The call to holiness – Part 1
God requires that every believer live in holiness. And Paul the apostle, inspired by the Spirit of God, reminds Christians of all ages that: “…God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” God created man to be like Him; He created man to be holy in heart, nature and spirit, to be pure within and without. But through the fall, man lost that holiness in nature and life. God, in His love and mercy, sent Jesus Christ to die for our salvation and sanctification. Having redeemed and cleansed us from the defilement of sin, the Lord wants us to avoid and resist every temptation, tempter or temptress that can distract and lure us to perversion, pollution and perdition.
Christ came to the world to call sinners to repentance, not hypocrites and self-righteous people, who substitute religion for righteousness. “…They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Every sinner, who confesses his sins to God and exercises faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, receives forgiveness and pardon from the Lord, because it is not His will for anyone to be lost eternally.
Having responded to God’s call to salvation, the Lord now calls him to sanctification, so that he will be free from inward defilement and depravity. Apart from making our hearts, minds, thoughts and motives to be pure and holy, sanctification also make our hearts, souls and spirits to be acceptable unto the Lord. The call to holiness is based on God’s nature, character and attribute. Therefore, “…as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation… Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
“And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Holiness is the foundational, irreversible and unchanging attribute and nature of God. Even angels appreciate His holiness. God’s love, mercy, faithfulness, power and judgment are anchored on His nature of holiness. His holy nature resonates both in the Old and New Testaments of the Scripture and no one, except a blasphemous infidel, will doubt this truth.
God is perfectly, permanently, unwaveringly, transparently, transcendently, uncompromisingly and eternally holy. From dateless past to dateless future, He has always been holy. If we desire to be His children and favourites, and seek to live with Him eternally, we must be holy. God’s holiness is intrinsic, but that of man and even angels is derived. While angels derive their holiness from God, our holiness at the point of sanctification came through Christ, Who shed His blood at the cross of Calvary.
God’s holiness saturates, invades, influences and affects everything He does. All His works, laws, ways, decisions, words, thoughts, judgments and attributes are holy. He is holy within and without, in dateless past, in the actual present, and in the interminable future. He is always holy and will always be holy. He cannot approve of anything or anyone that is unholy. Since God desires His character and nature of holiness for everyone, He calls and commands us to be holy. The call to holiness may appear to be beyond us, but God has made adequate provision for us to possess heaven-sent, genuine and heart-transforming holiness. The holiness of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is eternal. “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come”.
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.