As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts, in your ignorance.—1 Peter 1:14.
There is somewhat very striking in these words of the apostle; and they certainly mean more than not being found in actual transgression. The very fashion of a new-born child of God is supposed to distinguish his obedience; and his whole appearance, as well as his whole conduct, marks that the former lusts of his ignorant state, when unregenerated, are done away. And though the believer is not called upon to a singularity of dress or apparel, yet a singularity against customs leading to the confines of sin, and unsuited to the manners of a soul walking with Jesus, should certainly distinguish the Redeemer’s people. It was said, as one among the characters by which they should be known, that “they should dwell alone, and should not be reckoned among the nations.” (Numb. 23:9.) And surely a total diversity of character, pursuit, and conduct, ought to distinguish them from the world. For, even among men, different nations have their diversity of character and occupation; and if there be a subject of contention between them, the ports and garrisons of one kingdom are shut against the admission of the people of another; there will be a total disconformity in this case, and nothing of harmony between them. My soul! see to it, that thy path and walk of life bear not the fashion of the world. Thou hast given thy name unto Jesus: his thou art, and the subject of his kingdom; professing to be guided by another Spirit, directed by another rule walking by another faith, and looking forward to another world. See, then, that every thing in and about thee mark this character of Jesus’s pilgrim. Let thy dress be the robe of Jesus’s righteousness; thine armour, the sword of the Spirit; thy conversation always “such as becometh the gospel of Christ.” And as the Redeemer, long before he came, by the spirit of prophecy, pointed out the singularity of himself and followers, “as for signs and wonders in Israel” (Isaiah 8:18); so let the character be thine, as “Joshua and his fellows, men wondered at.” (Zech. 3:8.) Precious Jesus! keep me always near thyself, and let my soul be always exercising a holy jealousy over all the parts of my conduct. Lord, I would pray, that wherever I am, or however engaged, all who behold me may know that “I have been with Jesus!”