A Holy People
“Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
The Lord desires that His people live for the glory of his Name. By the power of His grace we are under His rule in Christ and can say, “O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name” (Isaiah 26:13). God’s children have turned from every sandy foundation and are standing on the sure foundation He has laid in Zion. “For other, foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).
The believer’s testimony is clear and certain, “This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:14). God’s holy seed have received the Spirit of their everlasting Father according to His promise, “I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes” (Ezekiel 36:27). So we travel a different way from the world. It’s “the way of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8) and our identity is “the people of [his] holiness” (Isaiah 63:18). He has “purified unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:4), “hath not called [them] to uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7) and “hath saved [them] and called [them] with an holy calling’ (2 Timothy1:9).
Yet even the Lord’s chosen ones are not without danger of defiling themselves with the sins and corruptions of the age. Alas, there is more than just the danger! “How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed!” (Lamentations 4:1) is the cry too often descriptive of our condition. Yet the Lord exhorts us to holy living: “be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter1:16). We may be a small remnant, a little flock, but we are truly a holy seed renewed in the image of God in knowledge, righteousness and holiness.
The pattern of true holiness is Jesus Christ. He died as much for our sanctification as our justification, delivering us from the indwelling power of sin as well as its condemnatory power. Being united to Christ, the fountain of holiness, let us then go daily by faith to Him. No one can accomplish real crucifixion of the flesh in his own strength. Victory over the dominion of indwelling sin is only realized in the strength that is in Christ Jesus and in the power of His might. When eyes are not on Christ, ears are not hearing His word, hearts are not filled with Him, sin and self don’t lose their attraction. But in close fellowship and communion with the Saviour, facing the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, we will say with Joseph, “how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).
Remember, He set apart (sanctified) Himself for His people’s sake: “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John17:19). His very own sanctification is the source and ground of ours, in our union with Him. He is the One from whom our fruit is found. This is our motive to live godly lives and make this a year of progressive holiness, so glorifying Him.
Rev Leslie Curran