The call to holiness – Part 2
The call to holiness is necessary, and nothing can replace it. God cannot command that which He knows is impossible. He never commands the bird to swim or fish to fly. If holiness were impossible, He would not have commanded man to be holy. But God’s grace, power and provision makes the holiness experience possible and real in the consecrated believer. Therefore, “Sanctify yourselves… and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God…which sanctify you.”
Salvation and sanctification are definite, instantaneous Christian experiences. Truly saved believers are always prompt in making restitution which is the practical evidence of being born again. Obviously, the Saviour Himself knows the result of salvation. So, people who are not consistent in godliness or turn the grace of God to lasciviousness do not understand the power of God’s grace; and they gamble with their souls. Everyone Christ saves He commands to “go, and sin no more.”
For our services and sacrifices to be acceptable to God, they must come from a holy heart. As we interact with other people at home, church, school, market or workplace, we should demonstrate holiness in thought, motive, language, expression, behaviour and lifestyle. Reasonable, focused and passionate believers do not allow anything – position, preaching, activity, privilege, wealth, certificate, good job, wife or husband, etc. – to compete with holiness in their lives since they cannot take anyone to heaven. To see the Lord on the final day, inward and external holiness are required. So, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”.
The call to holiness cuts across gender and race. God wants everyone – men, women, preachers, disciples, converts, members of the church, bishops, pastors and overseers – to be holy. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” The Lord also wants His children to be holy in their conversation and possess their vessels in sanctification and honour. “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”
Everyone who is godly loves his wife like Christ loves the Church. He does not maltreat the wife for any reason, but makes necessary sacrifice for her sake. Called to a perpetual life of holiness, he is always courageous to maintain this attribute in the private and public. Purged and made holy, He receives God’s grace and power to grow in godliness. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Further Reading (King James Version):1 Thessalonians 4:7; Mark 2:17; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 1:14-16; Isaiah 6:3; Exodus 15:11; Leviticus 11:45; 21:8; 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 99:5,9; 145:17; John 17:11; Acts 4:27,30; Ephesians 4:30; Revelation 4:8; Leviticus 19:2; 20:7,8,26; Numbers 15:40; Psalm 4:3,4; John 5:14; 8:11,12; Romans 11:16; 1 Corinthians 15:34a; 1 Peter 1:15; 2:5,9; 2 Peter 3:11; Hebrews 12:14; Deuteronomy 14:2; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Timothy 2:8; Titus 2:3; 1 Peter 3:4,5; Titus 1:7,8; Hebrews 3:1; 2 Peter 3:11-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3,4; 2 Timothy 2:21; Romans 6:6,22; Ephesians 4:21-24; 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 1 Timothy 2:8-10,15; Luke 1:74,74; 2 Corinthians 7:1.