“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
A Holy Church
(Please read 1 Peter 1:15-16)
Holiness was emphasized in the Old Testament, and we can read there of elaborate rituals to get priests and offerings ready to be in the presence of the holy God. We don’t seem to hear a lot about holiness now – but we should. For holiness is at the heart of the church and God still requires his people to be holy. Peter wrote of the church as “a holy nation, His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9, NKJ).
To be holy is to be set apart for God, or sanctified, and “holiness” is the possession and conduct of those who are set apart. It doesn’t mean that believers are automatically perfect, for we are exhorted to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
How do we achieve such holiness? Perhaps the simplest answer is to endeavor to live the life of Christ, to be Christ-like in thoughts, in speech and in deeds. We need to be aware always of who we are and Whose we are. How can we bring others to Christ if we don’t act like him? A few years ago, the slogan, “What would Jesus do?” gained some notoriety in this country. The question is a good one and worthy of much thought as we are faced with decisions about our everyday conduct.
Paul believed that Christians could and should exercise some control over their thoughts. He told the Philippians to meditate on noble, just, pure, lovely things, and he admonished the Colossians to set their minds on things above. If we all do that, we will truly be a holy church.