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03 September, 2013

How to Live a Holy Life - Part 1

Charles Ebert Orr 

(1844-1913)


Man was created for a purpose, and that purpose was to glorify his Creator (Isaiah 43:7). But man sinned and came short of the glory of God. The Lord, that he may yet be glorified in the man, provides a way of redemption. Through the redemption we have in Christ, we can live to the glory of God. This is God's purpose. The whole of life should be such as will glorify the Creator - and all that we do should be done with that end in view. Living for God, honoring his Word, magnifying his name - this is the duty of man. Solemn responsibility! Oh, what carefulness it should work in us. What vehement desire! What earnest seeking after God! O that we may live such a life.
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Jesus was here in the world, and was the light of the world. He had a human body, and in that body lived a life that glorified God. That was an exemplary life. Such a life, and such a life only - is to the glory of God. We must fashion our life after his - if we would spend life as we should. To know how Jesus lived - is to know how we should live. Every life that is in the likeness of Christ's life, is accepted of God. No other life can be. While Christ was here in the body, he was in the express image of the Father. The true, holy character of God was revealed through Jesus' human life to a lost and sinning world.
God had done all he could to reveal his true character to man by laws, ceremonies, and ordinances; but these were only the shadow of the true life which was to be the light of the world. Christ was both God and man. Having a physical form, which is visible, he could set the holiness of God in plain view before the world. If you would know the true life - look to Jesus.
But his life could be perfect - only as it was given in sacrifice for man. His life was holy - because it was a life sacrificed to God. No life can be possessed by God and used to his glory, which is not sacrificed to him. Jesus gave himself as an offering and sacrifice to God for us (Ephesians 5:2). He no longer is on earth, to demonstrate moral principle to the world. But now comes the command to man, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1.
God would have this human life of ours, to be offered up in sacrifice, so that we are no more ours but his. When we do so, there will be a change, a great and wonderful change. That life will no longer be worldly, or in the course of ordinary earthly-minded men. It will be a transformed life, a life in which God can live and do his will. Through the sacrifice of Christ, God will take the sacrificed life of man and possess it by his Spirit - and again demonstrate moral principle to the world. O man, that is your calling in life. You are the vehicle to convey the perfections of God to an unbelieving world. You are to be an empty vessel for God to fill with himself, and use to his glory.
O man, consider yourself, and know yourself, the purpose for which you were created, and the place which you do occupy in creation. You are no base creature. You are highest of all. God condescends to walk and talk with you. He upholds you in his hand. Angels minister to you. When you pass through the deep waters - God himself will be with you so that they shall not overflow you; and when you walk through the fire - he will walk with you so that the flame shall not kindle upon you; because you are precious in his sight and honorable, and he has set his love upon you. You are so precious to him - that he gave his only begotten Son to die to ransom you from sin and Hell!
In the vast created universe, what place does man occupy? He stands out as a creature that bears the stamp of the divine image, a creature that is endowed with eternity. The heavens shall pass away - but man shall be forever. He was made capable of holding communion with the Creator. He occupies the relationship with God - as child with parent. Being made in the likeness of God, he steps out upon the stage of the mighty universe - to play the highest and noblest part in the entire drama of created existences. The songs of the morning stars as they sing together, pouring their anthems into the ears of God, are not such sweet music as is the voice of praise and adoration from the holy soul of man.
Man was created for the very highest purpose in the mind of God. He is chosen to represent the divine character. On the stage, men and women represent certain characters. Man upon the great stage of life is selected to represent the holy character of God. Oh, that he might play his part well! He who occupies the highest and most responsible part in this wonderful play of the universe - will sink to the lowest shame and disgrace if he fails. The eyes of earth, Heaven, and Hell were turned upon man, as he stepped out to play his part. A garden eastward in Eden was selected as the ground of exhibition. It was whispered throughout the corridors of the universe, "Will he succeed? Will he play his part well?" Ah, the sad story! He failed and he fell, bringing a world into shame and disgrace, causing angels to weep and God to repent that he had ever