“To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons” Philippians 1: 1 (NIV)
Holy people essentially mean separated people. By mentioning overseers and deacons, who are leaders of the church, on one side and calling all other ordinary Christians as holy or separated, Paul is making a point here. Each and every Christian is a separated person in Christ.
Every Christian knows that there are some in the Church who are separated for special ministries for the edification of the Church. They commit their lives fully for God’s work according to the talents and calling given to them. They live a dedicated life for this particular task. But by calling all the normal Christians holy, Paul is pointing that it is not only the ministers who are separated for God’s work but every Christian who have accepted Christ.
By accepting Christ and being in Christ, a person essentially commits his whole being to be under the lordship of Jesus Christ. He is separated for God. It is not only the full time ministers who are to live a holy and separated life but it is the duty of every one who claims to be in Christ to do His bidding and live a separated life.
It is common to separate ministry from secular work. But here the implication is clear. As much as a minister has a holy work to carry in his ministerial duties, a lay person also has same type of duty in his office or business because he is also a separated person.
God has separated each and everyone of us from the world to be his. We should recognize this fact and be faithful to that task for which we are separated.
May God help us to live this separated life for His glory where ever we are. May we be reminded every minute of our lives that we are separated people.