“Practical Holiness” is an article written by Seth Diang’a.
Seth Diang’a serves as one of the elders at Redeemer Bible Church. Seth has a deep love for the church and is committed to seeing faithful men and women trained and equipped for the work of ministry. Seth is married to Margaret and they are blessed with one daughter, Lisa.
Practical holiness is a possible reality.
The Bible is authoritative and speaks to our lives in a way that, at times, is so hard to comprehend. Yet, the truth is, it has the power to transform us and make us into the people God desires us to be. It is worth noting that despite this truth, the reality is that Christians are still sinful even though they are forgiven for their past, present, and future sins. Just like unbelievers, we still live in this sinful world and experience the disappointments of life.
As we think of the believer’s life, two questions ought to govern our interactions, conversations, and mannerism in response to a call for holiness. How then can a believer’s life be lived for the glory of God and for the edification of the body? Is it even possible to live a holy life in a world where all forces strive to live for self?
Chosen and Called
In answering the first question, we need to realize that we did not choose God, but he chose us (Eph. 1:1-3). Neither did we love him first, but he did love us first (1 Jn. 4:19). God’s love transcends our understanding, yet this love is very real and tangible in so many ways. God has demonstrated for us a love that is perfectly in line with his nature. Not only has he chosen us, but he has called us to be His people (1 Pet. 2:9). This is a privilege that only believers enjoy. The prophet Micah, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, reminds us of what’s needful as a response to what God has done for us. “He has shown us that which is good and that which he requires of all men” (Micah 6:8). Apostle Peter, on the other hand, calls us to be holy because our Lord is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). The reality of the holiness of God is one that should compel you and me to a life of constant examination and consecration. Imagine that with all our unworthiness, he has still called us to a fellowship with him.
God’s calling is not based on anything that we have done. As a matter of fact, all we have done is reject him. We are guilty of disbelief and rebellion and only deserve his wrath. Yet, in his Mercy, he has called and saved us. What a glorious and humbling truth! We are God’s chosen means to display his glory. Living for the glory of God is something that must be guided by God himself. We can not do this in our own strength. Thus, we must depend on him. He has to show us in his Word. Praise be to him that we have a standard and a blueprint to guide and lead us into holy living. The Bible is all we need. We must read and know what God requires. We must obey God’s precepts.
Sin’s Effect on Holiness
The dilemma we all face is the reality of sin and its effect. Yet, the truth is it is very possible to practically live a holy life. Living a holy life basically calls for total dependence on God. When he saves us, he calls us to abandon our former ways and embrace a totally new and amazing life. This new life is Spirit-led. This new life has a kingdom perspective and is honourable. God has given us Christ’s righteousness and we are no longer led by the flesh but by the Spirit. If this is true, then the joy of believers is the reality of a possible life of holiness. This life is guided by God’s Word, which is a lamp that shines on our path, as the Psalmist reminds us.
Trusting in God and Seeking Accountability
In response to the reality of a call to holiness, you and I must first of all trust in God to make this happen. We cannot continue to live our lives our own way. Secondly, we must seek accountability. Have relationships that build you and create an environment of openness. Realize that your struggles are not unique to you. All believers struggle, so encourage one another by sharing what you are doing to conquer your struggles. Consequently, protect one another by seeking the good of others but also by keeping each other in the race. Don’t slander, don’t fight, don’t think you are more special than your brother or sister. Most importantly, remember you are a part of a larger body, so seek unity at all costs.
May the Lord help us, may he build us to this great and edifying disciple-making society that we are, for his own glory. May we never give up the fight to practically live a holy life. Holiness is possible by faith through God’s own ordained means and not by self.