To some the concept of holiness may seem impossible to our current generation. The news is filled with adultery, fraud, theft, deceit, murder and a variety of crimes against children among many other things. Even within the church and among those of us who claim to be Christian I sometimes ask myself: What happened to holiness? In my own life the Holy Spirit will sometimes remind me that “sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14
Holiness is a scriptural principle. The word holy in various forms is found more than 600 times in the Bible. God commands us to be holy (Leviticus 11:44). There are many false concepts of how to actually live a holy life. In some circles holiness is equated with with a list of do’s and don’ts. When we follow this approach we are in danger of living like the Pharisees which can result in self-righteousness, pride and legalism. And for still others it means unattainable perfection, an idea that can result in discouragement and defeat about one’s sin.
Living a holy life means to live in conformity to the moral precepts of the Bible in contrast to the sinful ways of the world. It is the ongoing process of being shaped into the image of Christ. Seel Romans 8:29 & 12:2. This transformation is a journey of learning to think, feel and act like Jesus. Is it really possible to live a holy life in our times? Does God actually expect this of us? I believe the Lord would never ask us to do something that is impossible. As Christians we are to live a holy life “Since then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through an through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life, a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you. What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense.” Ephesians 4:22-24
If holiness is so basic to the Christian life, why do we not experience it in daily living? Why do so many Christians feel defeated in their struggle with sin? Why do so many churches seem to be more conformed to the world around it than to God? The answers to these questions will be answered in the next post.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts on holiness? When is the last time holiness was taught in your church?