by Richard Mansel, managing editor
In our society, being a member of an elite, exclusive group is anathema. It supposedly evidences a snobby attitude where we disdain everyone else who does not attain our lofty standards.
In a postmodern age, when feelings matter more than truth, we strive to see everyone and everything as equal. No one can stand out.
As a result, some schools stop giving numerical grades and sports teams stop keeping score. A musical in Japan last year saw everyone play the lead, so no fragile egos would be damaged.
Accordingly, people apply this worldly definition to the spiritual realm and allow Satan another victory. Exclusivity is not inherently evil.
Every amateur and professional sports team is exclusive. Companies/Corporations only employ a certain group of people.
These examples are easy to understand, but Satan has nothing invested in them. Satan’s ultimate goal is to destroy God’s people. He does that by leading us away from God and into confusion and division (John 8:44).
We all understand that the Godhead is exclusive. People usually do not mock the Apostles for being an elite group. Nor do they criticize Noah and his family for being the only ones saved from the flood. Are those who will be in heaven, snobs?
Notice very carefully that we are not in an elite group because we are in a church. We are in an elite group because we are in Christ.
Being in Christ is to be a member of the most exclusive group on earth. He has built one church (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:4), which is his body (Ephesians 1:22-23).
Christians are set apart from the world because of the blood of Christ (Romans 5:6-9; 1 John 1:7) and the truth of his word (John 17:17). We walk in Jesus daily and we enjoy all spiritual blessings because of our kinship with the Lord (Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:19).
Sanctification means to, “set apart for God as it were, exclusively his.”/1 The word for sanctification in Greek came from a word originally meaning, “an object of awe.” /2
People outside of the body of Christ should look upon those inside Christ and know that they are different because they are living the fruits of the spirit and the love of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23).
Clearly, being in Christ puts Christians into an exclusive group like no other known to humanity. Christ built his one church and we can be a part of that elite family.
Man’s idea of exclusivity crumbles when applied to the Lord’s Church for the following reasons.
Christians are in an elite group because they have been added (Acts 2:47). They have done nothing to merit salvation, having had their sins remitted through the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore, they have nothing of which to brag (James 4:10).
God’s people are in an elite group committed to service, love, and gentleness. They wish to help those outside of Christ come to the Lord (Matthew 28:18-20). They are commanded to love everyone.
Members of Christ’s body are in an elite group bringing glory to Christ, rather than receiving it for themselves (Ephesians 3:20-21). They proclaim Christ, knowing they are mere sinners and have no right to glory (1 John 1:10).
Christians are in an elite group that teaches rather than mocks and hates those outside of their group.
In fact, Christians want everyone to be a part of them! Will you become a member of this exclusive group today? (Acts 2:38).
1/ Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1977), 40.
2/ Walter Bauer, William F. Ardnt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979), 9.