“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
What does it mean to be holy? It means to be set apart. Set apart from what? Scripture reveals that we are to be set apart from an unloving and dying world, in order that we might be used to bring God’s love and life into it. Unfortunately it seems holiness is often thought about in a shallow way today. Many think being holy is merely abstaining from evil things.
While this is part of it, scripture reveals there is also an active role we must take in cultivating holiness in our lives. We don’t become more holy or pure by simply avoiding sin, but by also pursuing to be more like God. And what is God? As 1 John 4:8 tells us, “God is love.” That means the more we love, the more we cultivate holiness in our lives. This becomes clear in 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 when Paul writes, “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father.”
Our hearts are not established in holiness due only to what we abstain from, but also due to what we pursue. Considering we are sons and daughters of God, let’s ask the Lord to make us more holy like Him today not so that we can be holier-than-thou, but so that we can be used to bring His life and love to a dying and unloving world.
Join us on Sunday as we open 2 Corinthians 6:12-7:1 for a message titled “Cultivate Holiness”. God bless you all and hope to see you there!