The first week of August kicked off the start of the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thousands of athletes from around the world gathered in this one central location to compete in a sport that they have dedicated their lives to. Meanwhile, spectators from around the world tuned in to follow their favorite athletes and countries as they compete in various races and events.
From an early age, these athletes are set apart from their peers. In some countries this means leaving their homes to go to special schools in order to tailor their skills. For other young athletes, it means training before school, after school, and on the weekends. It’s easy to recognize these athletes, regardless of their specific commitment, as having levels of talent and knowledge that set them apart.
With these skills, elite athletes begin competing on grand levels much earlier on than most. They may have recognized quickly that there’s a prize they hope to win that most could never dream of: an olympic medal.
While we may not be professional athletes set apart by our skills on the track or in the pool, Peter says that we are set apart from sin because we have received God’s mercy.
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. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10
1 Peter 2:9-10
Being set apart from sin provides us an avenue to combat the temptations that are creeping around the corner. We no longer have to fear sin because Christ has already abolished all of our sins: past, present, and future. This knowledge leads us to the realization that because we are set apart from sin, we are set apart for a greater prize. As believers, we have become free from sin because and only because of Jesus’ sinless life, death on the cross, resurrection from the grave, and ascension into heaven. We are set apart for eternal life in paradise with God our Father.