As I am preparing to teach Christian Ethics starting next week, I have been thinking of holiness a lot. We are called to be holy like our God is holy, right? It is a tall order for human beings but there is no way around it. No one is excused from pursuing perfect holiness. The Bible clearly tells us to be holy over and over. My life experience tells me it’s undoable on my own. I need help. Thankfully, God has provided us with all the help we need in Jesus. What if holiness is Christ in you and not you trying to become perfect or holy on your own?
But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16, NLT)
We can’t save ourselves nor make ourselves perfect or holy. We need Christ to do that. First, we are saved by grace then, as we abide in Jesus, we are sanctified by grace. It’s all grace from start to finish. But that is also Good News for us. It’s not about us and our abilities to be religious, it’s about God’s saving and sanctifying grace.
Indeed, holiness is Christ in you. When we are in Christ – or, better yet, Christ in us – his righteousness is ours. And that does make all the difference because in Christ we are made right with God.
Holiness is Christ in you
As we keep on clinging to Jesus daily, the Holy Spirit keeps on working in us. This does not mean that we could do whatever we want while the Holy Spirit does the work. Instead, we are all called to grow into spiritual maturity by actively integrating godly values into our daily life.
You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48, AMP)
God loves us as we are but he wants us to become more like Christ who is perfect. As you remember, God has provided us with everything we need to do so. We need grace upon grace to be empowered for Christian living. But there is plenty of grace for each of us. And it’s new every morning. So don’t hesitate to ask for it. Nothing will make God happier than people asking for his amazing grace.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Eph. 3:16-17, NLT)
When we live in grace, we grow more like Christ every day without even noticing it. So do not live without grace one more minute. Abide in Jesus, keep whispering prayers, and let your life be intertwined with his and you will find holiness is Christ in you which is the blessed existence.
Dear Gracious God,
We thank you, we praise you.
You are the way, the truth, and the life!
We surrender to you our everything.
May your will happen in and through our lives.
We cling to you, Jesus.
Pour out grace upon grace.
Change us inside out, make us holy like you.
Show us how to integrate godly values into our everyday life.
Bless us and keep us close to you.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim! God is awesome! He has prepared the way for us! And he will not leave us to manage on our own. God provides as much grace as we need, Jesus is our holiness, and the Holy Spirit will continue to work in us and lead us home. That is the ultimate blessed existence. Nothing in the world compares to this. And this union with Christ will last forever too! Let’s rejoice in it!