Peter 1:14 – 16; Hebrews 12:14
THE national footballers, in preparation for a football encounter are called to the camp. Anyone of those called is free to accept or reject the offer. If one accepts the call-up (invitation), it means that one must subject oneself to the rules in the camp.
The Christian faith is a call unto HOLINESS (1 Peter 1:14-16; 2 Peter 3:11; Matthew 5:20; Hebrews 12:14). It is a call from God, the Almighty King, who rules and reigns in the kingdoms of men (Daniel 4:32; Matthew 6:13b; a call to abhor and reject the Adamic (sinful) nature and turn away from its resultant sins – adultery, fornication, bribery, wickedness, lying, cheating, slandering, quarreling, fighting, cursing, bitterness, idolatry, hatred, anger, etc; a call to accept and appropriate through faith in the cleansing blood of Christ, a new nature, patterned after that of Christ (Hebrews 9:13,14); a call to reject spiritual death (indifference toward God and Godliness – Matthew 8:22), and embrace true life (John 5:24,40; 10:10). It is a call to reject eternal death (separation from God in eternity – Revelation 21:8) and embrace life everlasting with God in heaven (John 3:16). It is a call to reject vanity and embrace reality and glory; a call God has been making through the ages to all and sundry.
Holiness or Purity is an attribute of one’s heart (one’s thoughts, desires, actions and reactions) that makes one conform to the image of God. It is a state of continuous victory over sin and the ability to carry out the will of God in our lives. Holiness is easy and possible to maintain but it demands a clear-cut decision to be mindful of heaven and not the desires of our flesh. God has demanded holiness from every believer who wants to see God and this is because He knows that we can keep ourselves holy by His grace. (1 Timothy 5:22; Titus 2:11-12).
IT is the command of the Lord to His people both in the old and new testaments. Anybody who has repented of, and forsaken his/her sins and subsequently accepted the Lordship of Jesus Christ has been called to be holy. (Leviticus 11:44,45; Exodus. 19:6; Luke 1:67-79; 2 Corinthians. 7:1; Romans 12:1; Eph. 1:4; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:16; 2 Peter 3:11; Matthew 5:20,48).
GOD is holy (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:15) and His home is holy (Psalm 15:1; 24:3). Knowing that all men who have ever lived, or will ever live in this world are bound to live again forever with whatever reward they have worked for (Revelation 20:11-15), and that He Himself and His Kingdom cannot accommodate the unholy, He therefore calls so that men will escape the danger of living in eternity without Him, (Exodus 15:11; 1 Samuel. 2:2; Psalm 22:3; 99:9; 145:7; Isaiah 6:2-3; 49:7; 57:15; Leviticus 11:44; Malachi 3:6).
3. THE POSSIBILITY OF HOLINESS
OF course the world lies in wickedness and sin abounds, but where sin abounds, grace much more abounds (Romans 5:20-21). “The grace of God which bringeth salvation has appeared to all men teaching that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly (calmly), righteously and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12; 2 Corinthians 9:8).
As we completely surrender our heart desires, thoughts, ambitions etc, and plead the merit of the blood of Jesus, God, whose will it is to make us holy, will purge our consciences of dead works to serve the living God (1 Thessalonians. 4:3; 5:23; Hebrews 9:14; Isaiah 6:1-7).
4. PREVAILING IN HOLINESS
Study diligently and apply the word of God in all the circumstances of your life (Psalms 119:9-11; John 15:1-4; 17:16-17; Matthew 4:4).
b. Pray constantly the prevailing prayer of faith (Luke 22:46; 18:1; 1 Thessalonians. 5:17; James 5:17)
c. Avoid all occasions of sin (1 Thessalonians. 5:22-24; James 4:7; Colossians 3:1-6)
d. Identify with Christ in all things (Revelation 12:11; Colossians 3:17; Matthew 10:32-33).
5. PREVENTIVES TO HOLINESS
As some preventive drugs are used to ward-off disease so the following can ward-off (hinder) holiness.
a. Double mindedness (Luke 9:62; 1 Kings 18:21; James 1:5-8)
b. Ignorance of the Word of God (Matthew 22:29; Hosea 4:6)
c. Prayerlessness (Mark 14:38).
d. Worldliness (1 Peter 3:3-4; 1 Timothy. 6:7-11)
e. Impure environment (pictures, novels, calendars, etc, that breed impure thoughts (Romans 12:1-2; Philipians 4:8; Matthew 6:22-23).