Humanity without Jesus Christ is described in Scripture as being in darkness. This is a spiritual condition that places all mankind on the same playing field of life at the moment of birth. God does not play favorites; thus all are condemned so that all will have the opportunity to come to the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.
It has been said that the ground at the foot of the Cross of Christ is level; all may come and should for … “This righteousness [right standing] from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:22-24 NIV).
This new standing in Christ brings a privileged position… “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them” (2 Cor 5:17-19 NIV).
The Apostle Paul is not talking about outward behavior but of an inner spiritual condition. Outward behavior may be affected, but this occurs as the Holy Spirit takes the learned Word of God and conforms the believer to the image of Christ.
Peter addressed this new inner creation in his first epistle… “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV). Peter was reminding his readers that … “the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26 NIV). He was referring to all believers who were now being called “little Christs’.
This new designation came with great spiritual blessings… “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph 1:3 NIV) and… “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2 NIV). Furthermore, in grace… “His divine power has given us everything we need for life [physical] and godliness [spiritual life] through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (1 Peter 1:3 NIV). The apostle continues… “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4 NIV).
God has made total provision for every believer’s life even though he still living in a world marked by the darkness of evil. Such grace provision for Christians was essential. Satan had failed to prevent the Cross on which Christ would pay the penalty of our sins. His power was destroyed to hold the human race in the bondage of sin. If he could stop those “little Christs” from being effective witnesses for Jesus Christ, he could claim some semblance of victory.
Graphically describing the vengeance of this enemy, Peter wrote… “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV). The Apostle Paul issues the challenge… “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord” (Eph 5:8-10 NIV).