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“Seeking Holiness”

Many feel the goal of living a Holy live is impossible and impractical.  Especially in the day in which we live.  Our world is evil and social customs have made too many people believe, “as long as they are happy and believe in God,” it doesn’t really matter how they live or what they do.  Unfortunately, many professing Christians are being governed by the “socially accepted” norms of the day, than by God’s Word.  I’ve often thought the unhappiest people in the world are those trying to live for Christ, yet hang onto selfish vices in the world.  The Bible tells us, “You can’t serve two masters!”  The Christian life is a journey and when we keep our eyes upon the Savior, we’re moving forward.  God wants us to be like Him.  How do we do that?

 

Holiness!  It’s not a word you hear much today.  Yet it’s an integral part of God’s character, and He calls us to pursue it in our lives.  I Peter says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy” (1:15-16).  Why is this important?  Much of the Old Testament focuses on the importance of obeying God’s commands, but the religious leaders of the New Testament were often criticized for their legalistic emphasis on the law.  Jesus Himself focused much more on faith, grace and forgiveness.  So if we are all sinners saved by grace, where does personal holiness fit into God’s game plan?  His Word provides the convicting answer.

 

The Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).  Holiness means to, “Be set apart.”  Being “set apart” from those in the world.  This doesn’t mean we are better than anyone else, but it does mean our priority is to love God with all of our heart.  The way we live (act, talk, treat others) reflects the life and love of Jesus Christ in a world that’s opposed to His teachings.  We live this way because the Holy Spirit lives within us.  People used to go the Temple to worship and find God.  But Jesus flipped the paradigm  when He said, “When you know Me as Savior, your body becomes the Temple and I live IN YOU!”  Wherever we go, whomever we are with, as Christians we know we aren’t perfect, but there is a desire and willingness to allow God’s Spirit to direct us in our speech and conduct.  The more we put this into practice, the more we become like Christ.

 

Pastor Carnes