As we are sanctified daily and made more in the image of Jesus Christ, we encounter many challenges. Satan wants to kill and destroy us, while God wants us to be holy. When we listen to Satan’s lies, we sin. Instead of being holy, we become profane. Like the Old Testament saints, we care called to be holy, different than the pagan nations and practices around us. Yet, we are tempted to become like the world, rather than different than the world. I tell my students that we always fight the battles for truth and purity.
The battle for truth. God wants us to believe that He revealed Himself in His Word, the Bible. When we believe the world rather that the Bible, we are not holy; we are profane, and we defile the truth of God’s Word. One way we have bought into Satan’s lie is to believe the so-called science that says that we are nothing but evolved animals. Yet, the Bible says that we are God’s special creation, created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). “Be holy” then means to stand by the Word of God and regard it as truth. “Be holy” then means to represent God well in this sin-sick world by standing firm on the truth of His Word, the Bible. This principle can be applied to a lot of issues facing our society today: marriage, the care of children (born and unborn), and how to treat the stranger in the land.
The battle for purity. God’s holiness is ethical; He is sinless. Because we have the sin nature still in us, we cannot be sinless, but the Holy Spirit is helping us to get closer to what God wants for us through the process of sanctification. Satan has won major victories by defeated pastors and Christian leaders through pornography and adultery. How do we fight this battle? The battle against pornography starts with accountability. Our friends at Covenant Eyes recommend the following Five Gospel-Centered Accountability Principles:
- Know and understand the depth and dangers of sin.
- Healthy accountability relationships inspire God-worship, not will-worship.
- Healthy accountability relationships use grace-centered motives, not law-centered motives, for inspiring repentance.
- Healthy accountability relationships are Christ-centered, not sin-centered.
- Healthy accountability relationships celebrate the cross.
How do we fight the battle against adultery? Our friends at Focus on the Family suggest five ways in build an affair-proof marriage:
- Avoid spending time alone with people of the opposite sex.
- Refuse to act on (or even reveal) feelings of attraction to someone other than your spouse.
- Avoid outside influences and environments.
- Make your spouse your top priority.
- Change your attitude about your marriage.
The main attribute of the Holy Spirit, like the God-head is holiness. In his holiness, He helps those redeemed by Christ to be holy. The more filled with the Spirit we are, the more holy we can be in the way we think, speak, and act.
Editor’s Note: Tiberius Rata is assistant dean of the School of Ministry Studies at Grace College and Theological Seminary, where he also serves as professor of Old Testament Studies. He focuses on instilling in his students a love for God and His inerrant Word.
 See the entire article at http://www.covenanteyes.com/2014/09/12/10-gospel-centered-accountability-principles-puritan-might-run-accountability-group/
 See the entire article at http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/affairs-and-adultery/avoiding-and-ending-an-affair
This article first appeared in the Spring 2016 GraceConnect magazine, the quarterly publication for leaders and members of Grace Brethren churches in North America. View the complete magazine online here or at issuu. To receive a free subscription, mailed directly to your home, click here.