April 29, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness." 1 Thessalonians 4:7
What is holiness of life? Immediately, many think of some pious individual, separated into an isolated lifestyle that knows nothing of the reality of life. That is not what Paul is talking about here. Holiness is conformity to the mind and will of God, which is applicable to both our heart and our walk, integrated into every phase of our life. Why is this so difficult? He who made us, knows best how we should live, what would be best for our good, and glorifying to Him. That's true, but we have such a struggle, a constant battle. We always want to raise the ugly head of SELF and seek after the ways of the flesh. WHY?
When Adam sinned, he received a sinful nature that was at enmity with God. A nature that puts self first and everything else, including God, wherever it may fall. We have inherited that sinful nature. However, when we received Christ as Savior, we became a new creation with a spiritual nature born of God, and when surrendered to Him, is glorifying to God. We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who reveals to us God's Word, opens our minds to understand what it says, leads us in the paths of life, instructs us in the way we should live, and enlightens us to His will.
He seeks to bring us into a holy life, a life characterized by righteousness, not ours, but HIS. Paul said, "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Philippians 3:9). To this end, Jesus lived and died "that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). We are to turn from the natural pull of our sinful nature and surrender to the claims of our new spiritual nature given to us by God at conversion.
God has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we might be holy. Paul says, "Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?...Being made free from sin, and become the servants of God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life" (Romans 6:16, 22).
A life characterized by His righteousness is to have HIS LIFE LIVED THROUGH US. It is when the totality of our life, our will, our desires, our hope, the very essence of our life is in His sovereign control. What others see is not our life but HIS. The striving to be holy becomes a yielding to His holiness. The only thing in our life that will last in eternity will be what HE DOES THROUGH US.
To be holy is to completely surrender our will to His Will, our way to His Way, and our life to His lordship. Could there be a more blessed life than to be under His care and loving control? Could there be any greater joy than to be led by His Spirit and motivated by His love? As the Holy Spirit begins to open our lives and hearts to a new and living relationship with Christ, only then will we start becoming like Him, being conformed to the image of HIS SON. He has called us to holiness.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=120&date=2012-04-29
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