Honorable Christian Manhood (part 12)
In striving to be an honorable Christian man, loving God rightly and supremely is of utmost importance. Our love for God fuels our pursuit of other qualities as well. Our position before God in Jesus Christ should only motivate us to live a life of loving obedience to him, and to grow in our sanctification. This sanctification is the process of becoming more and more holy, even as Christ is holy.
So in addition to cultivating healthy loves, the honorable Christian man will also seek to cultivate a holy lifestyle.
First Peter 1:14-16 tells us that as obedient children of God, we are to be holy in all of our conduct, because it is written in Leviticus, "be holy, for I am holy."
Peter uses Old Testament language to speak of the need for New Testament Christians to live in a certain way. Holy living is a necessity for every Christian, without exception.
Holiness is a subject that must be understood by Christians today. It essentially means apartness, distinction, or separateness. It is that characteristic of God that essentially governs all others. He does what he does because he is who he is. Because God is holy, all of what he does is holy. This holiness can be expressed in two ways.
First, the Bible describes God as being Majestically Holy, meaning that God is utterly apart from and distinct from his creation. For instance, Isaiah 57:15 talks about how God is the "high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy." There is a distinction described there, telling us that God is high and lofty. Isaiah saw the Lord "sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up" in Isaiah 6:1. Again, this speaks of the loftiness, the grandeur, the apartness, and distinction of God from all of his creation. There is only one creator God, who is utterly and eternally set apart in distinction from his creation.
God is majestically holy, creator of the universe, and sovereign over it all.
But God is also Morally Holy, meaning that he is utterly set apart from and distinct from everything that is evil, immoral, impure, and sinful. Leviticus 19:2 says, "ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy." God cannot look favorably upon sin. He cannot participate in it in any way.
God's moral holiness is the standard for Christian living. We are called upon to be morally holy, even as God is morally holy. Therefore as Christian men, we must learn to cultivate a lifestyle that is set apart from and distinct from that which is sinful and against the very holy character of God. This necessarily means that we are holy in our appearance, in our dress standards, in our entertainment choices, in our personal habits, in our relationships, and everything else in life.
An honorable Christian man cultivates a life of holiness, and we will see how that happens next time.