Mon 1 Peter 1:13-25 Thu Isaiah 57:15 Sun Romans 12:1
Tues Mark 7:14-19 Fri Hebrews 12:14-17
Wed 2 Timothy 1:9 Sat 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
This is our third week in the teaching series on holiness, so I’d like to ask you question. What does it mean to “be holy?” In the course of learning about holiness, I wonder if you’ve accepted the very simple definitions or are you convinced there has to be more? So far, we’ve learned that the word we translate as “holy” means, set apart or sacred (devoted or dedicated to a deity; consecrated). We’ve learned to “be holy” means, to be different. We’ve learned that Jesus said his kingdom was not of this world, and that’s why, when were obedient to Him, it feels like we don’t fit in with the world around us. We’ve learned that being holy is completely dependent on God not on a list of things we’re doing or have done. God says…
“… be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16 NIV)
“You must be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.” (Leviticus 20:26 ESV)
If you are a believer, you are holy. You are a child of God, and He has set you apart. That’s it … that’s all there is to it … as much as it fights against your nature, don’t add anything to it.
Being holy does not happen because you tell the truth, serve those in need, love sacrificially, drive the speed limit, are content with what you have and stay sexually pure. Being holy isn’t about what you do, it’s about Who you belong to. We are taught from a very young age, in order to “be” something, you must earn it. So when we see lists like the Ten Commandments, we’re tempted in the direction of achievement. We trade the truth of being holy for the temptation of doing holy. When God says “be holy,” He is not calling you to action; He is declaring who you are in Him.
Having said all that, God desires for your life to be different. When people observe you, they should clearly see it. What you choose to do does matter, it just doesn’t trump who you are in Christ. Choosing to settle for forgiven won’t make you unholy, but it will rob you of the true freedom experienced in living a holy life.
There are two words at the very beginning of Psalm 46:10 which I would pray your heart and life embrace in experiencing what it means to be holy. They are another invitation to “be” rather than do. “Be still,” God says, “and know that I am God.” Most Bible translations say “Be still,” however, the NASB (New American Standard Bible) chose two different words which I love and find especially meaningful in the context of holiness … “Cease striving.” As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are holy. We have been set apart and made sacred, because He is set apart and sacred. Don’t “be” holy as if it were an action verb. Cease striving. If there is anything good in us or which comes from us, let us acknowledge it comes from Him. Let us be obedient to the call of Romans 12:1, and dedicate/consecrate/make ourselves available to God. When you do, pull the plug and drain all of your striving to be holy. Make yourself available as an empty vessel, then pray that He fills and uses you for the purposes He has planned for you (Ephesians 2:10). Be still, be holy and let your “be”ing motivate your “do”ing.