1 Peter 1:15-16 “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, be holy, for I am holy.”
Hebrews 12:14 “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”
Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
As believers we are called to live a holy life and we are empowered to live a holy life through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In the church today we, for the most part here very little teaching on the call and empowerment to live a holy life. We hear a message of grace that is gone too far and gives us license to follow our own desires. We hear a message of we will always sin and we will always struggle with sin, these and many other teachings are simply not accurate.
Sin no longer has a hold on believers who have been sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 6:11, 18, 19b “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 18 And having been set free from sin, you become slaves of righteousness. 19b so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
In Isaiah charter five, we see the danger and consequences of not following the word in living a holy life, we see the problem that comes with allowing ourselves the freedom to be on the fence with the actions in our life.
Isaiah 5:11-20 NLT “Destruction is certain for you who get up early to begin long drinking bouts that last late into the night. 12 You furnish lovely music and wine at your grand parties; the harps, lyres, tambourines, the flutes are superb! But you never think about the LORD or notice what he is doing. 13 So I will send my people into exile far away because they do not know me. The great and honored among them will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.”
Notice this is talking about Israel, (the Church). The church is lax; it pays more attention to their parties, or “fellowships” more so than giving attention to the word and living holy in heart and life. It says the great and honored among them will starve. How many great preachers among us aren’t preaching the word of faith and holiness, instead, the Church having itching ears, heaping to themselves carnal teachings.
14-17 NLT “The grave is licking its chops in anticipation of Jerusalem, this delicious morsel. Her great and lowly will be swallowed up, with all her drunken crowds. 15 In that day the arrogant will be brought down to dust; the proud will be humbled. 16 But the LORD almighty is exalted by his justice. The holiness of God is displayed by his righteousness. 17 In those days flocks will feed among the ruins; lambs and kids will pasture there.”
We see here the end is not well for those who decide not to follow the example of holiness set forth in the word and for us in the life of Jesus. In those days the flocks, which is the congregation will feed among ruins, the ruins of a blessed life apart from a holy life, the ruins of a healed body, but a sick heart.
18-20 NLT “Destruction is certain for those who drag their sins behind them, tied with cords of falsehood. 19 They even mock the Holy One of Israel and say, “Hurry up and do something! Quick, show us what you can do. We want to see what you have planned.”” 20 “Destruction is certain for those who say that evil is good and good is evil; that dark is light and light is dark; that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.”
How do we drag our sins behind us? Through permissiveness, to him that knows what is good and does not do it, that to him is sin. Calling good evil, how many today use the word legalism for any type of holiness teaching, any type of righteousness is called legalism. We constantly here don’t be like the Pharisees, don’t create rules and regulations.
Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
How do we exceed their righteousness? By being righteous out of heart and love and not simply out of duty. To have a holy life in heart and action. Jesus did not nullify the commandments he added to them, don’t murder and don’t be angry, don’t commit adultery and don’t lust in your heart.
At the beginning of this post we looked at scriptures that told us we could live holy. We do not have to live in bondage to sin, we have been set free and there are consequences to continuing in sin for the believer.
As believers we need to understand two things, the consequence of continuing in sin and the reality of sin free living.
If you have received Jesus as savior but have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit to empower you to live Holy and walk in the power of the Spirit, you can do that today. All you need to do is tell the Father you love Him and you want to live a life free and cleansed form the power of sin and to walk in the fullness and power of the Spirit. Ask and you will receive and you will begin to walk in a new level of understanding, holiness, and power.