“But as he 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. (I Peter 1:15, 16)
With all the rules and regulations, doctrines and dogma that guide some in “religiosity”, we have confused holiness with religious piety–the observance of “religious principles”. One of the reasons we often get confused about how to conduct ourselves is because of the leadership in various denominations who have convoluted the teaching of holiness and confused it with piety. Holiness is not a look or an act–it is a lifestyle based upon relationship with God.
If church leadership would get a revelation and teach with a goal towards getting everyone into right relationship with God rather than obedience to them, we would see a marked difference in behaviors and attitudes world-wide. Unfortunately, too many of our church leaders today are like the Pharisees who only wanted to control the people, not allow them the freedom to understand God and live for Him, but for them.
When a person is in relationship with another, they seek to please that person, not control them. When we’re relationship with God, we can hear Him and govern ourselves accordingly because we make wise decisions because we operate with the mind of Christ. If Holy Spirit is guiding everything we do--we have no need for a mere mortal to guide us in anything pertaining to how to act or dress or think.
Religious piety–governs how a person dresses in a building, how a person talks in a building, how a person praises God in a building, what songs can be sung in a building, how much to give in a building, how to snub others who don’t worship as they do, how to isolate one from family, and the list could go on and on.
Holiness–allows Holy Spirit to control tongue, attitude, and behavior at all times–not just in a building. Holy Spirit bonds the relationship between us and God and corrects us when we are going astray and reminds us of God’s love, grace, and mercy.
Notice, that there is nothing in The Word that talks about Jesus being religious, but being holy. The reason for that is simply that He was not and is not a religious person for had He been religious, we would all still need an annual sacrifice for sin. No, Jesus was never religious because of His relationship with the Father, He had no need to be pious–demanding strict adherence to man’s rules and in fact, broke most of the religious leaders rules which is why they sought to kill Him. He was interfering with their ability to control the people.
Today, conduct serious introspection about self and what is done to represent a relationship with Christ Jesus. Are you pious or are you in relationship with God? Do you worship out of piety or out of relationship and holiness? The only person who can answer these questions, is you! Piety or Holiness? Religion or Relationship? Choose this day where you stand with the understanding that God knows and we can’t fool Him!
Father, in the name of Jesus, give us a heart to recognize the work You are doing in our lives, cutting away all that is not of You and filling us with all we need to be holy in Your sight and accomplish all You would have us to do.
For more on this subject of Holiness–check out my book http://www.amazon.com/Holiness–Not-Look-Lifestyle-Living-Life-ebook/dp/B00CQPB87G/ref=la_B00BAW31CQ_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394971472&sr=1-10