As we are studying holiness, we are faced with the fact that we miss God’s standard of holiness. However, there is One who hasn’t. He is our example to follow. He is also our righteousness before God. It is because of His perfect, sinless life that we can stand before an Almighty God, stainless and without fault. It is because Jesus took upon Himself all of the sins of the whole world that we are justified before God as righteous and holy. Let’s look at some of the verses found in the New Testament that describe Jesus’ perfect character. Hebrews 4:15 “ For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” 1 Peter 2:22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 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.” 1 John 3:5 “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.” And in the Old Testament, “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11). Jesus himself asked those who were against Him, “Can any of you prove Me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46). So we see that Jesus’ life was marked by the absence of sin. But was this the only way He displayed His holiness?
Jesus lived on this earth with all the temptations we face, yet He did not give in to any of them. But He also lived His life fully devoted to His Father. John 6:38 says, “ For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” It is not enough that we strive to live without giving in to sin, but we must have in our minds that we are to live devoted to doing what God wants us to do. Can we say as Jesus, “I always do what pleases Him” (John 8:29)? This sums up not only our actions, but our attitudes and motives. Our holiness must come from a deep desire to be holy because it is the will of God for us.
You may be feeling defeated and unfit for such a task. You may join with Isaiah when he said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips”. Isaiah was allowed to actually SEE the Lord. When he came face to face with God’s holiness, his own lack of holiness was more than he could bear. But we serve a merciful God. He did not let Isaiah dwell on this fact, and He will not let us wallow in our sinful selves either. Isaiah 6:7 “your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
All of this knowledge is vitally important for us as believers so that we can combat the attacks of Satan. He comes like a thief to kill and destroy all of God’s people with attacks on their standing with God. Our weapon against such an attack is always the Word of God. 2 Corinthians 10:4 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” This goes on to talk about bringing those thoughts that come at us captive and surrendering them to Jesus who is able to defeat them for us. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Jesus’ life is meant to be an example for us to live by. 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” Ephesians 5:1 “ Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
Hebrews 10:7 “I have come to do your will, my God.“