Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
The word holiness comes from the Hebrew ‘qodhesh’ that means to be set apart to a sacred use, or to the service or worship of God. Many Christians struggle with the biblical mandate for holiness because they equate holiness with perfection. The belief is that since it is not possible for any sinful being to be perfect, holiness is a spiritual ideal Christians cannot attain. Thus, many Christians become uncomfortable in talking about holiness.
These days, holiness is not a preferred sermon topic in many churches. Many seeker driven churches avoid the topic of holiness altogether so as not to alienate or discourage people from attending their services. They purposely avoid such Bible verses as Hebrews 12:14 and 1 Peter 1:16, which is derived from Leviticus 11:44. In their eagerness to increase their membership, they water-down the biblical mandate for God’s people to pursue holiness.
Authentic disciples of Jesus Christ should have a thirst for holiness and develop an obsession for righteousness. After all, we have been redeemed by Christ and set apart for the service of God. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in us, whom we have received from God (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Holiness is God’s non-negotiable expectation for every believer. It is not a choice. It is a command. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord. Another way of putting it, “we can only see God through the lenses of holiness. Holiness is the natural language that allows us to communicate with God more fluently.
The pursuit of holiness is our reasonable worship of Almighty God. We pursue holiness so that we might become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Our pursuit of holiness allows our spiritual light to shine brighter in this world of darkness. It makes our testimonies more valid and compelling.
Our pursuit of holiness emanates from our unwavering love for and commitment to Jesus Christ, our Lord. It informs our faith and reforms our behavior. The Bible exhorts us to make every effort to grow in godliness because we have been saved to be sanctified.
Our pursuit of holiness enables us to bear fruits of righteousness. It gives us the confidence to proclaim the gospel through our lifestyle as well as through our words. As we pursue holiness, we rid ourselves of the guilt and shame of sin so we can live in victory through Christ Jesus.
As parents, our pursuit of holiness is the best example we can provide to our children. It is our holiness footprint that will help to transform the world into the kingdom of God. During this season of social and political unrest, believers should not forget that we were not saved to be Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal. God saved us to reflect his glory and do the good works he set aside for us to do. Therefore, we are his holy nation.
Many people lament the secularism that has infiltrated the Church of Jesus Christ. We worry about the future of the Church because millennials and generation Zrs are seemingly disinterested in the Church. “Religious experts” are coming out with many books and creative ideas to reach those generations for Christ. However, I believe, if those of us who are called disciples of Jesus Christ would pursue holiness, we will change the atmosphere and transform the world for Christ.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help us to strive for holiness so we can strengthen our relationship with thee and become more fruitful for your kingdom.