Born again – Part 8
God is perfect and holy—i.e., He is completely without sin and absolutely righteous (Lev 11:44-45; Ps 85:13; 145:17; Is 6:3; Mat 5:48; Rev 4:8). Adam and Eve were created without sin (cf. Gen 1:31) but with the capability of sinning. God on the other hand, cannot sin (Num 23:19; 2 Tim 2:13; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18). God’s holiness also includes His dedication to carrying out His purposes and plan. God demands that we be holy and that without holiness, no one will see Him (Lev 11:44, 45; Heb 12:14; 1 Pet 1:16)
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14)
Holiness is being separated from sin and being set apart for God. It is to be close to God, to be like Him, and to seek His presence, righteousness and fellowship with all our hearts. Above all things, holiness is God’s priority for His followers (Eph 4:21-24). (1) Holiness was God’s purpose for His people, when He planned their salvation in Christ (Eph 1:4).
(2) Holiness was Christ’s purpose for His people, when He came to this earth (Mat 1:21; 1 Cor 1:2, 30).
(3) Holiness was Christ’s purpose for His people, when He gave Himself up for them on the cross (Eph 5:25-27).
(4) Holiness is God’s purpose in making us a new creation and in giving us the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:2-15; Gal 5:16-25; Eph 2:10).
(5) Without holiness, no one can be useful to God (2 Tim 2:20-21).
(6) Without holiness, there is no nearness to or fellowship with God (Ps 15:1-2).
(7) Without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14; Mat 5:8).
The goal of spiritual rebirth is to make us become more and more like Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:29). This is a life-long process called SANCTIFICATION.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom 8:29).
God’s ultimate goal for us is to make us like Christ (1 John 3:2). As we become more and more like Him, we discover our true selves, the persons we were created to be. How can we be conformed to Christ’s likeness? By reading and heeding the Word, by studying His life on earth through the Gospels, by being filled with His Spirit, and by doing His work in the world. The Holy Spirit enables us to live a holy life (Ps 51:10-12, 143:10; Ezek 11:19-20; 37:26; Rom 8:4-10; 15:16; Gal 5:16-18,25; Phil 2:12-13; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2).
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor 3:18)
The glory that the Spirit imparts to the believer is more excellent and lasts longer than the glory that Moses experienced. By gazing at the nature of God with unveiled minds, we can be more like Him. In the gospel, we see the truth about Christ, and it transforms us morally as we understand and apply it. Through learning about Christ’s life, we can understand how wonderful God is what He is really like. As our knowledge deepens, the Holy Spirit helps us to change. Becoming Christlike is a progressive experience (see Romans 8:29; Galatians 4:19; Philippians 3:21; 1John 3:2). The more closely we follow Christ, the more we will be like Him.
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