Resolve to Be Holy
Be Holy: We have just entered into the year 2015. God clearly gives instructions to His children about what they are to focus on this coming year. The Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Peter to write to God’s elect–those who are chosen by God through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:1-2). The goal God has set before Christians is high, yet attainable. “…Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given when Jesus is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ ” (1 Peter 1:13-15)
The writer of the Book of Hebrews, while warning against falling away from the faith, rebuked his readers for still being spiritual infants. Many Christians continually need someone to remind them of the elementary truths of God’s Word. Messages on forgiveness and salvation are most certainly Biblical, however they alone won’t mature a believer in Christ. Christians must find teaching that will take them from milk on up to the meat of God’s Word. Solid food is for those who want to mature and diligently train themselves to distinguish what is truly worthwhile spiritually from what is only a lethargic form of godliness.
The purpose of the church is not to make people feel good about themselves but to give God’s children an opportunity to become increasingly holy. In our day of social Christianity, the newest fads and latest programs have produced carnal Christians. If the apostle Paul were alive, his letters to many churches today would mirror his epistle rebuking the first century worldly Corinthian church.
“Holy,” “saint,” “sanctification”–all three of these words have been translated from one Greek word that is difficult to translate into English. Its gist, however, is easy to grasp—it means to be separated, set apart or different from. Morally, it means to be striving heartily after God’s purity and righteousness instead of seeking after the ways of the world and the things in it. A Christian who is set apart for the Lord lives his life in a way that pleases God. He uses his talents and the things that God has given him to glorify Jesus Christ, not himself or the church he attends.
People are often guilty of perceiving “church” to be just another club in town competing for numbers or a building where lots of programs are held. Rather, they should come to know that “church” is people who have received Christ into their hearts and who are being changed into His image through the illumination of the Holy Spirit and the written Word of God. Jesus is the Head, the church is His Body.
The Bible instructs Christians to always conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel (Php. 1:27). Paul wrote, “Count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus…Sin is not to be your master.” (Rom. 6:11,14)
As a Christian, you are purchased by the very blood of Christ and your New Year Resolution for 2015 is a mandate from God, “Be holy.” The Bible teaches that if you love the Lord, then you will obey His commands (1 John 5:3). And you have God’s promise, He will faithfully empower you to live out what He calls you to—an abundant life of holiness.