“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
Holy living is a vital command in our walk with Christ. So vital, that we are told in Hebrews 12:14 that without holiness, we will not see The Lord.
So, what does holy living look like?
First, let’s define “holiness” so that we can grasp a better concept. The Greek word for “holiness” is “hagiosmos,” which means “set apart, holy, sacred.” In short, holy living is set apart living.
Grab your bibles and turn with me to Colossians 3:1-3. These three verses hold some beautiful keys to unlock why we should live holy lives. Verse three tells us that our lives have been hidden in Christ. This is what the blood of Jesus did. When He looks at you, He sees the perfection of Jesus. This truth is what spurs us into living holy lives. Because of what has been done, we are to set our minds on things above.
A few verses down in Colossians 3:5-10, we are given a blueprint of how to live holy lives. Through this, the Holy Spirit will manifest visibly holy lives.
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature.” (Colossians 3:5)
“Put to death” is a pretty straightforward command. We don’t tame our sin, we don’t try and make it behave. We don’t teach it tricks--we put it to death because death is what our fleshly nature deserves. We don’t operate and live by flesh anymore.
I understand the difficulty behind putting these things to death. How can we even begin to put ONE of these things to death? With a renewed mind.
“Therefore, I urge you, brother, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2, NIV)
Merely memorizing scripture is not holy living. In fact, Jesus rebuked such religious acts. Memorizing scripture is great, but unless you’re marinating in the Word of God, it’s not going to do much in the area of mind renewal.
Here is the best way that I can relate mind renewal to you:
I am recently married. In June, I packed up my house and moved to my husbands home. The distance to and from work was the same; however, when I pulled up to the stoplight, I needed to make a right instead of a left.
I had been to his house numerous times when we were dating, but it was a new ballgame when I only had one place to go instead of two. So for the first few weeks, I had to pull up to the stoplight and make the conscious decision to make a right turn--- I didn’t live to the left anymore.
The mind renewal process is similar. We have to pull up to that stoplight and say “I don’t live over there anymore, I live over here.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take every thought captive. Taking thoughts captive means to catch thoughts and say “I’m going to watch what I think. I’m going to make sure it lines up with where I live now.” If it doesn’t, cast it down.
As we take our thoughts captive, our actions will line up. We’ve been set apart for the purpose of being sent out into the world, to go and make disciples. There must be a marked difference if we are going to be effective.
Extra reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Galatians 3:16, 26, & 29; Isaiah 61:6; John 2; Colossians 1:9-14; 1 Timothy 4:12; and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15.