Importance Of Practical Holiness (4)

e. We must be holy, because this is the only sound evidence that we are true children of God. Children in this world are generally like their parents. Some, doubtless, are more so and some less, but it is seldom indeed that you cannot trace a kind of family likeness. And it is much the same with the children of God. The Lord Jesus says, 'If ye were Abraham's children ye would do the works of Abraham.' 'If God were your Father, ye would love Me' (Joh_8:39, Joh_8:42). If men have no likeness to the Father in heaven, it is vain to talk of their being His 'sons'. If we know nothing of holiness we may flatter ourselves as we please, but we have not got the Holy Spirit dwelling in us: we are dead, and must be brought to life again; we are lost, and must be found. 'As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they,' and they only, 'are the sons of God' (Rom_8:14). We must show by our lives the family we belong to. We must let men see by our good conversation that we are indeed the children of the Holy One, or our sonship is but an empty name. 'Say not,' says Gurnall, 'that thou hast royal blood in thy veins, and art born of God, except thou canst prove thy pedigree by dating to he holy.'

f. We must be holy, because this is the most likely way to do good to others. We cannot live to ourselves only in this world. Our lives will always be doing either good or harm to those who see them. They are a silent sermon which all can read. It is sad indeed when they are a sermon for the devil's cause, and not for God's. I believe that far more is done for Christ's kingdom by the holy living of believers than we are at all aware of. There is a reality about such living which makes men feel and obliges them to think. It carries a weight and influence with it which nothing else can give. It makes religion beautiful and draws men to consider it, like a lighthouse seen afar off. The day of judgement will prove that many besides husbands have been won 'without the Word' by a holy life (1Pe_3:1). You may talk to persons about the doctrines of the gospel, and few will listen, and still fewer understand. But your life is an argument that none can escape. There is a meaning about holiness which not even the most unlearned can help taking in. They may not understand justification, but they can understand charity.