As the school year was about to start Justin did a sermon with our students in mind helping them prepare spiritually for the school year. One of his points had to do with our call to be holy, and he gave four practical ways in which we can be holy. As I heard those four points, I thought they were worth spending more time discussing and studying with our teens. So we’ve started looking at these practical ways for us to live holy in Bible class.
Before I share the four practical ways for us to be holy, I want to first discuss what it means to be holy. To be holy is to be set apart. Practically this means we are different from the world. Our call is to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). We are to be like God in our holiness striving to be more like Him, each day.
Four practical ways for us to be holy revolves around doing basic things different from the world. To be holy we must: think, act, talk, and love differently. If we dedicate ourselves to doing these things differently we will certainly grow in Christlikeness and be more holy. Let’s take a quick look at each of these with some verses for us to mediate on.
Think Differently: As Christians we must think differently from the world. Colossians 3:1-4 makes it clear if we want to go to heaven, we must think about heaven. When we set our mind on heaven, we are seeking heaven. Philippians 4:8 gives us some helpful insight on what we as Christians should be thinking about. Ultimately, we must think about good and uplifting things.
Act Differently: Perhaps this is the one we think of the most as Christians. James 1:13-15 explains temptation comes from our own evil desires. As holy people we must learn to hate evil (Romans 12:9) and strive to do away with every evil desire.
Talk Differently: We all have experienced the difficulties of controlling our tongue. All of us know how easy it is to say something offensive and hurtful. This is why James 3:1-12 describe our tongues as being destructive. We must use our tongues to build up (Ephesians 4:29) instead of tearing down.
Love Differently: The world misunderstands love dramatically. If we are going to be holy, we must love all people. Our love must mimic the love of Christ. We must want what’s best for the person spiritually, even if this means being honest about sin in their life. We must love people differently by loving them enough to tell them about Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20), to bear their burdens (Galatians 6:1), and we must even be willing to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48).
If we strive to do these things and to grow in these ways, we will be growing in holiness. People will notice we are different and God will be glorified (Matthew 5:13-16).