“For I am holy”….

Holiness. It is God’s greatest desire for us and should be our greatest goal in this life.  It is what we strive for, long for, pray for, fight for. God is teaching me that holiness is to be my greatest pursuit as one of His children. Then again, it is also my greatest battle in this earthly life. But I have become convinced that although holiness may be the hardest thing to fight for, it is the most necessary and most rewarding part of walking in the footsteps of Christ.

I recently finished reading through Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness, in which holiness is defined as “to be separated from sin and, therefore consecrated to God”. In other words, holiness is the complete absence of sin, and it is being entirely set aside to God as righteous and perfect. 1 Peter 1:15-16, “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ “ Of course, this is our motivation, that God is perfect, because it is our desire to be conformed to His likeness. Consequently, I am learning that believers must persevere toward the goal being holy by laying aside every form of sin and seeking to obey God in all of our behavior. I have come to realize that I have not desired to be completely holy, but only mostly holy. To the contrary I must make it my goal to be completely holy, that is sinless, rather than simply wanting to sin less than I do now. Of course, we cannot attain full perfection within this life, but by God’s strength we pursue it to the end because He has commanded us to be holy.

God has shown me many times in the past few weeks that I huge part of holiness is putting off my sinful flesh which is constantly waging war in my soul. If ever I must increase in holiness, then I must first defeat sin. I must be obedient and holy by God’s strength, rather than sinful and disobedient, for this is how holiness is demonstrated. I am saying that one cannot “let go and let God”, for holiness is part of our responsibility in the Christian life! Yes, there is a must be faith, for truly we cannot be holy aside from the power of God.  But has not God provided us with the strength and the power that we need to fight sin and become obedient to Him? We see this in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” and Ephesians 6:10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Therefore, when we do not use the means that God has provided to defeat sin, sin will only defeat us and result in disobedience. This is not a failure by God to supply capability for victory, but it is disobedience on the part of the believer, who did not use what God had provided. Holiness and victory against sin are always accomplished in God’s might, but it is our responsibility to use it. Holiness, is obedience to God in every area of our lives as we diligently take advantage of His full armor and mortify sin which prevent conformity to Christ.

I once heard a believing  teacher say, “Not holier than thou, but holier than now!” Holiness is not measured by those around us, but only according to the standard that God has set – Himself and His Word. We must seek holiness as He has commanded us, in obedience to His Word. We cannot compare ourselves to the standards of others, but we simply obey God’s Word and are fully satisfied and overjoyed to know that, by His grace, we are being conformed to His likeness. Finally, a quote from Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness: 

“Surely He has not commanded us to be holy without providing the means to be holy.The privilege of being holy is yours, and the decision and responsibility to be holy is yours. If you make that decision, you will experience the fullness of joy which Christ has promised to those who walk in obedience to Him.”

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Comments
One Response to ““For I am holy”….”
  1. alwayzhis says:

    Very well written and such blessed truth! Thank you for sharing!
    ~streim~

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