He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
On January 24th, 2004 my life changed forever. It was on that day that Holly and I were united in marriage.
This union changed everything.
It literally affected every aspect, every moment of my life. And I’m not just talking about the big things being affected… like my living arrangement, my priorities, my love, etc… I knew that marriage would bring about a huge shift, but I didn’t realize it would work itself out to the point that nothing about me was left unchanged.
I mean the way I cooked, the way I slept, and even the way I sneezed changed! Ok… that last one didn’t actually change, but I am constantly told that it needs to!
This union changed everything.
In truth, marriage is a mere picture, a shadow or a deeper union… the union of Christ with his people, the Church. When you came to faith in Jesus Christ, you became a part of his people and as a part of his people you were united to him… like a bride is united to her groom.
This union should change everything.
This is what the Lord says to through the prophet Micah. He is the God who redeemed them out of slavery and made them his people… and that union should change everything about them. Because they have been united to a God of justice they should be a people of justice. Because they have been united to a God of loving kindness they should be a people of loving kindness. Because they have been united to a God of humble faithfulness they should be a people of humble faithfulness.
Notice that doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly is not what makes them the people of God. No… they do these things BECAUSE they ARE a people who HAVE BEEN united to God.
I don’t act like I’m married to Holly in order to be married to her. No. I act like I am married to Holly because I AM married to her.
In my marriage and in the church’s union with God through Christ… we find ourselves in a union that changes everything!
1 Peter 1:15, “…as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct…”
2 Timothy 1:9, “[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace…”
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8, “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
As we talk about being a people who mirror the Christ to whom we have been united… a people who reflect the cross… a cruciform community… as we talk about this, we must know that we do not seek to reflect the holiness of God in order to be his people, but because we are his people!
He has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us to live holy lives that show the world that our union with Jesus is real! As we continue to put sin to death by the Spirit’s power, we know that we will not be perfectly holy, but we can be truly holy, truly live as the Saints we are!
This is what the Lord requires of his people… to be just that… to live as just that… HIS PEOPLE.