The Bible tells us to ‘make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). This is a daunting thought. Perhaps we should make a special effort and try really hard to be holy.
But where would we start? We would fall before we even left the starting block. Does this mean we’ve missed our chance of ever seeing the Lord? We might pray, “Lord, please make me holy.” But God doesn’t work that way. The truth is, we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). There is no one righteous, or holy, except Jesus.
The holiness we need in order to meet with God is not of our own making. It’s not something we have to generate in ourselves, because it can’t be done. It is the refining work of Jesus and His Spirit in our lives, as we yield our hearts to Him. Holiness is the predominant characteristic of Jesus, and any holiness in our lives is only through our righteousness in Him, received only by faith. ‘This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe’ (Romans 3:22).
We were ‘created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:24). This was God’s purpose for us from the beginning, that we be united with Him in a spiritual bond of holiness. Mankind fell from the grace of God when he was corrupted by sin. Death and separation were the consequences. But we were set free from the bondage of sin by the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We died in Him to be restored to the newness of life through His resurrection. ‘I no longer live, but Christ lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20). This doesn’t mean we longer sin or are pure in everything we do, but it does mean that each day, each moment when we get it wrong, we can come to Him for His forgiveness and cleansing and through His Cross and His mercy we are restored.
As we accept Jesus Christ as our redeemer, our lives are transformed from the old to the new. We are urged to ‘put off the old ... and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:24). To wear our new identity as a garment, bought for us by the Father, and made available through the Son.
Holiness is nothing we can boast of in ourselves. It’s all of Him. It’s the means by which we are reunited with the Father. `It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption` (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Prayer: Father, when I consider all you have done for me, through Your love and grace, I am overwhelmed by the steps You have taken to draw me back to Yourself. I live in awe of Your presence. Let nothing come between our relationship, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
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