This post was originally published in July 2015. –ed.
Do you sometimes struggle to tell the difference between the church and the world? The church is now so adept at compromising with the world that it has forgotten how to be uncompromising. Many modern churchgoers have let the culture influence and corrupt their values, tastes, and practices—blurring the lines between sin and righteousness, and the clarity of God’s truth.
But mimicking and chasing the world is not God’s plan for His church. In fact, Scripture calls us to the opposite of compromise. From one end of the Bible to the other, God clearly commands His people to live apart from the world.
When God established Israel as a nation, He built into the Israelites’ daily lives the principle of separation from the world. The law and their religious observances throughout the year served as safeguards to prevent them, as a unique people (Deuteronomy 14:2), from intermingling with pagans.
Likewise, God calls all His people to be separate from the world (1 Peter 2:9)—not just for the sake of separation, but for the sake of our purity and the testimony of His truth. The Lord doesn’t compromise His Word, and we need to be just as uncompromisingly committed to it, too.
In the face of a world driven by compromise, believers must be people of integrity. We need to hold fast to the truth of Scripture and live lives that reinforce our testimonies—not call them into question.
Of course, the pressure to compromise comes from within and external pressures only manifest our inner weaknesses.
Clearly there is a direct correlation between integrity and biblical holiness. A consistently righteous life is the showcase of one’s integrity because it reveals your commitment to love and obey God. Through the Spirit’s ongoing work in your life, you’re evidencing the transforming power of God’s Word—your sanctification is a living testimony to God’s work in you, and a key aspect of His work through you in the lives of others.
Therefore, if we would be men and women of integrity, we must also be men and women of holiness. And that requires complete diligence and attentiveness toward all aspects of sanctification, including the vital area of personal holiness.
There are several key responsibilities all Christians must embrace to develop personal holiness. Over the coming days, we’re going to consider some of them, and how they affect the testimony of your life.
Used with permission from John MacArthur.