Word of the Month

Holy in our conduct

February 2005

Apostle Peter admonishes: "But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct" (1 Peter 1:15). But then the question arises: "Is that even possible in the first place?" We are quite aware of all our weaknesses, we commit errors and sins, we fall victim to temptation, and we dismay God time and again. Nevertheless, if we have an unshakeable faith and untainted love toward God and His work, we can always be made holy again when God intervenes in our lives with the gifts of heaven, and allows us to partake in the grace out of the sacrifice and earning of Christ.

We are made holy through our childhood in God. Our heavenly Father has called us through our election from eternity, and in His endless love He has made us His children through the rebirth out of water and the Spirit. Now it is up to us to show ourselves worthy of this sanctification through our conduct by continually allowing ourselves to be made holy.

We are made holy through the word of divine preaching. The Son of God emphasised: "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you" (John 15: 3). From this we can see how infinitely important it is to absorb the Spirit-inspired word in the divine services, build it into our hearts, keep it, and act in accordance with it.

Beyond this we are made holy through partaking in the grace issuing from the sacrifice of God's Son. We are made holy when all our sins are washed away, when all debts are forgiven, and when no spirit has any further claim on us. And through Holy Communion we absorb the life and nature of Jesus Christ within us - there is no sanctification that could affect us more profoundly. It is up to us to accept these gifts out of heaven's heights and utilise them to make our conduct holy. This includes preserving the peace that the dear God grants us. Every time our sins are forgiven the peace of the Risen One is laid into our souls. Let us lead a life in the fear of God, as Apostle Peter recommended (cf. 1 Peter 1: 17), so that we remain in the first love and that our faith does not become lukewarm! Let our hearts be warm for the Lord and cold toward the world, so that God does not have to vomit us out of His mouth (cf. Revelation 3: 16). This means that God would no longer call us by our names. What a tragedy this would be for His elect after having received so much grace!

Holy conduct also entails loyal, enthusiastic following, and ceaseless, fervent prayers. In this manner we will be one with the triune God and the ambassadors of Jesus, we will increasingly come to resemble Christ, our Master, and we will attain holiness.

(From a service by the chief apostle)