At this point in our study of holiness, you may be feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Please take comfort in knowing that God does not expect perfection from us. He knows we live in a fallen world. We do our best and seek strength from Him. He has not left us to attain any amount of holiness on our own. He has given us the Holy Spirit to speak life into us and to give us the help we need. We are united with Jesus, and therefore are able to live a holy life through His power. Please also remember that holiness is not a do’s and don’t list that we must abide by. Holiness is conforming to the character of God. Holiness is taking on His love, forgiveness, gentleness, kindness. Holiness is surrendering our will to His.
Rest in these verses: Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
We are able to have victory over sin by the fact that we are dead to sin and its power over us, and that we are alive to God who gives us strength to overcome areas of sin in our lives. So our hopelessness deminishes with the facts that we are no longer under the dominion of sin, but are instead under Christ’s reign and there is nothing that can stand against Him.
It is through the Holy Spirit living in us that we are able to live victoriously. Romans 8:9-11 “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Philippians 2:13 “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.” The job of the Holy Spirit is to reveal to us God’s standard of holiness, and also to reveal to us our own specific areas of sin. The Holy Spirit helps to cleanse our lives of sinful habits through confession and repentance. We are able to combat Satan’s weapon of blinding our spiritual eyes to sin through the revelations the Spirit of God gives us.
James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” We see here that our job is to act on the information given us regarding sin in our lives. It is not enough to just have a casual knowledge of what we are doing wrong. We must take definite steps to turn from wrong behavior and surrender ourselves to God.
Something that we we have learned in previous chapters is that all sin is an offense against God. This is where a true desire to be holy begins. And the only way for a child of God to be consistently desiring holiness is to remain in God’s Word. In the same way that we must feed our bodies to survive, we need a daily intake of God’s Word to strengthen our spirit. 2 Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
The second way we express our desire for holiness is to pray for holiness. Ephesians 3:14-16 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” Colossians 1:9-10 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” We are completely dependent on God for any amount of holiness. Please remember this and do not become discouraged by your lack of obedience. Fix your eyes on Jesus and stay close to Him.