As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16, NIV)
From Romans to Jude, the epistles are jammed full of instruction on what it means to live as the people of Jesus Christ. The apostles teach that how we live is an expression of what we believe about God. Our claims that Jesus Christ is Lord and judge and that the Holy Spirit is the source of life are not just lovely notions. They call forth particular responses.
As James reminds us, we cannot have faith that does not show forth in works.
Methodists of all stripes — at least until we gave up listening to John Wesley — have believed that orthodoxy is not nearly as important as holy living. Devils, the saying goes, are orthodox on every point, and yet are devils still.
Of course, Methodists and Wesleyans are as orthodox as they come. We recite the Nicene Creed with nary a crossed finger or wink of the eye. But this is not the heart of the matter for us. Orthodoxy that does not lead us to holy lives is not worth the name. It is, rather, a false front used to hide the dry bones inside.
As Peter writes: “Be holy in all you do.”