I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy – Leviticus 11:44 (NIV)

Be Holy, because I am Holy, were the words that God gave the children of Israel when by His own wisdom called them and set them apart for Himself (Lev. 11: 45).  In 1 Peter 1:16, Peter reminds believers that they are to move away from the lives they lived before and live holy lives because of the nature of the One who has called them.

“Holy”, “Holy”, “born again,” “chrife” are current words of derision that we hear when people are seen to be striving to live for God.  As a result, a lot of people who have committed their lives to Christ i.e. those who are born again try to fit into the crowd.  And yet we are to be set apart and different, not blending in with the crowd.  We are not to be different just for the sake of being different.  Remember what Jesus said about the Pharisees and their brands of holiness’……….they do not practice what they preach…. Everything they do is done for men to see.  They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honour…. And the most important seats in synagogues…-Matt. 23:1-6 (NIV).
What should make us different are God’s qualities in our lives – His qualities of love, mercy, goodness justice, fairness peace, kindness etc. (see Galatians 5: 22-23) Our focus and priorities must be His, in direct contrast with what we used to be when we had not committed our lives to Him.

We cannot become holy on our own, God has therefore given us His Holy Spirit to help us to obey Him and to give us power to overcome sin.  This is what is meant by sanctification; it expresses the process of becoming holy daily as a result of God’s work in us.  It means that as believers, we are being progressively conformed into the image of Christ through the regeneration that God has wrought in us, implanting in us the new life that brings about our transformation.  Being holy is not an option for Christian because without holiness no one can see the Lord. – Heb. 12:14.  While our sanctification is by faith (Acts 26:18), through our union with Christ in His death and resurrection (John 15:4-10) we must also play our part by deliberately ceasing from doing evil through compromise and through deliberate sin.  We must therefore, purify ourselves from all the things that are unethical, immoral and worthy of the one whose name we bear.

Source: Culled from SALM’s article in the Chronicle newspaper.

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