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December 12:   We Must be Holy Like Jesus

By Bassey Ekong
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“Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2). Holiness is not only a possibility for the Christian; holiness is a requirement. “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). The difference between God and us is that He is inherently holy while we, on the other hand, only become holy in relationship to Christ and we only increase in practical holiness as we mature spiritually. The New Testament emphasizes the pursuit of holiness in this world and the final attainment of holiness in the world to come.

To be “holy” means that we are, first of all, “set apart for honorable use.” “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:3-5). 1 Corinthians 6:11 also adds, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” The Lord took the initiative to pull us out of our former lifestyles. He saved us, cleansed us, and set us apart for righteousness. If we have believed in Christ for salvation, we have been washed by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and set apart from the world for godliness. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2).

However, the pursuit of holiness does not end when we come to Christ. In fact, coming to Christ is only the beginning! There is a positional holiness that we inherit at regeneration and a practical holiness which we must actively pursue. God expects us to cultivate a lifestyle of holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16) and commands us to “cleanse ourselves of all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1 NASB).

Bringing holiness to “perfection” means that we should be increasing in spiritual fruitfulness every day. We are to consider ourselves “dead to sin” (Romans 6:11), refusing to revert back to our former lifestyles. In this way, “Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21). We must keep ourselves as vessels of honor for Christ’s use. Note: Holiness is the mark of every true Christian (1 John 3:9-10). Be sure to let the way you talk, think and do things with your neighbors testify to your pursuit of holiness.

Let’s pray: O Lord, thank You for Your holiness and love for us sinful humans. Lord, thank You for Jesus who pulled us out of unholiness to the light of salvation and into Your kingdom where holiness reigns. Lord, I want to be holy like Jesus. Give me the grace to live a holy life and glorify Your holy name, in Jesus’ name. Amen

Today’s reading: Hosea 9-11; Revelation 7-8

Our Calling Demands a Lifestyle of Holiness.