Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Holiness and Morality are Different

It is this time of year that I naturally begin to think more about the death and resurrection of Christ. Don't hear me wrong. I think about this often regardless of Easter being near, but there is something about this celebration that is completely sobering. It makes me think about how much we have been given through Christ. It also makes me think about what my response should be to Him. The answer is that I am to be holy. 1 Peter 1:16 says, "Be holy, because I am holy." Seems pretty clear, right? 
 Holiness is being set a part for God. It positions believers to be and act in ways that bring glory to God. As we attempt to live the life of holiness that we are called to as believers, we are often challenged to think about what pollutes our lives. Influences like television, movies, music, etc. quickly come to mind. We tend to think about ways that we can perfect our morality. We end up cleaning up the outside of our lives and meeting standards that are oftentimes set by ourselves and/or others.
Many times, we do not end up anymore holy than when we began. Instead we face more risk. We risk exposing our lives to the influences that continue to “pollute” us and at the same time we risk becoming the “polluter.”

Garbage in, garbage out is still true. We may seem like we have no garbage coming in, but it is. Even if we deny it or choose to not acknowledge it at all, it still comes out. It’s one reason why seemingly godly people do ungodly things.

Believers can be the polluters.

You see the reality is that holiness and morality are different. Scripture calls us to be like Christ. When we have His Spirit in us particular fruit from our lives (Galatians 5:22-23). Holiness results in believers loving people well. Holiness involves humility in its truest sense. Holiness is not polluted.

James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

It’s not enough to do good things and count it as pure and faultless religion. When you choose to pursue holiness in your life, spiritual growth will happen. It will create in you the desires to do and care for all people in ways that you cannot imagine. You will love in ways that you cannot do on your own.

Think about it. Where is the tension in your life between morality and holiness?

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