Holiness is also a gift from God

August 9, 2011

Lets spend just a moment or two in the 4th verse of Ephesians, chapter one.

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

This is again one of those passages that could send fear and trembling through us if we don’t understand the fullness of God’s work in our lives.  After walking with Jesus for forty years I still haven’t got this “Christian Perfection” thing worked out.  Just like Paul says in Romans, “The things I want to do, I don’t do, and the things I don’t want to do, I keep doing.”  (Rough paraphrase of Romans 7:14-21)

One of the verses that brought this joyfully into perspective is John 17: 17.  Here,  in three different versions, is Jesus praying for us.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. “ NIV

“Use the truth to make them holy. Your word is truth.”  NIrV

“ Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;  Your word is consecrating truth.”  MSG

Jesus is asking the Father to make us holy by his word.  (The Word that became flesh?)  Jesus goes on to say, “I sanctify them…”  (17:19) Jesus makes us holy!    And in 1 Peter 1, Peter speaks of the Holy Spirit purifying us.  So, Jesus asks the Father to make us holy, Jesus makes us holy by his sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit cleanses us.  Just like with our salvation, God does most of the work for us, with us, and in us.  If we are Children of God, saved by Jesus, we have been made holy.  It is a finished work.

Ephesians, Hebrews, I & 2 Thessalonians,  I John, Revelation 7 all speak of the work that has been done on our behalf.  Be thankful!  A thorough study of the Word shows God cleansing his people in both the Old and New Testament.  Jesus blood cleanses us.

When he chose us (before the creation of the world) he had already planned to do his purifying work on the cross on our behalf.

So I should try to be holy out of gratitude.  I should try to be holy because holy living is good living.  It’s good for us and those around us.  And we should try to be holy out of obedience.  God wants us to be holy.  (There are over 550 references to being holy in the Word)

But I can trust that it is God that makes me holy enough to be in his presence.

And I can (should) rest in that.

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