1 Thessalonians 5:23, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
When Jesus came to this earth His walked in perfect holiness. He lived a life that was separate from the sinful world. Jesus taught His disciples to come out from the world and live like Him. For you to truly be the disciple Jesus wants you to be, you must desire to be holy how He is holy (2 Corinthians 6:17).
Peter also outlined the call to be holy in 1 Peter 1:13-16, “13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”
Holiness is first “being” holy and second “doing” holy things. Jesus said to “be” perfect like your Heavenly Father is perfect because we can never live sinless until we’ve first been made sinless (Matthew 5:48). God knows that no one is born perfect, that is why He sent Jesus to die for our sins to make us perfect when we’re born again. Therefore, holiness is not just “doing” what God commanded, it is “being” who God commanded.
On the cross, Jesus became what I was (sinful) so that I might become what He is (righteous).
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” God’s plan was not only for us to be saved from our sins but also to be sanctified from our sins. Like Paul wrote in today’s passage we are to be completely sanctified in our body, soul (mind, will & emotions) and spirit; being kept blameless (perfect, holy and without sin) until Jesus returns.
In other words, Jesus commanded us to be perfect like His Father because He not only came to give us salvation but He also came to give us total and complete sanctification. Sanctification means to be made perfectly holy- without sin, stain or blemish. Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 that when we were saved we were also sanctified; along with being washed and justified. He wrote, “9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
The power of sin was broken in your life and the presence of sin was totally removed the moment you were saved. By the righteousness of Jesus you are able to live a holy life free from sin- now that’s good news! John Wesley said, “This great gift of God, the salvation of our souls, is no other than the image of God fresh stamped on our hearts.”
Therefore, stand for holiness in the following three ways: (1) Believe and declare that by the blood of Jesus you have been saved and sanctified. You’ve been made holy to live holy. (2) Live holy by the indwelling power and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. (3) Teach others to forsake all their sin and live for Jesus!
Are you holy like God is holy?
- Explain from the Bible why you should stand for holiness.
- Pray that God will use you to teach others about holiness.
- Resources: “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection,” by John Wesley & “The Knowledge of the Holy,” by A.W. Tozer.
One Year Reading Plan
Zechariah 10:1-11:17, Revelation 18:1-24, Psalm 146:1-10, & Proverbs 30:33. Click here to read online.