“For God did not call us to be impure,
but to live a holy life”
(1 Thessalonians 4:7)
God, God’s Word and Prayer – the three Core Values that we have touched on so far. To them must be added one that clearly follows – Holy Lives. This is emphasised in Scripture a number of times,
- “I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44)
- “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1)
- “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:15)
Holiness means that we are set apart for God, and not for ourselves or the world – we are God’s people, called to live His way, His truth and His life.
- “And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:6)
- “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8)
- “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
In terms of the Old Covenant holiness was a requirement for salvation and to remain as God’s chosen people – which the people demonstrated that they were completely unable to live out.
- “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6)
In terms of the New Covenant holiness is seen as a consequence of our salvation and our new standing as the adopted daughters and sons of God. It reflects what God has already done for us and in us and is evidence of the Holy Spirit living within us – for it is He who produces this fruit. We allow Him to do so by surrendering ourselves to Him, recognising what it is that He is wanting to do in our lives and co-operating with Him. We already know what this is because we have seen something of it in the character of God, the example of the Lord Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Holiness then is living as the daughters and sons of God in the power of the Holy Spirit whilst still in the midst of a fallen world. There will be many a struggle before we relinquish some of our ingrained habits and desires – but the Holy Spirit will never give in because He will give effect to God’s desire and purpose for us. The sooner the better, for we will then experience more of the fullness of the life that He has for us and experience more of the reality of His great love.
- “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
‘Most High and Holy God, enthroned in fire and light, burn away the dross of our lives and kindle in us the fire of Your love, that our lives may reveal the light and life and love we find in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Amen.