What do you think? Looking at the church today, would you say that holiness is out-of-style or out dated? What do you think of when you hear the words—Be holy? Do these words sound as if they are something from the Old Testament?—something not for today?
Holiness is not a overly worn, out-of-style outfit—that has lost its value. Neither is it something we outgrow. Just the opposite—the longer we are Christians—we move deeper and further into holiness.
For the sake of clarity, let’s define holy, its definition is: set apart, sacred, endowed with purity, devout, godly, virtuous and consecrated.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross sanctifies us and makes us holy—set apart for God. We all love this fact and rightly so—we gladly embrace this form of holiness. Who wouldn’t want to be forgiven of their sin? Where holiness is seen as outdated is when we realize we are to live a holy lifestyle—on a daily basis. The reason being—it opposes our flesh.
The word holy scares some people. Holy is not a bad four letter word! Holiness has a bad connotation because it’s immediately thought of as no fun and/or religious. Instead of by its truth—set apart.
You may ask—set apart for what?
Set apart for relationship with a most holy God, His Son and the Holy Spirit. Both in the Old and New Testament, scripture says, “Be holy, for I am holy.” The Strong’s Concordance describes this kind of holy as “Likeness of nature with the Lord, different from the world.”
Likeness of nature with the Lord…different from the world—what it does not mean is a list of dos and don’ts. Yes, there are things we should not do because they are not of the nature of God. But as Christians these behaviors should not be our desire, our desire should be to follow Godly principles, thus be of the same nature with God.
We can’t live a holy life if we regretfully hold ourselves to a list of conducts not to follow. If we are to be of the same nature of God, then we will follow Him and be in relationship with Him, because He loves us and we love Him. This love and this relationship cause us to be holy and to live in right standing with God and vice-versa. The reason we don’t participate in sin, is because it is not pleasing to God and separates us from Him. Our heart is to love and please Him—be with Him and be like Him.
God’s Word is clear we cannot partake in a sinful manner of living, understandably some behavior can be disputed—seeming grey and not really sin…but maybe. This is where holiness gets sticky—when questionable behavior has to be scrutinized, categorized or defended—it’s a no brainer—if it’s questionable—don’t defend it—live without it—starve your flesh and be holy!
We should be glad, not disappointed that we are called to be holy and that we don’t indulge in sinful conduct. We should see it as a safety net—protecting us from a empty lifestyle that never stops craving after its self—a lifestyle that finds pleasure in self-indulgence, not God indulgence.
Religion says “I can’t do this or that because I’m a Christian”—relationship says “I don’t do this or that because I love God.”
God is jealous for us to live holy lives not because He loves rules, but because holiness sets us apart for Him and causes us to draw near to Him—which then causes Him to draw nearer to us.
Holiness is about relationship—not rules. Holiness is only out-of-style if we want to please our sinful nature.
A lot of Christians are stubborn towards holiness. I challenge you to be stubborn in your holiness, not allowing the devil, the world and the flesh to manipulate your life.
Selfishness is easier and more pleasing to human nature, but this is what sets us apart—we do not live according to human nature but God’s nature. The Church—The Bride of Christ, should be set apart—we should be different. Different, but not weird and religious!
How will we make a difference in this world if we represent rules and not Christ? What will we have to offer that’s different?
If we love our life so much that we outdate holiness—how will we make a difference—a difference that saves lives?
It is not difficult to be holy nor is it a lofty unattainable lifestyle. God never asks us to do anything or be anyone that He will not equip us to be. He gives grace to the humble—grace is a resource—grace fills in the gaps—it is available to us—for holiness. We just have to want to be holy.
Some Christians use grace as an excuse not to be holy—grace is not an excuse, but an endless supply of assistance and support to live a godly lifestyle.
In a holy lifestyle we do not live overly cautious of our sin, instead we live mindful and in honor of God’s presence and of our relationship with Him.
I’m not perfect, but I am submitted and really passionate to be in closer relationship with God—I’m passionate for the Church to be in closer relationship with God—therefore I’m passionate about pursuing holiness.
I’m bringing holy back! What about you?
Please be encouraged to BE holy as He is Holy!
Ephesians 5:1-6 “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don’t talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn’t fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect. You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.”
1 Peter 1:13-16 “So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed. [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel].But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy.”