Part 4 of 7 The Company You Keep
By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
Not only are we not meant to be a part of the world, the Bible shows us that through a saving faith in Jesus, we actually are meant for something so much more. Finding salvation through a saving faith in Jesus automatically separates us from the world.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Paul is making it clear in his letter to the church at Corinth that we are made completely new through our salvation given to us through our belief in Christ and the punishment he took that was meant for our sins. When we believe this, repent of our sin and ask to be forgiven, we’re made completely new before God who no longer see us for our sin. As new creatures, we begin the process of becoming more like Jesus, called sanctification, while God already sees us as forgiven and perfect, able to be in His presence when we die.
But while we’re here, we pursue the teachings from the Bible out of a desire to be closer to God and become more like Jesus. Through knowledge of scripture and letting that change us, we begin to become more like Jesus while fighting against the temptations of this world that would distract us and pull our attention away from God, His word and His commands for us.
But if we think about who we are in Jesus and how separate we are from this culture, it can help us to resist that temptation.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
If we’re something special to God, so special that we’re seen as part of a ‘royal priesthood’ and a ‘holy nation’ that God wants us for Himself, how can we not want to pursue becoming more like Jesus and less like the world around us?
That doesn’t make us better than everyone else, just set apart. We should never look down on those who haven’t found a saving faith in Jesus. Instead, as Peter tells us, we would want to tell the world around us so they also could be pulled out of the darkness Peter describes.
Temptation is strong, especially in the rodeo culture. Not only do we have to contend with the traditional world around us we deal with as we work, run errands or attend events with family that believe differently than us, but in rodeo, we have whole separate culture that tempts us through the pursuit of winning and through the sinful side of the industry that pushes a lifestyle of partying.
We have to live within this world, but as Peter stresses, we have to remember that we’re not part of that world anymore.