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What Makes You So Special?

What Makes You So Special?

     Everybody wants to be special. By definition, special is: better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual:   Within the world of athletics, the one considered special is one who can outplay all others, or who has a particular, or greater talent for the sport being considered. Those in the realm of medicine who have discovered new treatments, breakthrough medicines, or ways to aid humanity in promoting health and wellness, are often considered special. Other examples could be offered, but these will suffice. 
      Many spend a great deal of time and effort to get others to think of them as special.   Men will often boast about accomplishments, sometime tending to “embellish”, so that others might think them special.   Young men often go to great lengths to impress a young lady in order for him to be her special one and hopefully to “win” her heart. The foolish young man or young lady may even decide to sacrifice their honor to be ‘special’ to their beau. The “special” bond one forges in this way rarely lasts.
     Many in the religious world claim to have a ‘special’ relationship with God or Christ based on certain man-made doctrines, or even how they feel. Some of these even profess to have Jesus Christ as their ‘personal Savior’. What makes them so special for God to do, or provide something for them that He has not, or will not do or provide for others?   Nothing! Yet these are not able to show one single passage in all of God’s Word to substantiate such claims.
     Interestingly, the word “special” only occurs twice in all God’s Holy Word. We find it first in Deut. 7:6 of Israel, the nation descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, through whom the Christ would come. Secondly, the term is used of Paul in Acts 19:11 and the ‘special’ miracles God wrought by Paul’s hands. Israel is no longer special in that Christ has already come, and all miracles, even ‘special ones’ have ceased per 1Cor 13:8-10.   The purpose for both has been fulfilled and therefore are no longer needed.
     What makes one special is not that God loves them, because as is clearly shown in Rom. 5:8, God has shown His great love to all when Christ died that horrific death on Calvary’s cross.   This is affirmed in 1John 4:10. Love is “not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” In fact, just two verses prior, we see “for God is love.” God, being love, and having extended His love to all humanity, prevents any from being ‘special’, as His desire for all is the same. His provision for all for Salvation is the same. God does not have ‘separate plans’ for different folks.   This would make Him a respecter of persons. Rom. 2:11 and other passages denies this in a very direct way.  
     God has the same desire for all, and the same plan to accomplish this. We read in 2Pet. 3:9 that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” This is what His love can provide for all, so it is not available to some and withheld from others. We are also told in 2Pet. 1:3 that God has, through His divine power, “given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:Do we not have a clue what this teaches?   Some don’t as is painfully obvious when they continue to follow man and his teaching. To do so does not make anyone special, just different from others.  
     I am sometimes asked: “what makes you and your church so special?” First, let me point out that this is not one, but two questions. They are: 1) What makes you so special? 2) What makes “your church” so special? Please allow me to address the latter question first.     This is a ridiculous question in that I do not have a church.   Christ gave His blood and died to purchase His church and therefore, “the church” bears His name.   The initial inquiry in this group is “what makes you so special?”   The answer is certainly not because I am better, greater, or otherwise different from others. Also, I have no pedigree that provides an advantage spiritually.   No one does. So, is anyone special? Yes! The Bible clearly indicates one can be.   Titus 2:14 tells us that Christ gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. A true Christian is special as one of these “peculiar” people.
     One cannot claim that to be spiritually special by their own works as we can see from Eph. 2:9, as well as 1Tim. 1:9-10. From this latter reference we understand that the gospel brought ‘life and immortality’ to light.   Obeying the gospel, initially brings one into ‘life” and continually remaining obedient to the gospel ushers one into ‘immortality’ at the close of this life. In short, one is special when they love God and keep His Commandments. We also see from 2John verse 6, that keeping God’s Commandments are how we show our love for Him. We are also instructed here to ‘walk in God’s love”. Of course, many “claim” to love God, yet continue to follow man’s teaching.
     Which of these would you think are “special” to God? Would it be those who keep God’s Commandments, or those that follow’s man’s teaching? We can return to Exo. 19:5 where a ‘principle eternal’ is stated. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:   What makes you so special?   If you haven’t obeyed God’s voice (His Word), and don’t keep His Covenant, you can’t be.   Become ‘special’ today. Obey the gospel, then remain faithful to God throughout life.   That’s Special!

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ


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