Christianity Demands Holiness

W. Terry Varner
September 28, 2014

Becoming a Christian demands holy living. A Christian’s life is to be different from that the we lived before we became Christians. The hope we have as Christians serves as a power for our entire life in Christ. It calls for a separation from the world of sin and service to God.

Christianity Demands Holy Living. Christians are called by God (1 Peter 1:15) to be children of obedience (1 Peter 1:14) living a life of holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16). Peter quotes from Leviticus 11:44 when he writes, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15). He writes that Christians are begotten of God (1 Peter 1:3, 23) and therefore we no longer conform or fashion ourselves after the world, but we conform or fashion ourselves after the holiness of God “in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15).

The words “in all your conduct” stresses the need of proper discipline of our conduct, behavior, or lifestyle. With our obedience to the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14), we are expected by God to accept the obligation to live in holiness as God is holy. We dare not be lax. We must “put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). Christians must realize that the putting on of the new man and being “holy in all your conduct” is an unending process. This is described by Paul as, “perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).

The Price of Our Freedom from Sin. Christians are to live holy lives because of the high price of our freedom from sin. The price for our freedom from sin resulted in the death of the only begotten Son of God. “But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). The death of Christ and His resurrection from the dead makes possible that “[our] faith and hope are in God” (1 Peter 1:21).

As we live holy lives, Peter reminds us to do so “in fear” (1 Peter 1:17); i.e. reverence for God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Ps. 111:10). The Psalmist reminds us: “In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by fear of the LORD one departs from evil” (Prov. 16:6).

Our New Birth Demands Holy Living. Our new birth is also called our conversion or baptism into Christ. Peter argues that we “have purified our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit” (1 Peter 1:22). The truth which we obeyed was the incorruptible seed, “the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23).

When we have been bom again (baptized), we had our souls purified from the guilt and wages of past sins. We enter the new life as a child of God or as a Christian. This new life in Christ is to be expressed by our manner of living. Study carefully the words of the apostle John. “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9, emp. added). The life we live through Him is to be a holy life. Our obedience to God’s truth serves as the basis for our godliness and results in our “love of the brethren” (1:22).

When we consider the high price of our salvation offered, weigh the eternal destiny of both living for God and refusing to live for God, we should rejoice in Christ and live holy lives pleasing to God. God has done His part in making salvation available. We must do our part as His children by living holy lives.