You Shall Be Holy!

You Shall Be Holy!

1 Peter 1:14-16 holds truth that gives a child of God knowledge and at the same time sets him on a pathway in this life which enables him to achieve God’s best.  “As obedient children; do not be conformed to the passions of 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 NAS)

Considering that Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort… to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”  It is a good idea to gain Biblical understanding of holiness. “Holy” (ἅγιος hágios) is a religious awe, something or someone sanctified for the Lord’s use.  Practical application: It is devotion to the service of God, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement.

To live a life of holiness is to have Holy Spirit illumination of the truths found in the whole counsel of God’s Word.  It is to live a life that indicates that the sinful nature has been overcome, the influence of this world’s system has been cast off, and the lies of the devil fall on deaf ears.

Most Christians do well at avoiding lifestyles of murder, homosexuality, adultery or thievery.  However, bitterness and a critical spirit keep them from continued fellowship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.  The vice-like grip of anger and resentment often comes from nursing bad attitudes towards work, disappointment in friends and family and having wrong expectations of this life.  Surrender to our temper and persistent sin keeps us from enjoying the victorious birthright of holiness that is promised to the children of God.

The worldly view that holiness is shown in plain hairstyles, long skirts and black stockings is not a Biblical precept, nor is someone with a holier than thou attitude necessarily a holy person.  Holiness is very much a Scriptural truth.  The whole book of Leviticus is devoted to the subject.  The word “holy” in various forms appears in the Bible at least 600 times.  Leviticus 11:44 says, “I am the Lord your God, consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.”  In writing about “Living as Children of Light” the Apostle Paul writes, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”  (Ephesians 5:22-24)   

Holy Spirit illuminated Christians understand that their desire to overcome sin is not for themselves, but rather from a longing to avoid breaking the heart of God.  They know that living by faith is both knowing the Word of God and then trusting Him to provide the ability to live out His precepts.  They do not categorize sin as either unacceptable or tolerable.  They see the whole counsel of God’s Word as coming from a holy Lawgiver.  Thus, His children are bound to conform to His will.  They know that there are only two choices, obedience or disobedience to the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Let it be said of you, “That person is hungry for the holiness of God!”

Plant Seeds for Holiness

The fall time of the year is harvest time and, for many farmers, a time to plant seeds for a future harvest.  A farmer prepares his fields, fertilizes, and cultivates.  He spends long hours planning and working as well as pondering on the hazards and benefits of being a farmer.  He works hard knowing full well the result of the harvest is dependent on forces outside himself.  Everyone knows that farmers cannot cause the seeds to germinate, nor can they produce the right combination of rainfall, sunshine, and temperature needed to bring the harvest in. Farmers are dependent on God.  That is a fact that cannot be changed.

However, diligent farmers know that they must do their part if they are going to enjoy a harvest good enough to pay the bills and feed those in this world.  In a sense, farmers are in a partnership with God, receiving the benefits only after fulfilling their responsibility.

Deuteronomy 28 holds blessings for the people in a nation that Biblically fears the Lord as well as curses for those who willfully live as they please.The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to.  The LORD will establish you as His holy people…, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in His ways… The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.  However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees…, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you…” (Deuteronomy 28:8-10, 12, 15)

Let the Holy Spirit place this truth within your spiritual heart, “establish you as His Holy people.” There is a Biblical truth that must be grasped, “Holiness is a joint venture with God.” (Jim Bridges)  No one can enjoy the benefits of living a holy life without the enabling of God, or without fulfilling their responsibilities.  Just as diligent farmers prepare for a future harvest, Christians must prepare Biblically for the harvest that is promised in having Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord.

Just as farmers must break the hard ground to plant seeds for the harvest, the Holy Spirit must break the spiritual heart with the written Word of God, “Make every effort… to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

d obedience to the law of nature for farmers to reap a harvest.  Farmers must learn from others who know about farming.  You must learn from those within whom the Lord is establishing a life of holiness if you are going to enjoy the harvest that is promised in pursuing holiness.  There are Christians who are diligent, studying the laws and precepts of God’s Word.  There are Christians whom the Lord is doing a work in and through.

Just as farmers seek to learn new and better ways to plant seed, fertilize and cultivate for a harvest, you must seek to learn from God’s Word, Jesus said, “…the seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11)