Seeking Holiness – Because God Is Holy

God expects that Christians live lives characterized by holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16 “You shall be holy, for I am holy”) and Paul explains to Christians how they are to not live in sin but be slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:1-19).

Holiness –

Holiness in the highest sense belongs to God (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 15:4), and to Christians as consecrated to God’s service, and in so far as they are conformed in all things to the will of God (Rom. 6:19, 22; Eph. 1:4; Titus1:8; 1 Pet. 1:15). Personal holiness is a work of gradual development. It is carried on under many hindrances, hence the frequent admonitions to watchfulness, prayer, and perseverance (1 Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:23, 24).
Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary

 

In a letter to Christians in Galatea Paul tells them how to not give in to the desires of their flesh (their old, sinful nature).

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16 NASB

 

Living without a belief and expectation that you can choose to not sin by laying hold of the power of Jesus delivered minute-by-minute through the Holy Spirit is not the abundant life that Jesus came to give His followers.  He came to redeem us to God and save us from the penalties of our sins.  His power not only removes the penalties; His name, His spirit free us from the chains of sin that we cannot break without Him.

It’s important to recognize that the Bible teaches a principle that there are specific sins that are more difficult for each of us and we should get away from those.

“…  let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us ….” –  Heb 12:1-3 NASB

We’re also commanded to “Flee immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18, NASB)

James tell us to

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. – James 4:7 NASB

That promise, however, is within the context of true, heartbreaking repentance.  Outside the context of mourning and humility (see verses 6 through 11 to understand the context more fully) this promise doesn’t seem to be in effect.  As a matter of fact this context points out that God resists the proud.

God commands us to be holy; He declares us the righteousness of Christ (because of Jesus’ actions, not our worthiness).  He gives us His Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit empowers us daily as we come to Him, seeking to glorify Jesus in our feelings, our thoughts and our actions.  He gives us the grace we need to love, to have joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  The promise of these gifts comes in Paul’s letter to Galatians almost immediately after he promises about being able to walk in God’s spirit and not giving in to our sinful nature.

Jesus said

Apart from me you can do nothing – John 15:5

A life apart from Jesus has no power, cannot satisfy God’s demand for holiness and is doomed to dissatisfaction and destruction.  There may be an appearance of satisfaction or success but God will not be mocked.  He will draw His children to Himself, teaching them dependence on Him for His glory and their joy.

 

I don’t believe you can live the rest of your life without any sin but I believe you can live without a lifestyle of sin and in a manner that is consistently submitted to God’s direction and where decisions are made in light of God’s commands, empowered and directed by His Holy Spirit and with the glorification of Jesus as their motive.