Monday February 6
The Nature of Holiness
“The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature. This is evidence that Satan’s delusions have lost their power; that the vivifying influence of the Spirit of God is arousing you.” – Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, pp. 64, 65.
Read Ephesians 1:4, 5:25-27, and Hebrews 12:14. What is God’s purpose for all His people and for the church?
Holiness is both God’s gift and His command. Hence we should pray for it and seek to manifest it daily. Holiness is the fruit of the Spirit displayed in our lives as we walk by the Spirit with Christ every day (Gal. 5:16, 22, 25). Holiness, in one word, is Christlikeness. It means belonging to Jesus and living as His child in loving obedience and commitment, being more and more conformed into His likeness. The basic meaning associated with the concept of holiness signifies a state of being separated, being set aside for a special service for God. On the other hand, holiness also signifies an intrinsic moral and spiritual quality, namely that of being righteous and pure before God. Both aspects need to be kept together.
In the New Testament, believers are called holy because of their unique relationship to Jesus that sets them apart for a special purpose. Being holy does not make them ethically perfect and sinless, but changes them so that they can start to live a pure and holy lifestyle (compare with 1 Corinthians 1:2 where Paul calls the Corinthians holy ones or saints, even though they are not sinless and perfect). Believers are admonished to pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). God’s acceptance of each believer is perfect from the beginning, yet our growth in sanctification is a lifelong process and always needs to be extended further so that we become more and more transformed into the unblemished image of Him who has saved us.
There is a tension between being holy and yet having to pursue holiness. How will our pursuit of holiness be different if we know that we already belong to God, and that we are accepted in Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus in our behalf?