The Way of Holiness
the only option for the Christian is to follow peace and holiness.
Growing up in Costa Rica was tough, but I never knew any worse or any better. The name of Jesus was something common to hear at home, but still I was abused (physically, emotionally, and sexually) as a child. I never chose these things; they just happened. And what could I do? People told me about Jesus, but he was never there. So the only answer I found was to walk away from my dysfunctional home into the shelter of sex, drugs, alcohol and pornography. I lived this way from the time I was 15 until I was 22.
After those 7 years, I met the Lord and knew something had to change. I had a Bible and a million questions, and the most important question to me was what it meant to be holy.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Some follow their desires. Some follow their hobbies. Some follow their favorite fútbol team. Some even follow war. But when we look at the scripture, the only option for the Christian is to follow peace and holiness.
My journey was now in progress, and that progress looked like sanctification and separation from the world.
At the beginning of Christ’s earthly life, the angels gave the shepherds a simple message: that Jesus was born, and that peace was being offered to the world.
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
I knew the verse from the Christmas song, but I never processed it correctly. The peace I needed to follow was only through Jesus and not through pills, friends, doctors or hobbies. We must follow the light named Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
My journey was now in progress, and that progress looked like sanctification and separation from the world. Sanctification is a process that began with my salvation, but now I needed mortification of my desires in order to “follow peace with all men”.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
The world can never have peace in their lives until they have peace with God through salvation. The scripture is not giving us a suggestion to seek peace with “some men”, but rather with “all men”. I was making excuses based on my situations, but the scripture was crashing into my world because I was not sharing my peace—Jesus—with all men. I was saved, but I was afraid to declare Jesus, as it would separate me from the world.
We must follow peace and holiness, without which nobody can see the Lord.
As I continued to read the verse, it said, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness…” So now I had a bigger problem; the word holiness is far more intimidating than peace. But I learned that just as Christ reconciled me to the Father by his grace, he also wants to reconcile others.
The rest of the verse says that without holiness, no man shall see the Lord. Holiness means to be cut away, to be separate from something that is unclean. There are two applications for this. First, if a saved believer is not walking a life separate from their flesh and worldliness, they will not see Christ in their daily lives because they are living as a blind man. Second, the lost person cannot see Christ at all—either on earth or in eternity—because they have not yet been called holy through the blood of Jesus. They must be saved.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21. 18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
God gives his children the ministry of reconciliation, so we must first be reconciled to Him in order to help the lost world be reconciled to him. If we are saved but not walking in fellowship with Christ, we need to confess our sins, go to the scripture, and be cleansed.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
When we are living a life that is reconciled to God, we can minister to others and show them that they can also be reconciled to him through Jesus Christ.
The way to holiness starts with our salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are then commanded to be a set-apart people on earth until the death of our earthly bodies to spend eternity with God. Doing so requires laying down our desires and leaving behind our setbacks, just like I had to leave behind the things of my past. We must follow peace and holiness, without which nobody can see the Lord.
What are you following?