If you find it increasingly difficult to live as a Christian in these times, you are not alone. The fact is that the world is becoming more and more hostile to biblical Christianity. Sin is glorified, and depraved lifestyles are becoming more socially acceptable. The world tolerates all sort of beliefs but is largely intolerant to the idea of an all-powerful God who hates sin and loves righteousness.
This difficulty trickles down to the private sphere. It has become harder to pursue personal holiness. The temptations—the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16)—have taken on new forms. Never before has there been unparalleled access to pornography. The internet, although a source of resources for growth in our Christian life, has also become an effective avenue for self-promotion, materialism, and a host of other worldviews which can feed and cultivate the remaining sinful flesh in us. If we are not careful, we can gradually become numb to sin and drift away from what God has intended for us.
The apostle Paul did not mince words when he wrote a letter to the early church in Rome. He told them, “… Present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Rom. 6:13b). In other words, believers must have lives that are holy, set apart for God, wherever they may be, regardless of the licentiousness and immorality of the world around us.
Holiness must also be fought personally. Dr. Lawson said that, “the battle for personal holiness is being fought for in our bodies. It starts with our mind and what our thoughts are. It includes our eyes and what we are looking at throughout the day. It includes our ears and what we allow to be pumped into our ears, which, in turn, affects our minds and our entire walk. It affects our tongue, as sin wants to reign in our mouth by slandering, gossiping, using edgy language, tearing down others, and boasting in ourselves. Sin wants to reign over our hands, what we literally pick up and handle. It wants to reign over our feet, where they take us to carry out our deeds. Sin wants to govern every part of our mortal body, from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet, every inch and every ounce of us. This battle is not being carried out in some mystical realm that is detached from us. To the contrary, the war is waged within the body in which we live.”
Set Apart: The Believer’s Call for Personal Holiness emphasizes God’s commandment to pursue personal holiness by rejecting and putting sin to death in our mortal bodies, and by living according to what God has called us to do. We can accomplish these only by the grace of God. It aims to equip believers from local churches with biblical principles and practical applications of how personal holiness can be pursued in daily living.
Cine Adarna, U.P. Film Institute
Magsaysay Ave. (beside U.P. Theatre)
University of the Philippines, Quezon City
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