1 Peter 1:13-16 tells us, "...gird up the loins of your mind, be sober...As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he [God] which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY."
Now...an honest evaluation reveals to us, that not all is well today with twenty-first century Christianity. There are trends that should alarm us, even among the so-call fundamental groups. One of these trends is the loss of holiness...the absence of a Bible-based, God-honoring expression in the daily lives of many professing believers in Christ. True Christianity is not just all talk...it is a way of life.
The word "conversation," as it is used in 1 Peter 1:15 means "behavior." As Christians, our calling in Christ Jesus is to be a distinctive people, set apart for God...pure in every area of life. Jesus came to "...save his people from [not in] their sins." (Matthew 1:21) Romans 6:22 says, "But now being made free from sin [through Christ], and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and in the end everlasting life." Hebrews 12:14 tells us, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Notice that the hope of eternal life and holy living are synonymous.
People who claim to be Christians cannot give their hearts to the Lord, call themselves sanctified, and just go on living the way that they did before they got saved!
Holiness, or sanctification, is both instant and progressive. It is instant upon our repentance toward God, upon faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for His saving, cleansing power, and through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in our heart and life. Holiness is progressive as we pursue Christian growth and obedience to all the revealed will of God through Bible study and prayer.
Holiness begins in the heart and works its way out, affecting the thoughts, talk, action, dress, and lifestyle of the person who allows the Spirit of Christ to rule. The result is a powerful testimony of God's saving grace.
But today, mainstream Christianity has exchanged piety for pleasure, conscience for convenience, and modesty for moral looseness. The devil has deceived people into believing that they can somehow do their own thing, (whether it be being involved in a homosexual relationship, engaged in sex outside of marriage, participating in drug addiction or the use of alcohol, being involved in pornography, or any other sin against God) and still be in the center of God's will and under His blessing. The truth is...those who do their own thing are not holy. They are disobeying God and living in sin.
It seems that becoming a Christian has been reduced to a respectable social event rather than the radical, life changing, death-to-life experience that the Bible teaches. Being a member of a church and "talking" Jesus, Bible, and the Holy Spirit all day long does not make a person holy. If a person's lifestyle hasn't changed, it is because their heart has not been changed. Yet many people today believe that they can live however they choose and still be heaven bound.
Romans 8:13 says, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [cut off or put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live." There is security in Christ if and when we meet Bible conditions.
Is it possible for people to be made holy? Of course it is! The Bible teaches that holiness is God's will for all of us! Titus 211-12 says, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world..."
Jesus Christ came to both pardon and cleanse the sinner. To be cleansed means to be sanctified and made holy. The holy person has not lost his ability to sin, but it is his desire and will not to sin.
In conclusion, we believe that God is still calling His children to be a separated, holy people in this wicked world in which we live. We join the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1, when he says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."