“For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16 NLT)
The secret to living a holy life is in your closet. That’s right, if you want to know how to live a life that demonstrates the holiness of God you need to look in your closet.
In an earlier blog post I established the fact that from a Christian perspective, holiness is a gift from God and not a product of self effort. Holiness like salvation, comes through faith in Jesus Christ. When we open the door of our heart to Christ, the Holy Spirit comes in to take up residence in our lives and declares us holy by virtue of His holy presence within us.
He does not stop in the entry way or just in the living room, but makes His way into every room of our spiritual house. And surprisingly, the first place He makes a beeline for is our closet. Why? Because He has a whole new wardrobe He wants to hang there to insure that we begin to look like the child of royalty that we have now become. As He begins a thorough house cleaning He has a Salvation Army truck (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) waiting at the curb to dispose of all our old, tattered and filthy garments of sin and self-righteousness. At any rate, good riddance to the old, bring on the new!
And what an amazing ensemble of clothes He provides. First there is “the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” which we are encouraged to put on when we put off the old self. (Ephesians 4:22-24) There are also the “garments of salvation” and “robes of righteousness.” (Isaiah 61:10) And as holy people whom God loves He provides us with the clothes of “tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12) But that’s not all. For our spiritual battles He also stocks our closet with the six-piece full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11-17)
The secret to living a holy life is what we do with all these clothes in our spiritual closet. These holy garments will portray and radiate the holiness and glory of God. They are a gift and not something purchased or earned. Like a wedding tux provided for a wedding, they are not ours, but given us on loan to make us presentable for the bride and groom.
Our responsibility as regards to holiness is simple. We need only to put on the holy garments supplied us and wear them. That of course requires us to put aside our old garments in order to put on the new. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
It is a simple act but can be difficult because of our self will. Living a holy life is a decision of our will made in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Only stubbornness or laziness can keep us from putting on the new garments Jesus supplies.
We do not want to become like the man in Jesus’ parable who came to the wedding banquet but chose not to wear the wedding clothes provided for him. (Matthew 22:1-14) We think to ourselves, how foolish of that man not to take the brief time and effort to put on the wonderful garments provided for him. And yet, sometimes we can be like that man.
Clothing ourselves in holiness is a choice. We are intrinsically holy by faith, but extrinsically holy by action in wearing His holy garments. This is part of what James was referring to when he wrote “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20) Works do not earn us holiness, but demonstrate it. Faith comes first, with the gift of a closet full of clothes, and our work then is simply to put them on.
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