Jesus said, “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” Jn 15:19, 17:16 NIV
God said, “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.” - Lev 20:7
The first command to be holy did not go away when Jesus came onto the scene. Holiness rolled right into the new covenant and became possible in Jesus Christ. We are to be holy; …. He who called you [is] holy, you also be holy in all [your] conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." - 1Pe 1:15-16 NKJV
Before Jesus came to this world, God’s people were to be holy as God required, but they lacked the relationship and Holy Spirit power to do so. Today, we have the infilling of God’s mighty Spirit within us that gives us everything we need to live like Christ. Jesus said to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow him (do what He does). This means we are to separate ourselves from this world by living according to God’s holy standards and not the worlds. We are to stay away from sinful idolatry and live a life of moral standards set by God. Jesus Christ died so we could live but not live according to this world because He said He wasn’t of this world and neither are we. As sojourners here on earth it is not wise to live like those who don’t know Jesus so that we can receive what the world has to offer. For what good is it to gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Mat 16:26) Your soul should be worth more than anything this world can offer.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. -Rom 13:14 To be free in the Lord means to put Him on. If you are still wearing the clothing of this world that you had on when you were lost, then you are still in bondage. If you look so much like the world through your lifestyle outside of the church, provocatively dressed, immoral behavior, and your language then chances are you are still carnal. This behavior displays how you are contrary to the LORD. Why? Because to live as a worldly and carnal (earthly) minded person while saying you are a believer in Christ, is contradictory to what we are called to be in Christ. There is a royal robe to be put on, a holy walk to take strides in, and a sanctifying that must be done to be the saint you are called to be. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. - Gal 3:27
Royal Robes of Righteousness
But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; - 1Pe 2:9 NKJV
When you responded to the Holy Spirit’s call to salvation for your life, you chose to take off the garments of this world and put on robes of righteousness.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks [himself] with ornaments, And as a bride adorns [herself] with her jewels. - Isa 61:10
When Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb it was commanded to him to come forth. 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." - John 11:43-44 NIV
What a vision for those who are bound in the sins of this world. Hands and feet wrapped and cloth around the face. This is how it looked for us when we heard the call of the One who raises the dead! We were wrapped in sin and bondage which leads to death. We looked like the walking dead in the spirit though in the flesh we looked like most of the world. Those around Lazarus were commanded to go to him and take the grave clothes off and let him go. They did, and Lazarus lived. Lazarus didn’t come out of that tomb with those stinky constraints on him and say “no I like this bondage, these garments of death fit well.” Of course not! He would have likely been ripping them off along with the others who were helping! That’s what salvation should look like to us. Tearing away from the sin of this world, and running towards the Light of righteousness.
you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak [a covering, veil] for vice [wickedness], but as bondservants of God. - 1Pe 2:5,16
Sometimes we don’t understand what it means to be holy because we never heard it taught or perhaps we just choose not to seek the Lord for conviction on the things that should be changed in our lives. As Christ followers we should be asking Him how to live, what to wear, where to vacation and the likes.
Yes, even what to wear. Women should not wear clothing that can cause a man to stumble, for how does one know she isn’t walking into a room where a man has a pornography problem and is trying to get free. Perhaps God has a divine plan for you to meet someone and do His will but instead of seeking God's will for direction you choose your own and miss out on divine appointments.
Jesus is going to return one day that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish (Eph 5:27). Will He find a holy people or will they all be worshipping the beast?
Stand Fast in Your Freedom
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. ... 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not [use] liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. ... 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. - Gal 5:1, 13, 16-17 NKJV
Some believe that once an individual “accepts” Jesus Christ as Savior that they have no need to repent now or ever because all their sins are forgiven. That’s not entirely true, but it has enough truth in it to taste good and lure people away from holiness. However, the reality is all sins were, are, and will be forgiven by the work on the cross when one believes unto righteousness and confesses his sins. Holiness is a process of sanctification, and if sanctification is separation and living freely without sin, it has to be a life of repentance as well. All through the Scriptures, we see repentance, then God turning His face towards those who cried out. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His requirements of morality have not changed in spite of many misunderstandings on the subject. Holiness is a requirement for God’s people and always will be as it always has been.
Finally, "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still." - Rev 22:11 NKJV
Take some time to seek the Lord for the areas of your life that have not been sanctified. Could it be that you have become so caught up in religion or freedom from it that you are missing the mark?
Heavenly Father, thank You, Lord that I can be found holy, and righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ. Thank You for receiving and accepting me into Your kingdom. Today, I have a need to repent, and I ask Holy Spirit to lead me and show me the secret and presumptuous sins that I need to repent of. I want to be found a spot and wrinkle free child of God, chosen for good works for which You have prepared beforehand. Help me Lord to walk in such a way that I am pleasing to You. In Jesus name, Amen.