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When we think of Holiness what comes to mind?
Listen to the words of the text from the book of Hebrews chapter 12, verses 14 & 15. “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord; looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. We are to live our lives in such a way that people will see the Lord, by pursuing peace and holiness. What does it mean to be Holy? We have talked about this before. To be Holy is to be set apart, to be different according to the world’s standards. In this epistle, it is explained as drawing near to God with full faith and a cleansed conscience; a genuine acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Savior and sacrifice for sin. You see unbelievers will not be drawn to accept Christ if believers’ lives do not demonstrate the qualities God desires, including peace and holiness.
To be Holy is to be set apart. And how are we set apart? By loving one another, by pursuing peace and by truly striving to be Holy. Not striving to be religious. There are lots of religious people in our world, in our country, in our state, and in our community who are set apart. You know who they are. The untouchables, whose actions fall way short of their words, a “Holier than Thou” attitude. Today we call them cynics. In Jesus’ day they were called Pharisees.
Peter the disciple writes in his first letter chapter 1 starting with verse 13; “Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts as in your ignorance, but as He who called you is Holy, you also be Holy in your conduct, because it is written, be Holy, for I am Holy.”
Peter says, be Holy. We should set our minds on striving to be Holy in how we conduct our lives. Obedience, living in the world, but not according to the world’s standards, understanding that God’s grace is freely given even when we fall short – but we should strive
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