of masters now, the vows of glory bind me, and once for all I’ve left the world, yes, left the world behind me. My choice is made forevermore,  I want no other Savior; I ask no purer happiness than His sweet love and favor; my heart is fixed on Jesus Christ, no more the world shall blind me; I’ve crossed the Red Sea of His death, and left the world behind me.” Selah! God’s peculiar (unique) people should not look similar to the world but should stand out in sharp contrast, demonstrating the abundant life that Jesus gives.   Ron

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