Do Christians stand out or are they no different in their words, deeds, ethics, and worldly desires. How often do we see Christians fall, and though many start out well many end up on the shelf. For the few that repent how often are they not forgiven by man although they have been by God.
How many poor role models do we have, Christian businessmen, actors, singers, gangsters, TV evangelists, students; though they name the name of Christ there is little to no evidence that they live for Him. People can be turned away by the things that Christians condone, say, and act. Should not the gospel make a difference in someone's life? I read a quote once that said, His preaching was good, his writing better, but his life best of all.
When believers sin it makes believers and unbelievers stumble. Did it not say in Matt. 4:19, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men?
Why should a Christian pursue holiness; well when we are not holy it gives dishonor to Christ. So how can someone who is saved live a holy life. It does not come from a system of rules and regulations, a certain standard of behavior, or a list of do?s and don?t?s. If it were following the law then there would need to be a punishment or it would only be good advise. If we had to follow the law we would loose our salvation for disobeying the law.
Holiness does not come by obeying certain laws and avoiding certain taboos, but by grace. Grace comes from a love of the Savior not by following the law or fear of punishment. God wants us to recognize that He saved us by grace and now wants us to live a lifestyle from love, and not fear of punishment.
God has given us His word filled with practical instruction and commandments, to help and guide us in living a holy life. This includes principles of appropriate behavior, what to do and not to do, what is right or wrong, and Godly heart desires.
Honor Christ by loving Him, desiring to live a holy life that will give glory to our Savior Jesus Christ; and will draw others toward him, not repel others away.
Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."
A general call goes out to all Christians to dedicate themselves fully unto God. It is because of the great mercies of God that this constituted the reason we are to present our bodies as in bringing a sacrifice to an alter; and then fully unto the work of God. The sacrifice here also refers to a living one, which is an offering made to God as an atonement for sin. Because God is Holy he only accepts an offering free from blemish or defect, because no sacrifice should be made which is not acceptable to God. It concludes that it is only reasonable because of what God does for us that we give ourselves back to Him.
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We are not to be swayed or be conformed to the world, its pleasures and lusts that draw us away form God; but to be transformed daily toward a loving God. In the 'Good News Bible' Rom 6:13 says "Nor must you surrender any part of yourselves to sin to be used for wicked purposes. Instead, give yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes."
The world in the day that this was written was filled with sexual immorality, premarital sex, homosexual and lesbian sex, adultery, drunken parties, immodesty, much like we see today in society.
We are not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world, which prides itself on material possessions, money, living only for the present with little thought about tomorrow. How often we see and hear of arguments, quarrels. revenge and violence.
Though the whole world may do something and often suggest it as normal, that does not make it right for the Christian to follow.
Paul tells us how this transformation is to take place: "be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Since everything begins with our thoughts we need to get into the word, and away from those things to draw us into ungodly behaviour and allow our minds to be transformed with Christ-like behaviours. We must fed our minds with the things of God and allow the Spirit of God free reign in our body.
Living a transformed life is not easy, as a matter of fact it is a daily and ongoing process for the rest of your Christian life. We must always watch out for worldly desires and continually work to not conform to those desires of this present age. We need to be continuously into the Bible, and other godly activities.