Sunday, July 3, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holiness Expected from Believers 

Pradeep John

Connecticut Mar Thoma Congregation 
14 Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15 Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
In this epistle St. Peter addresses the recipients as “pilgrims”. This is because as Christians we are only sojourners in this world and on our journey to the sacred place where we have our permanent citizenship. In this passage of the scripture Peter’s emphasis is on walking in holiness.  
Holiness is what primarily defines the character of God in both the Old and New Testament. God’s Holiness is an essential part of His nature. As the Bible says “Holy, holy, holy is theLordAlmighty; the whole earthis full of his glory. (Isa 6:3). God is light and there is no darkness in Him. As Christians we are elected by God as His children and sanctified by His word. Since we are God’s children we have to inherit the nature of God and be holy as God is holy. We should not conform to the world and imitate the world but we are to conform to the image of Jesus and that is the will of God.  
Since we were born with a sinful nature, it was natural for us to lead sinful lives. But by the Grace of God we are saved by the blood of Jesus and separated to be children of God. A fish even though lives in salt water, as long as it has life will not let the salt water enter it. In the same manner we Christians who live in a fallen world should keep ourselves holy, as the scripture says “Be holy, because I am holy”.  Surrendering our lives to God and living according to the will of God is the only way we can achieve this holiness. “Therefore, I urge you,brothers and sisters, in view of Gods mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”(Rom 12:1)
God’s election of us sinners to become His saints is a great privilege which is greater than anything we can gain in this whole world but it comes with a great responsibility to keep ourselves holy. As Paul says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Phil 4:8).
Gracious and Loving Father, as Your children in this world, grant that Your spirit may guide us to live a holy life and that Your light may shine through our lives. Amen

Thought for the Day
Make every effort to live in peace with everyoneand to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)