Sample Bible Study excerpt from Series 2
HOLY, BECAUSE I AM HOLY
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be holy,
just as God is holy. This may sound like an impossible task, so I want to investigate
the definitions from Webster’s Dictionary concerning holy with you to give you a clear vision of what God is instructing
us to be.
- Set apart
and dedicated to the service of and work of God: HALLOWED – SACRED
to or laying claim to being dedicated to a sacred or selfless purpose
- Perfect in
righteousness and divine love
of complete devotion and trust
one’s fullest powers of adoration and reverence
whole, sound, or perfect
iv. Of unimpaired
innocence or proved virtue
v. Pure in
heart: GODLY – PIOUS
because of association with someone or something holy
- To be treated
with the utmost veneration or respect
When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior,
and receive baptism in His name for the forgiveness of our sins, God puts His Spirit within us to guide us, teach us, and
sanctify us for the purposes He created us to fulfill. He makes us holy according
to first, second, and fifth definitions. As believers, we are to set ourselves
apart and dedicate ourselves to the work God has prepared us to do. We dedicate
ourselves to a sacred and selfless purpose – venerated because our association with the perfect Lord God Almighty. The shed Blood of Christ makes us holy when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior –
then we must go on to walk in that holiness.
Only God is worthy of veneration and complete devotion
for His holiness, as defined in third definition for holy; and only God is spiritually whole, sound, and perfect, as defined
in the fourth definition. Only God deserves our utmost veneration and respect,
as defined in the sixth definition, but He calls us to respect each other with that same kind of respect because we are all
His children – sons and daughters of God through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.
We live holy by being devoted to our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ. When we become a follower of Jesus, we become holy through our
association with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, and we become set apart to serve God and one
Jesus once told His disciples that when they did a kind
deed for anyone, they were actually doing it for Him. We, as Christians, need
to practice seeing Christ in others. Seeing Christ in others may be difficult
at times, because some people are down right unlovable. In fact, many times that
unlovable person may be us. Jesus gave instructions to love our enemies, however,
if we want to demonstrate the perfect love of God; just as Jesus demonstrated it by asking the Father to forgive His killers
as He hung on the cross dying for our sins – and theirs.
To be holy means we live out our purpose in Christ. Being holy for us, does not mean that we will ever be perfect in the sense of being
flawless. God continues to perfect us into flawless beings as we follow Him and
seek a closer relationship with Him, but our flesh will always be short of perfection until that day when God translates our
earthly bodies into heavenly bodies to live with Him forever in heaven.
What is your purpose?
Have you discovered your God-given purpose yet?
Only God can reveal your purpose to you. Many people in our lives try to tell us what we should do or what we should be, but only God can truly
reveal that to us. When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our God and Savior,
He sets us apart for His work and sanctifies us for His purposes. We must then
go on to dedicate ourselves to God’s purposes, and acknowledge God’s claim on our lives – giving up our
own claim and surrendering our will into the hands of the Father to direct our will through the presence of His Holy Spirit
living within us. As we continue walking the path He has prepared for us and
seek to know Him better, He continues to unravel His mysteries to us, reveal His will for our lives, and bless us so that
we can be a blessing to others. After our conversion, we must continually seek
God through prayer, fasting, and service to others, in order to draw closer to Him and experience His peace and blessings;
and to realize His purpose for our lives.
Our whole purpose is to love God and obey His commands,
as King Solomon once concluded. Jesus gave us a general command to love others
as much as we love ourselves, so our perpetual duty is to be kind and do good to others whenever and wherever we can. Beyond that, we need to open our spiritual ears and eyes so that we can hear and see
God’s specific daily direction. God will give us visions of future purposes
He plans to fulfill through us, and He will give us very detailed directions; such as, “Go give so-and-so $300”,
or maybe it will be a $1000. Or, He might say, “Go and lay hands on so-and-so
– I want to heal them.” When we surrender to Jesus, we will hear
His instructions and directions – as He said to His disciples, “My sheep hear my voice.” God indeed speaks, and those who are devoted to Him and listening, will hear His instructions, and usually
feel a strong confirmation in their spirit.
Do you think your fight with ungodly desires end when
you accept Christ? Why or why not?
What does the indwelling of the Holy Spirit mean to you?
When we become Christians, our fight with human desires,
also called the flesh, does not go away. In fact, the battle will probably get
stronger. Before receiving salvation through Jesus Christ, people just naturally
do what they want or feels good to them – regardless of the harm it will do to them, their relationships with other
people, or to other people’s physical, emotional, or spiritual well-being. We
are, basically, selfish beings, so we want what we want when we want it. After
receiving the Holy Spirit, however, we begin a life-long spiritual battle, because the Spirit within us will convict us every
time we want to do something contrary to God’s will; then it becomes our choice because God has given us a free will,
which means we still get to choose to do good, or to do evil. When we surrender
our will to God, it means we let Him do the driving and leading, but He still does not “make” us do anything –
He simply tells us what to do. Since temptations surround us constantly, and
our flesh (natural human desires) likes to be satisfied, this spiritual battle within us can be very strong at times. Because our battle is spiritual, we need to wear the full armor of God to stand against
and defeat our enemy when He attacks – both Satan and our own desires. (See
the Armor of God lesson in Topic Bible Studies Addressing Everyday Problems and Questions – Series 1).
Do you think living holy should be easy? Why or why not?
Do you think living holy is asking too much? Why or why not?
Don’t ever underestimate Satan’s power. Satan was the most beautiful and powerful angel in heaven. He was beautiful, powerful, and intelligent. You are no match
for Satan – only the Holy Spirit within a believer can resist Satan. Even
the archangel Michael did not dare rebuke Satan to his face – he said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Only a fool would think he or she could resist Satan of his or her own power.
As you continue to seek God, you will grow stronger in
your spirit, and you will gain Godly wisdom and understanding as God gives it to you – giving you more strength to handle
the battles that come your way. Your battles, however, will not likely get fewer
or easier – you will just be given more strength, wisdom, and understanding to endure them. As a perfect parent, God the Father wants us to grow and mature; just as we, as earthly parents, want to
see our children grow and mature. We all know that it takes hard work and some
hard knocks to grow and mature physically and emotionally. Spiritual maturity
is no different – we mature through trials, temptations, and some hard knocks.
As you mature in your faith, you will find that even though the battles do not end, you will get increased clarity
and wisdom to see your way through them – by the Grace of God through His Holy Spirit within you.
Verse of the week:
1 Peter 1: 13-16 (NIV)
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled;
set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As
obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Challenge of the week
Be holy by living out your life dedicated to doing God’s
will. As a child of God, your sins are forgiven, and God has a plan and purpose
for your life; or perhaps, multiple purposes to further His kingdom. With all
the temptations that surround you and all the trials you go through – many of your own doing – it may not always
be easy or pleasant living holy, but the outcome is worth it. This world, as
the apostle Paul stated, has nothing to offer us as believers. We live in the
world, but we are not to be of the world.
Grow in your relationship
with God by seeking Him continually through prayer, studying His Word, and purposing in your heart to live holy out of love
and devotion to Christ Jesus. As you do that, you will find that your desires
continually change to align with God’s desires, and you will find yourself feeling more and more out of place in this
world. Living holy is a process and it all starts with saying “YES”
to Jesus, and “NO” to you.
“YES” to JESUS and “NO” to SELF – you will be eternally grateful that you did.