So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
Striving for Holiness
There is no way that a Christian can ever be perfect, only forgiven perfectly by God through Christ’s perfect sacrifice. But this doesn’t excuse the believer from striving to live a life of holiness. Even though we have Jesus’ own righteousness attributed to us, which is how God sees us now (2 Corinthians 5:21), we cannot lie back and just coast into the kingdom. We are to grow in holiness, grace, and the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). How can we do this since we all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23)? How about trying to present your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and acceptable to God because that’s our spiritual duty (Romans 12:1)? We do this by being transformed in our minds by God’s Spirit and not by not being conformed or pressured or shaped into the image of this world (Romans 12:2).
Being Filled With the Spirit
God has given us everything we need to live a godly life through the knowledge of Him Who called us (2 Peter 1:3). We are commanded to make every effort to add to our faith the goodness that can only come from His Spirit (2 Peter 1:5), but we must participate in striving for obedience. This is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, that we are to be obedient in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:2). This means we should be careful in how we walk in this life (Ephesians 5:15), know what God’s will is for our life (Ephesians 5:16), and be constantly filled by His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). If we are led by God’s Spirit, we’ll not yield the members of our body to sinful activities.
Living Like a Child of God
God has called us to be kings and priests in His coming kingdom (Revelation 1:6). But some of us–and that includes me–don’t live as if we are. If there is scandal in our life and we claim to be a Christian, we can bring shame to the cause of Christ. John MacArthur said that we might be the only Bible some people will ever read, and if people see that we’re no different from the rest the world, they will have no desire to become a Christian. In fact, just the opposite might occur because they’ll see the hypocrisy in living a life of duplicity. Are we living the life that God wants for us? If most of us are honest, we must answer not so much–or for some, no, not at all. As Paul wrote, “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). If we are not representing the kingdom like good ambassadors should, we cannot attract new citizens to the kingdom.
A Closing Prayer
Father, I know that I fail You so many times. Please convict me when I am sinning and to be the best witness or ambassador for Your kingdom as I possibly can by Your Spirit’s power, and in the King of that kingdom’s name I pray.
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