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How to Live a Holy Life | Charles E. Orr

The Christian an Epistle of Christ

The life we live is being read. We are not going through the world unnoticed. Someone is looking on, and someone is to some extent fashioning his life after ours. Our life each day is being written down in someone’s memory. My own dear children group around me at times and talk of their mother, who has gone to heaven. Her pure and holy life written in their memory is read over and over to each other and to me. She still lives as an epistle in their hearts. They read her daily life while she was with them, and they continue to read it since she is gone. Christians are said to be “the epistle of Christ.”* (2 Corinthians 3:3) To read their life is to read the life of Jesus. All the Bible that many will ever read is what they read in the lives of Christians.

Life will be read just as it is, not as it may pretend to be. It is not what we pretend to be, but what we really are, that will go down in the memory of others. Those who read our lives have a way of reading between the lines. We should strive not so much to make life holy as to be holy. If you are holy, then live just what you are. We should never strive to be what we are not. The only way whereby the Bible may be read in the life is to get it in the heart. People will never read the Word of God in your life simply because you have a neat little Testament in your pocket or a large family Bible on your center table. The Bible can get into the life only by beginning at the heart. There is power in the Word of God, but it works from within. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”* (Colossians 3:16) It will transform the life so that the life will read just like the Holy Scriptures.

The Word of God is a lamp to light us into a holy life. If we follow its instructions in righteousness, it will make us perfect. It reveals our imperfections and thus gives us an opportunity to make improvements. To discover an imperfection in the life is not a bad thing, and we need not think we are any the worse for the discovery. It is only when we let the imperfection remain after it is revealed to us, that we become worse.

The heart that comes under the influence of the Bible will bear the image of Jesus, but of this I shall have more to say elsewhere. So I conclude here by saying, live upon the Word of God, “desire the sincere milk of the word,”* (1 Peter 2:2) and you will be an epistle of Christ. We should feel the responsibility that is upon us, remembering that all the Bible some will ever read is what they read in your life and mine. Oh! let us see that it reads in our life as it does in the book, lest those who follow us will not walk in the footprints of Jesus.