Sunday, July 12, 2015

OBEDIENCE Series#2 - Holiness = Obedience To God

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo SundayHoly_zpsvnrral2x.jpg

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action;  be self-controlled;  set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance  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 Peter 1:13-16

Holiness = Obedience to God

First of all let's define:
"holiness" - The state of being holy; purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity (King James Version Dictionary)

When I think of the word "holy" I automatically think of God and would never refer to myself as holy.  That's why when I read the verses above I had to reread them several times.  YES - we can live holy lives, morally pure but the only way we can be "free from sin" is through Jesus Christ.  Only by accepting God's gift of forgiveness through the death & resurrection of his only Son Jesus Christ can we be free from sin for eternity.

How do we become holy?
Now, just because we have been forgiven does not mean that becoming holy will be easy - there needs to be constant work on our part.  The first part of the verses above is to "prepare your minds for action" and that needs to be the first step (after accepting God's gift of forgiveness of course) to becoming holy.  The mind is so important and what we allow into our mind will affect our actions (click HERE to read "Faith in Action").  We protect our mind by our thoughts - in Philippians 4:8 there is a list of the types of thoughts that we should allow in our mind:
TRUE - factual, correct & exact
NOBLE - honorable, principled, moral, decent & self-sacrificing
RIGHT - well, healthy, fit
PURE - clean, uncontaminated, unpolluted, unadulterated
LOVELY - beautiful, pretty, divine
ADMIRABLE - commendable, venerable, worthy
EXCELLENT - outstanding, brilliant, exceptional, first-rate
PRAISEWORTHY - exemplary, creditable
As I said, it will not be easy - just turn the television on for five minutes and you've already allowed many thoughts into your mind that do not fit into the categories listed above. 

The knowledge of Salvation - knowing that all of our sins have been forgiven through the saving blood of Jesus Christ changes the way that one thinks and acts.
The next step to becoming holy is to "be self-controlled".  This means learning to control what we say, what we do and what we think.  Pay attention to the urgings of the Holy Spirit and you will see that being self-controlled is really being Christ filled.

Then, "set your hope fully on Jesus Christ" - focus on Jesus at all times - He is our Savior and His life on earth is our example on how we should strive to live.

Finally, this last one can sneak up on you "do not conform to evil desires".  We are all human and are not perfect.  So, when you sin - ask for forgiveness and then get back on the road to becoming holy.  


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