Holiness made Practical
Holiness. The word frightens most people. Even Christians fear
the word. Perhaps that is because religious people have abused the word.
Holiness is mandatory in the life of a true Christian. I am not
pretending that we can be perfect in this lifetime or reach a point in our lives where we
will no longer sin (Phil. 3:12-14). The Bible does not teach sinless perfection in this
life time (1 John 1:8-10; 2:1-2). Moreover, the Bible clearly teaches that we must walk in
the Holy Spirit (Gal. 4:6-7; 5:16-26). It is the work of the Spirit to conform us to the
image and likeness of Jesus Christ. The third person of the Godheads very name is
Gods goal in saving us is to make us holy unto the Lord. God
saves us so that we who were dead in trespasses and sins might live a holy life. W. E.
Vine says hagios, holy signifies ( a ) separation to God,
1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; ( b ) the resultant state, the conduct
befitting those so separated, 1 Thess. 4:3, 4, 7. . . Sanctification is thus the state
predetermined by God for believers, into which in grace He calls them, and in which they
begin their Christian course and so pursue it. . . character is in view, perfect in the
case of the Lord Jesus, growing toward perfection in the case of the Christian. Here the
exercise of love is declared to be the means God uses to develop likeness to Christ in His
When we put our trust in Christ for salvation we
were set apart to God by the Holy Spirit. Relationships changed in that
we were taken out of the First Adam's family with its sin and
condemnation to death, and placed in the family of the Last Adam with
His righteousness and eternal life.
We have a new position before the Lord God that
never changes. We were set apart to God (1 Cor. 1:2). This is our
positional sanctification. We are "in Christ."
The work of the Holy Spirit in the yielded saint,
in which He sets the believer apart for God in his experience, by
eliminating sin from his life and producing His fruit, is a process
which goes on constantly throughout the believer’s life. This is called
progressive sanctification (1 Thess. 5:23).
How does God do it? The key to a holy life is to base everything we
do on what God has already done for us in Christ Jesus. We are to conform our behavior to
what we know to be the right thing to do. Jesus died for us on the cross in order
that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us (Romans 8:4).
However, holiness is not keeping a list of man-made does and
donts. It is not a check off list that a person devises. The apostle Paul said,
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending
His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin
in the flesh (v. 3).
What does Paul mean by fulfilling these righteous requirements of the
Law? It is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ who is perfect in righteousness. The character
of God is fully seen in the person of Jesus Christ. Yes, the boundaries of the Christ life
are the requirements of Gods Word. It is our responsibility as Christians to stay
within the boundaries on Gods playing field. To do this we must keep our eyes
clearly focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ broke the power of sin by going to the cross and dying
in our place. Christ delivered us from sins penalty. When we believed on Christ we
were justified and acquitted by God. Justification by grace through faith always leads to
God condemned sin in Christ, so that His
might appear in us. Salvation is the result of Gods choices and action, and
not ours. We are saved by the merits of Christ alone apart from human merits (Eph. 2:8-9).
It is all of grace. God made us alive in Christ so that we would produce good works for
Him. He saved us so we might be trophies of His grace and a demonstration before a
watching world as to what He can do with sinners dead in trespasses who believe on Him for
salvation. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which
God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them (Eph. 2:10).
Holiness is the work of the Holy Spirit as He takes the finished work
of Jesus Christ and applies it to our lives. It is a progressive work that began when we
were born again and made new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
The means to holiness is to act upon what God has already done for us
in Christ. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ
Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and
do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness;
but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not
under law but under grace (Rom. 6:11-14).
When we received Christ as our Savior we received
"all things that pertain unto a life of godliness." You do not need another
experience. You do not need some new gift. You have been given everything in Christ; you
are "in Him" from the beginning of your Christian life.
There is no secret magical formula about holiness. Our responsibility
is to realize what God has already done in Christ and just do it. Christ produces holiness
by bringing us into a growing mature love relationship with Him (Eph. 5:22-27).
Yes, it is possible for the Christian to live a life of holiness
through the power of God. All that God asks is that we make ourselves available to Christ,
and let Him lives His life out in and through us moment by moment.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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