referencing Walking in Holiness
There are two facets of holiness described in scripture: a holiness which we receive because of the work of the blood of Jesus and the holiness we strive after.
To you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. 1 Cor 1:2 NLT
There is a holiness we attain in the process of salvation. This is also known as sanctification. The process of salvation begins with confessing one’s sin. This sets a snowball effect in motion as described in the scripture below.
But you were cleansed; you were made holy [sanctification]; you were made right with God [justification] by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11 NLT
At the risk of oversimplification, salvation = confession of sin (calling on the name of Jesus) –> cleansing by the blood of Jesus + sanctification + justification. We know there are more steps here according to Romans 10:14 [How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? NIV] but I digress.
The second facet of holiness is a calling to holiness.
For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. 2 Tim 1:9a NLT
In fact Ephesians 1:4 implies that the purpose of salvation is to be holy. And I know very well how difficult fulfilling this call is. Many Christians, myself included, have a desire to live a holy life but have struggled for years with particular sins or deficiencies of character. As Jerry Bridges so eloquently described me: while I am not living in gross sin, I have given up many times attaining a life of holiness and have settled for a life of moral mediocrity. Today, I am encouraged by this scripture:
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13 NIV
The grace of God is available to help me say NO to sin! Note that the grace is not available so I can keep sinning and repenting but God has made provision for me to denounce sin by his grace. Take a minute to think about that.
In my last blog referenced above, I spoke about reckoning yourself as dead to sin (Romans 6:11 KJV). And while it is true that considering yourself as dead to sin is a powerful first step in being able to say NO to sin, verses 11 and 12 must go hand in hand.
So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Romans 6:11-12 NLT
Because you are dead to sin, DO NOT let sin control you and DO NOT give in. Our daily victory and experience with sin is not in the reckoning of yourself as dead to sin but it is in your WILL.
Because you are dead to sin, if and when you do sin, it is not because you are powerless over sin. It is because you make the CHOICE to sin. Wow!
Dear readers herein lies the link between holiness and obedience (the submission of your will) and we will explore this further. I hope you have learned something that will enable you to be intentional in walking in holiness before your God.
Stay tuned for more. Check out Jerry Bridges’ pursuit of holiness. And share your experiences in the comments so we can all learn from each other.