“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:14-16
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
We have before us today two verses about holiness. The importance of holiness cannot be overstated in the Christian life. Peter quotes from Leviticus 11 where the Lord God lays down regulations for the nation of Israel to follow that will separate them from other nations. They must be a holy people because the Lord is a holy God. At its core holiness relates to separation, something, or someone, set apart for a sacred purpose. The Lord Himself is set apart (holy) in His essence and being, as well as in His perfection. In His being, Almighty God is our Creator and we are His creation. He is infinite, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is dependent on no one, and we are fully dependent upon Him. He is holy. The Lord is also holy in His moral perfection. He is light and righteousness, and in Him is no darkness or evil. Righteousness is defined by His perfect character. He is a holy God.
The call of God for us to follow after Him in holiness of life, is the call of a good father to a child. As obedient children, we are called to not be conformed to the corruption of this world. The sinfulness of the world is active and every single day temptation is relentless. Satan is an active enemy in the world. He is our adversary, always working to destroy the work of the Lord. Our own hearts are corrupt and divided. To not be conformed to the pattern of this world requires us to hear the command of the Lord, recognize His goodness, and actively pursue the holiness of God.
It’s important every so often to examine yourself and ask: Do I live a holy and separated life? Do the people around me every day know that I’m a follower of Jesus Christ? Can they see it in my life and attitude? Can they hear it in my words? Do I stand for the things that Jesus stood for? Are the fruits of the Holy Spirit clearly evident in my life? Is the holy separation of my life a thing of pride, or is it attractive like the beautiful life of Jesus Christ?
I have included here a verse from Philippians about the mind, because the actions of your life begin with the direction of your thoughts. The apostle Paul gives us a beautiful and virtuous list of things to set our mind upon. Without intentional direction the mind drifts on its own toward anger, lust, jealousy, pride, and covetousness. By the transforming power of the Holy Spirit we are strengthened to take hold of our thoughts and direct them toward a righteous end. This process begins with the precious word of God in Scripture. The most powerful way to shift your thinking is to fill your mind with Scripture and a clear understanding of the goodness of God.
Your actions matter. Today spend time reading the Bible. Set your mind on Christ, and be determined to live a holy life that is set apart from the normal ways of this world. May you be known as a joyful, humble, and righteous Christian. This is the only way that the Gospel message makes any sense. It is a message that comes to the ears of the lost from a person living a different life. It is a call to come away from the dead and empty ways of this world, and come to the way of Christ – a righteous way of life and peace. Let us be holy, as our Heavenly Father is holy.
Soli Deo Gloria,