By Benjamin H. Liles
When I consider what it means to be holy, and living a holy life with God, I have to wonder—am I doing this, which God is calling me to do: being holy? Peter writes, “So prepare your minds for service and have self-control. * All your hope should be for when Jesus Christ is shown to you [L at the revelation of Jesus Christ]. Now that you are obedient children of God do not live as you did in the past. You did not understand, so you did the evil things you wanted. But be holy in all you do, just as God, the One who called you, is holy. It is written in the scriptures: ‘You must be holy, because I am holy [Lev. 11:45; 19:2; 20:7]” (1 Peter 1:13-16, Expanded).
I think that’s the big thing here. God wanted for us to be without stain, to be pure as He is. Granted, after the fall of the human race no one would be as perfect as He is, just as Jesus Christ is. Scripture says of Christ, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him—Jesus Christ—who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21, New King James).
So, what can we say of God’s holiness? And how can we be made holy? God stands out in the fact that, as I said before, He never sinned. Jesus Christ, even when He encountered others, whether sinner or Pharisee, gave everyone His love and Himself as to whom God is in the flesh. Don’t get me wrong, some people say He must have sinned to have died the way He did, but scripture says otherwise. Those who walked and talked and were disciple by Jesus claimed that He never did anything to separate Himself from the Father, God.
What steps can we take to be holy as God is? As long as we listen to the gospel message of Christ, coming to faith that He saves us from our sins, to reconcile us to God, to make us righteous with God—we can be made holy. These are also the steps we can take. But also to remain holy we must continually remain in Him, doing those things which He said: “Love God; Love your neighbor” (summary of Matthew 22:37-40).
If we’re going to be honest here, we will never be perfect as long as we live here on planet earth, but we can set ourselves apart by loving God and in loving others, showing we obey Him, and that we desire to honor Him as well as others. It means we abstain from any and all forms of sinful living, keeping ourselves from being stained, having any kind of blemish, and from marring our own appearance and character before others. We work, along with God being active in our lives, to be seen as the light-bearers as we are; for Christ said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, New King James).
I pray this has blessed and encouraged you to live life with God the Father through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who went to the cross to die on your behalf. He did so in order that you may have life, to be reconciled—as Paul says, with the Father eternally. And we can have a much better life. If we truly want to be honest, we ought to live less for ourselves, living both for God as well as for others: blessing others, encouraging others, building others up, and making disciples of all men so they share the light of Christ with others. Let that be your legacy. In Christ Jesus I pray. Amen.