Take a look at the monthly letter from our pastor to see what we are about and what we are looking at over the next month!
God’s mission in the world is to save the lost and sanctify
the saved. Most Christians would not think that it would be unreasonable for a
pastor to challenge them to live a holy lifestyle. After all, Titus 2:14 says
that Christ “gave Himself for us, that He
might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special
people, zealous for good works.” (NKJV)
Yet, I’m concerned that the pursuit of holiness does not occupy the place that is should in our hearts for various reasons.
1) It was too common in the past to equate holiness with abstaining from a few taboo practices like drinking, smoking, and dancing. In a previous generation, godliness was bound up it what you didn’t do. Younger generations have little patience for these sorts of rules. They either don’t agree with the rules, or they figure they don’t apply.
2) Related to the first reason is the fear that a passion for holiness makes you some kind of weird holdover from a bygone era.
3) Thirdly, we live in a culture of being “cool”, and in an effort to be hip, many Christians have figured holiness right out of the picture.
4) Among some Christians, a radical pursuit of holiness is often suspect because any talk of right and wrong behaviors feels judgmental and intolerant.
However, if we are to be “without spot or blemish” (Eph. 5:27), it necessitates we distinguish between what sort of attitudes, actions, and habits are pure and what sort are impure. In our culture we’ve downplayed verses that call us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12) or command us to “cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit” (2 Cor. 7:1) or “warn against even a hint of immorality among the saints” (Eph. 5:3).
Where are the Christians known for their zeal to be like Christ? Where is the corresponding passion for honoring Christ with Christlike obedience? We need more Christian who will say with Paul, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” (Eph. 5:15)
The fact of the matter is if you read through the New Testament epistles, there are dozens and dozens of verses that exhort us, in one way or another, to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:13-16). It’s the way of all those who have been called to a holy calling by a holy God.