Summary: Guidance on understanding what it means to be Holy, and the proper response to God’s call on Christians to live a Holy life.
LIVING A HOLY LIFE
The Call to Be Holy
1. One of the most significant callings that God puts on the hearts of Christians is the call to be Holy.
2. 1 Peter, specifically 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV), says:
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."
3. Today I want to talk to you about the importance of being holy.
4. The Title of this message is “Living a Holy Life”, and it is based primarily from God’s Words to us in 1 Peter.
5. The word holy, Hagios in Greek, is used seven times in Peter’s first letter with regard to conduct or behavior. In addition, the word holy is used more than 500 times throughout the Bible.
6. So then, what is Holiness and what does it mean to be Holy?
7. The word Holy implies sacredness, being consecrated to God, or being worthy of God.
8. To be holy is to be free from anything that would offend a perfect God.
9. A portion of the entry under Holy in the Nelson Bible Dictionary reads as follows:
10. HOLY – moral and ethical wholeness or perfection; freedom from moral evil. Holiness is one of the essential elements of God’s nature required of His people.
11. We, as Christians, must live in this world, but we have been called out of the world (set apart) to live lives that are in conflict with what the world believes to be good and/or acceptable. This is quite often talked about as Christians being in the world, but not being of the world.
12. 1 Peter 1:17 (New International Version) says:
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
13. Beyond that, however, we must exhibit such exemplary conduct that it is recognized by people of the world.
14. 1 Peter 2:12 (New International Version) says:
12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
15. As Christians, we are not to value the things that the world values. We’re not supposed to accept the sinful evil ways of the world, to embrace them or to allow them to become part of our lives.
16. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, it means that whatever sinful evil ways of the world we did follow, prior to becoming a Christian, must now be stopped.
Done with Sin
17. 1 Peter 1:14 (New International Version) says:
14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
18. So many times when we consider Christ’s work on the cross, we focus so much on the forgiveness of sins that we may miss another very important work He has done for us.
19. 1 Peter 4:1-3 (New International Version) says:
1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
20. Christ suffered in his body so that we, his followers, his disciples would be done with sin. This does not mean that we would never sin again. It means that we would cease to live for the satisfaction of our sinful human desires, and that we would eagerly live to carry-out the will of God for the remainder of our earthly lives.
21. Colossians 3:5 (New International Version) adds to this, and it says:
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
22. Plain and simple, we are to stop. It doesn’t mean to slow down or decrease. It means to stop. In other words, God has issued us a cease and desist order for any sinful worldly behavior.
23. The world consistently and constantly screams things at us like you’ve earned it; you deserve it, go for the gusto, you’re worth it, get it while you can, the world is your playground, etc.
24. Christians, however, should be looking to receive everything from the Father, and nothing from the world.
25. 1 John 2:16 (New International Version) says:
16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.