Here at the start of a new year, many of us need to hear a challenging, sobering call to holiness — without which no one will see the Lord:
“For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things.” (Colossians 3:3-6 NLT)
The holy soul is consecrated — set apart for God’s purposes. Holiness is more than just a list of what we don’t do (though that must be part of it). Holiness is a positive characteristic of the shalom justice God is bringing to the world. If we want to be part of God’s new earth, our lives must be holy and we must be engaged in God’s mission of multiplying justice in his world.
God’s children must get rid of wicked behavior because it is an evil, ruthless enemy that wages war against our souls. A wild lion is not a pet — keep one hidden in a back closet and it eventually will devour you.