Between holiness and heaven – Part 1
Saints of God in all ages are called to an uncompromising life of holiness and purity, following their conversion from sin through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
This was the focal theme of Peter’s epistle to the believers of his time – and by extension to believers in every age – who might be going through manifold temptations. They are expected to remain steadfast and sanctified, though the enemy tempts and tries them in various ways. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
The demand for a holy life is anchored on God’s grace, which is bestowed on every genuinely born-again child of God. This grace helps us to refuse, renounce and reject ungodliness and worldly lusts. We are enabled through it to live a transparently holy life. The prime motivation for living the holy life rests on the fact that, one, God is holy and requires that His children live without compromise with the world. Two, our salvation is great and must be sustained through watchfulness over our souls. Three, Christ will soon return to take His waiting and prepared people home. This is the enduring lesson from Peter’s epistle, which all believers must take to heart, as we progress on our pilgrimage to heaven.
God’s grace enables its recipients to live “righteously, soberly and godly in this present world.” This grace is unmerited, unearned and completely free for those who dare to ask the Lord for it. God is holy and He provides His children with the resources needed to exemplify His high moral standard. He never asks anyone to live a life He does not make provision for. The holy and righteous life begins at salvation and becomes clearly evident when a believer is truly sanctified. Sanctification occurs when the root of sin, also called inward depravity or Adamic nature, is uprooted through the divine circumcision of the heart (Deuteronomy 30:6; Romans 2:29; Colossians 2:11).
The call to holy living covers every area of our lives – “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.” In other words, the heaven-bound saint must be holy in character, conduct, dressing, work, business transactions, academic pursuits, etc. Our inward and outward desires and aspirations must be in conformity with the will and word of God. In fact, the Lord calls us to perfection.
Every believer can receive the sanctification experience through, one, intense desire to be holy; two, consecration of our lives entirely to the Lord; three, praying earnestly to receive by faith.
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Peter 1:1-4,13-18; 5:5,6; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:13-16; Leviticus 20:26; 1 Samuel 2:2; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Romans 12:1,2; 6:22; 2 Timothy 1:9; Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 1:13; Philippians 2:5-11; 14-16, Isaiah 57:15; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5,6; Job 40:9-12; Matthew 23:12; Luke 18:13,14; Hosea 12:10; Matthew 5:5; 1 Peter 1:13-21; Revelation 7:9,10; 19:11-14; John 14:1-3; Hebrews 12:22-23; John 3:16,17; 5:24; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 21:7.