If you are a Christian, you are obligated to live a holy lifestyle. Not because it is a requirement for salvation. It is a sign of salvation. The writer of Hebrews reminds us to “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14 NIV). Sometimes people only remember the second part of this verse that tells us no one will see the Lord without holiness. But it’s the first part of this verse that tells us why it’s important to live holy. 

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells them that “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV). This, he tells them, in response to their assertion that they “have the right to do anything” (1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV). Paul agrees that they have the right to do anything but asserts that everything isn’t necessarily beneficial or even constructive (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:23). This is why Paul tells them to not seek out their own good. Paul is basically pointing out to them that their lives aren’t all about them. A salient point we’d be wise to remember today in our society of “Me first.” 

I mean no disrespect in declaring we have a “Me first” society. I am not referring to the label some have put upon the Millennial generation, as if the people of this generation are somehow unique in their perspective of putting themselves first. If this were truly the case, why did Paul have to remind the Corinthians, over 1,950+ years ago, that they needed to stop thinking this way? I point this out with the same hope that Paul had, that we who are Christian and profess to love him with all of our hearts, minds, and souls will remember that it’s not all about us. We live for the glory of God. 

I know that some might say Paul was only talking about food. Again I say, as I have said at other times, is Paul only talking about food? I will also add, is Paul only talking about other Christians? The response, like always, is No!

If Paul were only talking about food, he’d have not said that he was trying “to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:33 NIV). If that was not clear enough, then Paul makes it abundantly clear that they (and we) are to “not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32 NIV). 

Therefore, if we are saved, we should desire to live a holy life because the Spirit that dwells within us is not the spirit of the world but the Holy Spirit. In addition, we live holy lives because we don’t want anyone to stumble on our accounts. Paul provides us with a good description of how our behavior if it’s not holy and filled with love, can cause someone to stumble. 

But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience?

1 Corinthians 10:28-29 (NIV)

People who aren’t Christian perceive how Christians ought to be. Sadly some think of us as hypocrites, and to a significant degree, they are right. Sometimes in blatant, and not so blatant ways, we say one thing and do something contrary to what we say. Could the person here in 1 Corinthians 10:28-29 who offered the food in sacrifice, not think that the Christian who accepted it and ate it, wasn’t a hypocrite? How much greater is the offense when we have actually sinned before an unbeliever?! 

If you’re thinking that this is very constricting, then I agree with you. It certainly can be. How might our Lord have found it constricting to die for our sins? He, a man without sin? Bearing our cross daily has many forms and living a holy life is one form it takes. It’s about love, and what does Scripture say about love?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (emphasis added)

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

Love is a lot of things, but no one ever said it was easy. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.