As a new believer, I was afraid of the concept of Holy living, I had too many religious connotations attached to that word. Holiness in reality the most fruitful and exciting way any one can live. Holiness is the exciting, dynamic and beautiful character of God. Being like Jesus is the goal of every Christian’s life. He calls to us, “Follow Me”.
Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is prophetic. It defines every general movement in the church for reform and at the same time shows us that reformation or counter reformation is not enough. Some denominations emphasize charismatic sign gifts, some denominations their evangelistic preaching. Others emphasize their prowess in Scriptural knowledge and research having super star theologians. There is in many denominations an emphasis on great social works of relief. Even the faith movement was predicted and perhaps the largest movement takes greatest pride in sacrifice and self abasement. The Word of God here shows us extreme examples in every case of maximum success (achievement and effort) in each emphasis. Yet, the Lord tells us here that all of these movements do not count for anything with out Agape love. How we treat each other in the body of Christ is more important than all of these movements which have a place in the body of Christ recognized by God alone. No one would doubt (what a way to spell a word) that carnality is the great killer in a Christian’s life and in the church. We often define carnality with gross sinning, but in 1 Corinthians the first sign of carnality is jealousy and strife (fighting to get your own way). These are sins that can be hidden from many but never from God. All of us are temped to be this way from the top to the bottom. In over fifty years of Christian work, I know that this sin destroys more churches than any other. I am not writing here as the great exception , but as one of us. Over the years you will encounter friction in your ministry or church fellowship. Whether it was your fault or someone else doesn’t matter if you don’t deal with it properly. In short, I am convinced that if any of us hurt someone behind their back and think we can get away with it, we are sadly mistaken. I firmly believe that those who think they can manipulate to hurt someone or hold someone back are digging a hole for themselves and are bringing upon themselves the Lord’s future chastisement. First we must pray for anyone whom we had a spat with and lift them up before the Lord. If anyone of us needs a spanking, it will come from the Lord – rest assured. Secondly, if anyone is really not being fair, which is usually imaginary, pray for that person too, because if it is true, the Lord knows and no one is better at chastisement for carnal believers than Him. Thirdly read the rest of 1 Corinthians 13 and many other scriptures which clearly show us that the heart of every healthy Christian movement involves mostly how we treat each other. If you don’t know those scriptures, consider yourself a babe in Christ and grow in grace and truth. Holiness is not just the absence of sin (That’s the definition of a dead man). Holiness is the presence of God’s Spirit flowing through us. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23