Page 5 - September 2023 - Truth & Tidings
P. 5

That is our standing. But how, then, do   of us to develop this holy character in
        we explain numerous Scriptures which   each one of us.
        exhort us to a life of progressive holiness   Paul prayed in 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
        or “sanctification”?                  that the believers would increase in love
          For example, 1 Thessalonians 4:3 in-  with a view to their being established in
        forms us that the will of God is for our   holiness before God in a coming day. Love
        sanctification or holiness. This is obvious-  contains within it a hatred of evil, of sin,
        ly something other than the conferred holy   and of all that grieves God. Thus, love is
        standing we were given at conversion.   the pathway to holiness and fulfilling the
        Peter adds his exhortation by reminding   state of holiness.
        us that in light of the future day of God,
        “what manner of persons ought ye to be   You Will Become What You
        in all holy conversation” (2Pe 3:11). And   Became
        again, he adds in verse 14, “Be diligent   Allow imagination to run amok for a
        that ye may be found of him … without   moment – not that what I am about to
        spot, and blameless” (or Christ-like, cf.   write is imaginary; it is very real. Yet in
        1Pe 1:19). And Peter adds in 1 Peter 1:16 an   a future day, when we are transformed
        imperative, not a mere option, “Be ye holy;   and morally like the Lord Jesus, our state
        for I am holy.” We are exhorted to perfect   will finally conform to our standing. That
        “holiness in the fear of God” (2Co 7:1).   means that we will not only have a holy
          There are several words that, while   standing before God, but that we will be
        sounding different in our English lan-  holy, essentially and totally! The flesh
        guage, and translated differently in our   gone forever is a thought that thrills my
        A.V., actually all have the same root:   heart. No more struggles with mixed mo-
        saint, sanctified, purify and holy. Some   tives, impure thoughts and cold hearts. No
        linguists may find shades of difference,   longer will we struggle with wandering
        but they all come from the same Greek   minds at the Breaking of Bread, minds that
        root word, hagios.                    should be focused on Him. We will not
          All of this serves to remind us that we   need the emblems, and our minds will not
        are to become in our lives what we be-  need the discipline which we now need.
        came at our conversion. The progress in   We will be completely at home in the
        holiness or “saintliness” is the responsibil-  presence of God who is holy. There will
        ity of each believer. John 15, the chapter   be no disconnect; all will be in perfect
        about fruit-bearing, is a compendium on   harmony. Unlike Isaiah (6:5), we will not
        Christ-like growth. As the Word of God   cry out and confess our uncleanness. Nor
        abides in me, shaping my values and vi-  will we, like Job (42:6), have to confess that
        sion, I become more fruitful as a believer.   we “abhor ourselves and repent” in dust
        Galatians 5 takes the same end result and   and ashes. The remembrance that we were
        reminds me that I need the power of the   sinners in need of redemption will always
        indwelling Spirit of God to produce this   be with us (Rev 1:5-6), but it will only serve
        fruit. Romans 6 stresses my responsibility   to amplify our worship and adoration of
        to yield myself to God to produce the fruit   the Lamb. We will be with a Holy God, in
        of “righteousness unto holiness.” Thus,   the Holy City, and we will be “at home” in
        the entire Godhead is working with each   every sense of the word.

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