Sunday, September 24, 2006

To Be Holy

“Holiness is the desire and duty of every Christian. It must be in all affairs, in every condition, and towards all people.” ~ Matthew Henry; Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

Holiness. This is the key characteristic God wants developed in His people. It is the key characteristic of God. From Holiness flows all the other attributes which are essential to living a Christian life: Love, mercy, integrity, etc. Holiness is a must for Christians.
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. Obey God because you are his children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God—who chose you to be his children—is holy. For he himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy.” ~ 1 Peter 1:13-16; NLT
If we are going to live holy lives the very first element that must be present in our lives is self-control. Without self-control we will go with the flow of our desires which come to us through our flesh. We will lust, covet, hate, steal, lie, and curse. Instead of loving and respecting others we will put ourselves first. A life without self-control is a life that is lived without boundaries. The person does whatever he/she pleases.

Not only do we need self-control, but we also need to have hope. If there is no hope beyond what we experience in this life then it becomes very easy to justify satisfying our immediate desires. Even the apostle Paul wrote; And if we have hope in Christ only for the life, we are the most miserable people in the world (1 Corinthians 15:19; NLT). Yet when we have, an expectant assurance of things to come, we are able to put of temporary gratification and wait for the exceedingly wonderful blessings that God has in store for His children.

The third element that is essential to our holiness is being part of the Family of God. If we are not part of a fellowship and we are out doing our own thing then it really wouldn’t matter how we lived. Yet because we are part of the Family of God and the name Christian not only associates us with other Christians, but also with God Himself, it becomes very important how we live our lives. Our actions are a reflection of not only the Church, but also of God.

The idea of holiness is connected with the idea of being set apart. As Christians we need to remember that because of Jesus we have been set apart from Sin. The blood of Jesus has made it possible for us to be separated from the sin that has dominated our lives.

Not only are we separated from sin, but we have also been separated from the world for a special purpose. Christians are God’s special instruments to call a lost world back to Him. To be holy means we have a special calling, a purpose, in our lives.

Holiness is serious business. Until we commit ourselves to living a holy life we will miss out on the wonderful life God has planned for us. The road to the full life God has created for us is found through holiness.

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