Posted by: glorifyhim1 | March 12, 2014

Becoming Holy

Becoming Holy

“But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16).

What does it mean to be holy? Holy can be defined as being dedicated or consecrated, or as Merriam-Webster states “devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity.” Dictionary.com also describes a holy life as one that is “saintly, godly, pious, devout.” Am I a holy person? How about you? Would others look at you and me and declare us holy? What should holiness look like in a believer’s life? And, perhaps more importantly, how do we allow holiness to define who we are?

As I thought about this, I was reminded of a story about Jesus in Matthew 11. John the Baptist, who was in prison at the time, heard about all the works that Jesus was doing so he sent two of his disciples to Jesus to find out if he was the “Coming One,” the one that John had been proclaiming, or if the Christ was still to come. Jesus answered His disciples: “’Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me’” (Matthew 11:4-6).

Just as Jesus’ works confirmed who He was, the things we do should likewise identify us as His followers. When we truly surrender ourselves to Christ and live for Him, that’s what happens. Our lives are no longer ours, but they belong to Christ. We are holy – not because of who we are, but because of whose we are. When we surrender our wills to His and live the lives He calls us to live, we will reflect Him to a lost world who needs so much to see Him.

Yet, does the world see Jesus in your life and mine? Paul spoke to the Corinthians regarding this failure. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:3b). We fail to reflect the holiness of Christ when we give in to the ways of the unsaved world. When people without Christ can’t see any difference between what I’m saying or teaching, or where I’m going or what I’m doing, neither can they see Christ.

We are called to be holy so that others will see Jesus. But, oh how many times do I fail to measure up? I don’t know about you, but I’m afraid that I wouldn’t often be described by others as being “saintly, godly, pious, or devout.” Don’t we all mess up? We become angry and say hurtful things. We struggle to forgive those who have hurt us. We often look less like Christ and more like the world. But we are not called to try to be holy; we are called to be holy. So how do we become holy?

The first step to being holy is repentance and surrender. Peter preached at Pentecost: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). We become holy people when we surrender our ways, our wills, our total selves to Jesus Christ.  

The next step to being holy is learning to walk in-step with Christ, allowing His Spirit to lead us and teach us. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).

It is as we surrender to Christ, walk with Him, and allow His Spirit to guide us, we become holy people. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).  As we yield to the Spirit’s work in our lives, He will bear fruit in us that we could never do by ourselves – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23). These are fruits that the world can see and that can bring glory to the only One worthy, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God wants His people to be different. He wants us to be holy, so that others will want what we have – so that they will want to know the Christ that we know. 2 Corinthians 2:15 is a good reminder for all Christians about our responsibility to be holy. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (NIV). I pray that I will listen more to the Spirit as He leads me and allow Him to reveal more of the beautiful Christ I know to a world that so desperately needs Him.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

(1 Peter 2:9)

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