Secular Holiness

1 Peter 1:15-16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

I have come to some conclusions about this life I live.

  1. Most often, my first response is carnal.

As quick as my anger might rise, I need to put my responses and my reactions through the filter of God’s Word:

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

2. I cannot trust all that I think to be right and good.

I can not only be deceived, but I can deceive myself.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

My relationship with truth; my relationship with the One who lead me and guide me into all truth must take the forefront of all that I do, say, think and feel.

John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

3. When God and I differ about anything, I am always wrong and He is always right.

I thought and justified my sin in many ways. I have thought that because the judgment of God hasn’t come that it must be somehow acceptable to Him as well. I must never fool myself into believing that His silence equates acceptance.

Take the text above… There are many saved folk who believe God said, ‘everything in moderation…’. When there is only one verse throughout the whole Bible that speaks to moderation, we cannot say that it is permissible to do everything in moderation.

Philippians 4:5 “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”

The definition of moderation helps me to understand with clarity: restraint of violent passions or indulgence of appetite. If I stop here, my mind might conclude that anything and everything is ok if only in moderation. Restraint of pleasure; restraint of indulgence; restraint of all things depends on my ability and my character and my will.

The epidemic of addictions today tell me we are not doing a very good job restraining ourselves. I come to another conclusion.

4. I am soft with my own sin and hard on others about theirs.

“I” can control myself, so it must be OK – for me. There is such an amount of pride in that statement. I am better. I have more control where others do not. Who am I kidding?

God’s Word, by principle, tells me that I must submit to Him to know what true peace, love, joy and happiness can be for me. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit – not of my spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The only element of involvement my spirit has in this equation is to give over to God what is rightfully His. Then, I must obey in the way I am led. Submission and Obedience. Two things that are becoming increasingly rare in our churches today.

We are submissive until it costs me something. We are only obedient until the need for humility makes me have to bow to someone or something with whom I don’t agree or find difficult to submit. Holiness on our terms – not God’s. This is not Burger King Christianity – it is not ‘have it OUR way’, but God’s!

We have been satisfied to remain at a distance from the world. But as the world waxes worse and worse, we are now where the world once was just few short years ago. What was never mentioned in the church is now commonplace.

The divorce rate among the children of God is skyrocketing. Adultery, fornication, addictions, and so much more are what our pastors are counseling today. And the tide is not stemming, it is increasing. The need for programs and counsel to handle all the ills of those suffering is overwhelming.

The thirst for us to be holy has been replaced with thirst for pleasure, amusement and riches. Fasting is unheard of and the all-night prayer meeting has been replaced with serial binge-watching of our favorite programs. Lastly I conclude:

5. I cannot be holy with God fully and wholly controlling me.

I’ve not arrived by any stretch of the imagination. But what truly matters is what direction I am heading. Do I desire holiness? Am I seeking it daily? Am I more submitted and obedient or less? When I sin, is my heart broken over the fact that I broke His?

One day you and I will face the One who saved us. He is holiness. I am not. I will arrive because of the blood shed for me and for that I am truly grateful. Obeying the command to be holy must emanate from that gratitude and love I have for Him.

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