November 1st

Pursuing Holiness

13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
1 Peter 1:13-19 NIV 

Holiness is one of those challenging calls in the scripture that is often dismissed as impossible to achieve.  But, we’re commanded to be holy, just as God is holy, so it must be possible.  John said, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). 

In order to understand how holiness is possible, we must go back to the cross.  Jesus died for two reasons – first, that we can be forgiven of our sin and second, that we might live for him in righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:15).  Paul wrote, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4 NIV).  God sends the Holy Spirit to give us the power and life in our mortal bodies to make holiness possible.  Paul wrote, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11 NASB) 

Bringing our lives into total submission to God in holiness is perhaps a lifelong task.  It’s a challenge to die to sin’s desires each day and live in the reality of the new creation God has made us to be.  When we believe that we have the Spirit and that he is helping us, the Spirit’s power is released in us to do the impossible.   

The winning combination for holiness is achieved when we follow the Holy Spirit and cling to God’s word. Our textbook for learning how to live in holiness is the Bible.  It contains God’s promises and the practical instructions on how to avoid evil and live as a righteous instrument for God’s purposes.  As we read and study the Bible, we’ll learn the truth that sets us free from whatever sin besets us.   Paul wrote, “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God”(2 Corinthians 7:1 NIV).  When we know and believe the promises, God’s power is engaged in us for change. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God in heaven, I embrace your command for holiness in my life. Thank you for dying for both the forgiveness of my sin and so that I may live in the newness of life in holiness.  Please fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and forgive me for grieving you in any way through sin in the past.  I submit myself to your leadership and guidance.  I respond to your convictions and walk on the path of righteousness.  Thank you that holiness in my life is possible!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”