I’ve noticed lately that holiness and godliness is starting to make a reappearance in the vocabulary of people. It seems that people are discovering something that’s always been there, but hasn’t been in the spotlight for a couple of years now (at least around here). I find myself included with these people and I’ve been studying what it means to be holy, godly,righteous, etc.
There are a number of passages in Scripture that reference these words in relation to God’s character and also in how we should live. I’ll start off small and address the fact that holiness, godliness, or righteousness does not mean that we consider ourselves to be above one another, especially those who look like they’ve crawled from the gutter.
In fact, Scripture says that we should consider others to be above ourselves (Phillippians 2:3) and to work with one another. I don’t think many people still think this way, but we do need to get misconceptions out of the way. Another misconception that’s made its way around is that holiness is something that cannot be obtained, and yet many people in the Bible have been accredited as being righteous or living holy lives.
Abraham believed the Lord and it was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6), this is the first reference we see to justification by faith. It was by Abraham’s faith in God and His word that he was credited as being righteous. Paul says that his confidence is in the fact that he has lived his life in holiness and godly sincerity (2 Corinthians 1:12), which kind of makes it possible.
Holiness isn’t about being perfect, but choosing God’s way over your own and living your life by His word. In study, prayer, meditation, and living by the Spirit we will continue to grow and mature in our relationship with God. To be holy is to be set apart by God; to live by His ways and not your own or the world’s.
I believe that holiness is something that should be taken seriously, meaning that we shouldn’t be complacent or lax in our spiritual lives. Going to church once or twice on a Sunday isn’t enough to get you through if you don’t put effort into your faith and take it seriously. The gravity of the situation is huge, simply because holiness isn’t just something fabricated by preachers in order to lord it over the masses.
Holiness is an expectation of God.
If we come to Christ and give our lives over to Him, we are expected to turn from our old ways and to live by God’s way. In Leviticus 11:44, God says that because He is holy, then the nation of Israel is also to be holy. This verse is also mentioned in 1 Peter 1:16 in regards to ourselves as Christians and that we should conduct ourselves in a godly manner.
For anyone who has heard me speak on this before, I apologize, but holiness is an expectation that God has for us. It’s like your parents having an expectation of the marks you’ll get on your final exams (my prayers are with you :P). You’re parents only want the best for you and know that you can do better, that you can do it if you try.
The same is for God and His expectation of His to live a holy life for Him. God’s way for us may be difficult at times, and it may challenge us on different levels, but we know that if God asks something of us that there is a reason for it. Israel complained so many times in the desert and questioned God, only to be met with God’s anger. In Deuteronomy, Moses is speaking to the people and relays to them of the time that God wished that their hearts would be His, living by His ways (Deuteronomy 5:28-29, the Message words it really well).
I’ve titled this, Men of God, because this blog is aimed at men, both young and old. If we wish to live our lives as God intended, if we wish to be the father’s He intended us to be, to be the mentors, the teachers, a man in general, then we should be concerned with the impact we’re making.
This isn’t about what other people think of you, but would you be described as a man of God? Are we leaving the right impression with our youth groups, our children, our wives, our girlfriends, or those we come into contact with? If we only had the passion and fervent desire that they biblical authors had in serving our God and desiring to give Him the glory and honor.
You’ve gotta start somewhere right?