Shun sin like you shun COVID-19!
Christians are those who have become convinced of the facts laid out in yesterday’s blog, they have turned around, they have made Christ Lord. Yet for many the call to holiness eludes them. Paul was astonished that Christians can make such a disconnect! To the believers in Corinth He wrote,
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?… God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17).
Yes, it’s true. God’s plan from the beginning was to makes us holy beings who would love Him in Truth. Paul urges the Ephesians…
“…He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” (Eph. 1:4). / “…among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed… Let no one deceive you… Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness… Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5: 3,6,11,16).
And the believers in Colossae,
“…He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Col. 1:22). / “…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…” (Col. 3:12). (See also 1 Thess. 3:13, 1 Tim. 2:8).
Peter likewise enjoins all believers to holiness… actual holiness…
“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 Pet. 1:15-16). / “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming… make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Pet. 3:11,14).
Okay, we both know we are not going to fully actualize holiness in this fallen flesh and world of sin. But we do well to remind ourselves that holiness is our destination. Jesus has set us upon a new road and told us “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” He tells all believers “…to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you…” (Phil. 2:12-13). And He promises to bring us to that destination, for “… He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6).
So what makes more sense as we sit at that roadside? To sit idle, only waiting for that day? Or to “train yourself in godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7), pressing forward down that narrow path, in godly efforts and pursuits which please our Redeemer Lord?