The Call to Holiness


Holy. It’s a word Christians use a lot. We know God is holy and we know that we are called to be holy as He is.

In the world, however, we hear a lot about being happy. This seems to be the ultimate goal in a life outside of Christ. And of course, everyone desires happiness.

So how are they different? And can a Christian be both holy and happy?

1 Peter 1:13-15 gives a clear explanation of how Christians are to live:

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.

So where’s the bit about happiness? The truth is, the Bible teaches us a whole lot about how God desires our character to be, and not about how we can become happiest. God never promises us an easy life. Rather, God teaches us how to live our lives for him, regardless of what hardships may come our way.

And for what?

God promises there is a reward in the end for those who preserver. We will be with Him for eternity and we will share in his kingdom as heirs and co-heirs with Christ.

Romans 8:17 says:

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

And 2 Timothy 2:11-13

The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him.

Holiness is about being set apart for God’s purposes with the objective of serving him, both in this life, and in life everlasting.

Thus, we see that earthly happiness is not life’s objective. Eternity with God is the ultimate goal.

Nevertheless, God does bless our lives with peace and joy. He gives us peace that surpasses understanding (Phil 4:7) and joy that no one can take away (John 16:22, 1 Peter 1:8-9, Romans 14:17, Hebrews 12:2).

Also see:
Keeping an Eternal Perspective in a Temporal World
Living for Jesus: Obeying
Living for Jesus: Resisting