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What is a Holy Life?

In Life-study of Leviticus, Witness Lee summarized the general sketch of Leviticus in this way: “through the tabernacle, with the offerings and by the priests, God’s redeemed are enabled to fellowship with God, serve God, and be God’s holy people living a holy life, which expresses God...

What does it mean to be a “holy people living a holy life”? The apostle Peter revealed two divine facts that the Triune God gave to every believer. First, we “call as Father” the Holy One who called us (1 Pet. 1:15-17), implying that we have been born of God (1 Pet. 1:3, 23) and thereby possess His holy life and His holy nature. Peter confirmed this divine fact by telling us that we are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). We are holy because we have both the life and nature of our holy Father.

The second divine fact that the apostle Peter revealed to us is that the blood of Christ redeemed us from our vain manner of life handed down from our fathers (1 Pet. 1:18). Redemption not only saves us from God’s judgment but it also saves us from our vain manner of life. Now we can live another manner of life—a holy manner of life (1 Pet. 1:15). This holy life is something intrinsic in the very essence of our living. To live a holy life is not simply a matter of wearing more modest clothing or refraining from wearing makeup. Nor is it an assuming of some type of pious demeanor. Rather, it is that our very being, both our inward thinking and our outward doings, are a reflection and an expression of our holy Father through the life of our Savior who indwells us.

We are holy because we have both the life and nature of our holy Father.

Not only so, the apostle Paul told us that we are sanctified in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:16). To sanctify means to make holy. In the Holy Spirit, we are made holy not only positionally but also dispositionally by the Holy Spirit’s renewing and transforming work, resulting in our full sanctification (Rom. 6:19, 22).

Paul also told us that God chose us “to be holy” (Eph. 1:4) and that Christ gave Himself for the church to sanctify her that “she would be holy” (5:25-27). Christ accomplishes this sanctifying “by the washing of the water in the word” (v. 26). The Lord’s redeeming blood washes away our sins, whereas the water of life in the Lord’s word washes away the natural life of our old man. The more we allow the Lord’s living word to cleanse us, the more we are sanctified and made holy, and the more we will express this holy life.

So from Peter’s writing, we see that a holy life is the expression of the Father’s holy life and nature which we received in our regeneration. From Paul’s writing, we see that we are sanctified in the Holy Spirit and that a sanctifying work is carried out in us by the washing of the water of life in Christ’s word. May we care for the holy life and nature of God in us through fellowship with Him. May we cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work. May we also be washed in the water of the Lord’s word to be a holy people with a holy life to express our God.

For further reading on this subject, please see Life-study of 1 Peter, messages 5-14; Life-study of Romans, message 17; and Life-study of Ephesians, message 3, published by Living Stream Ministry.

From Issue No. 32, December 2000

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