As we approach Easter, it’s important to take a closer look at the concept of holiness and purity in our lives. While these ideas may seem outdated or irrelevant in our modern society, the truth is that God has given us specific instructions on how to live in a way that honors him. In Leviticus 18:1-10 and 19:1-18, we see that God’s desire for his people to be holy and set apart from the world has not changed. And as we reflect on the redemption we have through Jesus Christ, we should also desire to obey God in every aspect of our lives.
As believers, we should desire to obey God in every aspect of our lives as a result of our redemption. Redemption should produce holiness in us. It should lead us to a manner of life that is separate from sin. Redemption does not excuse us from the responsibility of being holy, but it gives us the opportunity to be holy. Holiness of life results from a relationship to God and fellowship with Him that redemption makes possible.
Our culture is saturated with sensuality, and sexual immorality is often justified with the excuse “It’s my body. I can do what I want.” However, for believers, nothing could be farther from the truth. We are not our own. Our lives, our hearts, and our bodies were redeemed, paid for with the blood of Jesus. Therefore, we should desire to live in a way that pleases God.
In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Paul addresses the issue of sexual immorality and exhorts believers to flee from it. He reminds us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that we were bought at a price. Therefore, we should honor God with our bodies.
Leviticus 18:1-5 warns us against succumbing to the cultural pressures of immorality. We are continually surrounded with hyper-sexual messages all day, every day. Our hope for remaining pure is both spiritual and practical. First, we need to submit our lives to God, making sure we aren’t trying to hide a specific area from the light of His Word. Second, we need to flee from sexual immorality by turning off the movie, deleting the app, and making ourselves accountable to other believers for our daily choices.
Leviticus 19:2 plainly lays out God’s expectations for us: “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” This is not an arbitrary command, but rather a call for us to live up to God’s standard of holiness. 1 Peter 1:14-16 repeats this call to born-again believers who now have the power of the risen Christ available to them to live it out. We cannot use the world’s standard as a way to figure out if our lives are holy or not. We cannot even compare ourselves to other Christians. The one way to live up to God’s standard of holiness is to live by His Bible.
So, as we celebrate Holy Week and look forward to Easter, let us remember that redemption should produce holiness in us. Let us desire to live in a way that pleases God and honor Him with our bodies. Let us submit ourselves to Him and flee from sexual immorality. And let us strive to live up to His standard of holiness by living according to His Word.