Why We Should Live Holy Lives

Stephan Beitze

The Bible frequently emphasizes the holiness of God, as well as His desire for His people Israel and His church to be holy. To be holy means to be separated for God.

What God longs for is also a matter dear to the heart of the person who seeks sanctification. What God abhors is an abomination to him or her. This full identification with the will of God is best described for us in 1 Peter 1:14-16: “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” God doesn’t allow any gray areas. He wants all of us! The reasoning is simple, but categorical: “Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

The consequences of straying from the path of sanctification are never good: “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known” (Prov 10:9). The very first Psalm describes the end of those who follow a sinful path: “The ungodly…are like the chaff which the wind driveth away” (Psalm 1:4). But the one who lives in sanctification has God’s approval.

Revelation lists many mistakes made by the church at Sardis. But despite this, there were those in the church who walked in sanctification: “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy” (Rev 3:4).

Through baptism, the born-again Christian testifies to his intention to live in holiness: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4).

Of course, this is a daily struggle. It will never be easy. However, we can make it very easy or very difficult for ourselves, as the following example shows:

In Germany, a few guys cut two Volkswagen Beetles down the middle and welded the two tail ends, where the engines are, together so that the two back ends faced each other. Then they wrote on it in bright colors, “We’re not going anywhere.”

Let’s say that two identical engines are facing each other in first gear. Since they are equally strong but are pushing against each other, they won’t move. Neither can be turned off. How can you get them to move? Think it over before you continue reading.

The answer is simple. We have two equal but opposite forces that cancel each other out, according to the laws of physics. The only way to move the vehicle in one direction is to only fill one of the gas tanks.

The same thing happens on a spiritual level. The fight between flesh and spirit is lifelong. If you nourish the flesh with corrupt things from magazines, movies, the internet, music, friendships, and more, it’s easy to predict what will win the fight. But if you nurture your spirit with the Word of God and prayer, and cultivate church life and fellowship with spiritually minded Christians, then you can also see what will prevail. The apostle Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). And also, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Rom 13:14).

Midnight Call - 05/2019

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