Light in Christ, 2

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Many of us have heard of the importance of holiness from passages like 1 Peter 1:15-16 where Peter says, “Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” To be holy means to be set apart, distinct from something else. God is certainly holy, distinct from all creation, and we are to be holy as He is, distinct from the world. But this command raises an important question; Why? Why is it so important for us to be holy as God is holy? Paul answers that question in at least two ways in Ephesians 5:6-14. One reason is because it pleases God. “Therefore, do not become partners with them; . . . walk as children of light . . . as you try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Eph 5:7-10). When we imitate God’s holiness, or any of His divine attributes, we are acting in a way that is pleasing to Him because He made us for His glory. When we reflect His glory, we please Him. But Paul gives a second reason for our holiness in this passage as well; because it brings God’s light into the world. “Do not participate in the useless deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” God shined on us so that we can shine on others and expose the useless deeds of darkness for what they are, useless. And as we do, God will use our holiness to draw other people to the light of Christ and the transformation of the gospel. This is encouraging because we might be tempted to think that God is a cosmic killjoy who wants only to control people by making rules against all that is fun and happy in the world. But God isn’t out to take away our joy; He is for us and for our joy, but He knows that real lasting joy isn’t found in the fleeting pleasures of a world as we chase our own pleasures. Real, lasting joy is found in being like Him, free from sin and its suffering and chaos. This is the glorious reason for the call to separation and holiness, the glory of God and the joy of humanity! May we be holy! -Pastor Rory

Sunday at Liberty

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