Is Holy living something for today? Does what the Bible have to say about it make sense for us so many centuries later? The book of Leviticus is packed with instruction for holiness. 11:45, 19:2, 20:7, 20:26. One might think that these instructions are an old thing, something from ancient times, not applicable to my day or to me. But the same instructions are repeated many times in the new testament, one of the most familiar in 1 Peter 1:16. Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.
This writing is directly mostly at younger people; the age of people that might read The Greatest Treasure series of books. Most children in a Christian home that is attempting to follow after God’s precepts are living the way they are because the children are following a holy example. Parents are seeking to live a life of holiness because that decision came to them as a result of personal conviction somewhere along their journey. In most cases, there was a marked change in their life and the way they lived. Some, for most of their lives; others, only for several years.
I once thought holy living was simply a life-style choice, with an emphasis on style. You younger people are following your parents’ example, obedient to God by obeying your parents. But some of you older young people may be simply holding on to the coattails of another person’s conviction – that of your parents’. And this style you’re living may be reinforced by the life-style of your peers.
For you, is holy living merely an issue of style? Maybe even a passing fashion? Or do you have another reason for holy living?
So why are you seeking to live a holy life?
Is it because Mom said so?
Maybe you’ve thought, “If I don’t, Dad might get mad.”
Or perhaps you are trying to live a holy life because you are concerned what your friends might think if you didn’t!
What does holy really mean, anyway? Holy has two root words: heal, and whole. We could say then, that holy is to heal to a whole state, in its entirety; to be complete and sound, and thus unimpaired – with a pure heart.
To be holy is to be sacred; set apart, that is, separated from common secular use and consecrated to God and his service.
I would venture to guess that most of the young people here feel separated from common secular use. I saw a rifle once in a Civil War museum that in those days was the latest technology.
Instead of being able to shoot 3-4 rounds per minute like a muzzle-loader, this new rifle could shoot 12 rounds per minute. It was the reason the lightening brigade was called the Lightening Brigade, because the speed of fire looked like lightening coming at the enemy. I couldn’t touch it because it was inside a glass case which was cordoned off so visitors had to stand back a few feet to look at it. Nobody used it anymore. It was separated from common secular use. But I can assure you, it wasn’t holy.
Simply being separated from common secular use does not make you holy. The important part is being consecrated to God and his service. (That is, to be devoted and dedicated to the service and worship of God.)
I ask again, is holy living for you merely and issue of style? Or do you have another reason for holy living?
Imagine yourself, as a young person in the following situation:
The phone rings: Hello, _________ this is the office of the President of the United States. I’ve been asked to contact you regarding one of the items on the President’s schedule. Friday evening, Mr. President is hosting a dinner with 300 educational leaders and constituents to discuss funding of home educators by changing the tax code. _______, it has come to the president’s attention that as a home educated young individual, you have displayed exemplary character through your voluntary service activities. Hello?…
The president would like you as a representative home-schooler, to make his introduction at the dinner. Can I tell Mr. President that you will be in attendance?
Excellent. Now, _____, a private jet will pick you up at the airport at 9:00 AM Friday the 10th, arriving at the White House just in time for a private luncheon where the president will be meeting with you for about 10 minutes. Thank you, so much _________, we’ll see you on Friday.
Now, each of you have just had this conversation. You manage to return the phone to its receiver. Tomorrow, after your recovery from shock, you begin to prepare for this event.
You are about to meet the president, then introduce the president of these United States to 300 dignitaries. Of the 300 million people in this great nation, you are the chosen one, the one set apart to meet with him. You feel a little unworthy. Why me? As you think about preparing for this honor, will you comb your hair that day? What will you wear? Might you bring along your manners? Will you have sound speech? Will your words be gracious? Would it be inappropriate to wear certain jewelry? You might even trim your nails, rehearse your table etiquette, practice looking people in the eye. Would others call it legalism to put on a black suit and tie, to wear a beautiful but modest dress?
You, in fear and trembling, arrive at the luncheon. The President enters the room. Will you stand in respect and honor? As he sits at the same table with you, will you slouch in your chair or sit on its edge? When the service is brought, how clearly will you speak your manners?
Would you think twice about outwardly showing honor to such a high position? After, all God calls you to respect your authorities.
Once you receive salvation, you have a high position you are called to honor. Much higher than the US president. This position is the almighty God, dwelling in you by the Holy Spirit. The Lord says “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy; for I am the LORD your God.” (Lev 20:7). The Holy Spirit is not called the Spirit, but the Holy Spirit, which dwells in us, and is divine. Therefore, we represent God and His divinity. Each of us is called to introduce the person of Jesus Christ to others. That is why God says be ye holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Are our lives representative of a Holy God?
In what ways should we be holy?
1 Peter 1:15-16 (Conversation)
Romans 12:1 (Bodies)
Titus 2:3 (Behavior)
Romans 6:22 (Fruit should be unto holiness)
Each one of us ought to seek out (by way of His Holy Spirit) what God means for us to be holy.
In Revelation 22:11, we get a glimpse of what God expects of us in the day when Christ arrives… there will be no other chances. You will be judged in your final condition.
Noah Webster said that “we call a man holy when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated by the Divine precepts. What is your life regulated by? As you grow older, you need to continue to honor your parents, and you need to regulate your life by the divine precepts that God has laid out for you in scripture, because he desires to keep you close to Him.
“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” (Lev 20:26)