Worship Topic #10: Called To Be Holy
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”1 Peter 1:14-16
God is holy and we are commanded to be holy like Him. To be holy means to be set apart from sin and to seek God’s glory and honor instead.
Being holy is not just a nice thought that we think about, it’s an action. It’s an action that started with God making us holy. It’s a response to God’s love in setting us apart for Himself.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.1 Peter 2:9-10
We were called out of darkness into His marvelous light. Colossians 1:13-14 puts it this way:
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Why would we return to the darkness of sin when God has delivered us from it?
God’s command to us is this: “You shall be holy, for I am holy,” “be holy in all your conduct.” There isn’t room for living a double life or having one foot in God’s kingdom and one foot in Satan’s kingdom. To be delivered from sin and then return to a yoke of slavery to sin is grievous and not the direction God has purposed for us. What does this have to do with worship?
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:1-2
We are to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice – holy – set apart for Him. Not conforming to the ways of this world. In this pursuit of holiness, we will stand out; kind of like salmon standing out when swimming upstream to their place of birth. Going with the flow and following the patterns of this world is not our calling. Following Christ is, and His ways tend to go against the grain. Jesus refers to us as the light of the world comparing us to a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. We weren’t made to blend in, we were made to stand out by our holy conduct.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
There is a direct correlation between knowing God and our nearness to Him with how we live our lives in worshipful response to Him through holiness.
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.1 Thessalonians 4:1-8