Summary: "Be holy as I am holy." Practical ways that we can be obedient to the divine command.
How to be Holy as Jesus Commands us To Be - Matt. 6:26,27
Illustration: Quarterback cum ESPN commentator Joe Theismann, allegedly explaining to his soon-to-be-ex second wife why he had an affair: "God wants Joe Theismann to be happy."
A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.
1. Jesus knew that purity in motive, attitude and action comes from a clear conscience void of offense toward God and men. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God." (Matt. 5:8)
Ask the Lord to help you maintain a clear conscience not only when people are watching you, but during the times when only the Lord is able to understand your mind, emotions and actions.
Jesus resisted the temptation to Pharisaical practicing of righteousness in a way that could be seen by people in an attempt to flaunt one’s self-righteousness.
2. Jesus kept a very high standard for purity. He said, "You have heard the Pharisees teaching, "Do not commit adultery," But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28)
Ask the Lord to help you live more by the high standards of God’s righteousness rather than the changing morals of society.
3. Jesus chose to fellowship with people who called on the Lord from a pure heart. Be careful of who you associate with as you naturally will tend to pick up their positive or negative suggestions.
Jesus inspired Paul to write, "Flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of pure heart." (2 Tim. 2:22)
Ask the Lord to help you become so occupied pursing righteous causes that you do not have time to fall into immoral temptations.
The Pharisees refused to fellowship with anyone who did not meet their strict standards in their religious codes.
4. Jesus chose to speak to women about agape love rather than friendship (phileo) or eros (sensual) love. Whenever Jesus spent time with Mary and Martha, He was careful to help them turn their attention to things above rather than on earthly problems. He commended Mary for listening to the word of God in an attempt to know how to give the Lord greater love, worship and service. (Luke 10:38-42)
Be careful when you are speaking to members of the opposite sex that you turn the conversation to things above rather than male-female relationships.
The Pharisees avoided talking to women because they believed that their husbands limiting the women in their ability to learn should teach all instruction to women.
5. Jesus made it clear that the goal of His instruction was love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. (I Tim. 1:5) Throughout the life, ministry and teaching of Jesus, there are consistent themes of purity that comes from within a person’s heart and mind.
The Pharisees were more concerned about outward purity for the sake of public approval.
6. Jesus began each day with the worship of the Lord through His personal devotions to program His thinking in righteousness, holiness and truth.
Ask the Lord for the discipline to develop a consistent time when you can study and pray through the scriptures learning more of the attributes and characteristics of the Holy One.
In contrast, the Pharisees loved to be seen in the temple and on the street corners praying to gain public approval. Jesus said, "They have their reward in full."
7. Jesus epitomized a man of pure thoughts so much so that Paul wrote of Christ when he wrote, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - is anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me - put it into practice and the God of peace will be with you." (Phil 4:8,9)
The Pharisees’ were filled with greed, anger, and fear of losing their positions of power to the point where they arranged for Christ to be crucified on a cross.
8. Jesus exercised discipline in all dimensions of life - spiritual, physically, emotionally, mental, social, economic etc. The Lord realized that we are holistic beings that can easily become impure if we surrender to temptation in any one area.
The Pharisee, however, thought they could be holy in their religious observances while being manipulative, coercive and even fraudulent in all the secret facets of life.
9. Jesus relied on the power of God to keep Himself pure. He said, "Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." (Matt 26:41)