“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist -- he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us -- even eternal life,”
[1 John 2:3:25]
Holiness is a word that many would rather not hear – unless of course we’re talking about God. When we speak of the saints of God, we are talking about Christians, people who have been set apart for God, rid of the world’s uncleanness and purified to the honor of God. We have no problems speaking of God as Holy. What we resist and have trouble accepting are the Words of God: “Be holy, for I AM is Holy.”
Being holy seems like more than we could possibly accomplish. “It’s impossible,” we say. We are quick and careful to quantify how being unholy is perfectly normal and O.K. Yet the Word of God haunts us: “Be holy, for I AM Holy.” We’re even told in the book of Hebrews that “without holiness, it is impossible to see God.” But wait, didn’t Jesus make us holy?
Yes, Jesus died and shed His perfect, holy blood as an atoning sacrifice to purify us from all sin. That’s a done-deal if we’ve become Christians. But here’s where we have difficulty: Remaining holy. While the reality is that in Christ we are holy, all that is passing away is still calling us back. There are those who like to have their cake and eat it too, thinking that they can accept Christ and be purified, and then go wallow in the mud. But the Word makes it clear that we absolutely cannot do this: “Shall I go on sinning so that grace may abound? By no means.”
Our God is faithful to purify us from all sin, shame and guilt. The wonderful thing about God’s grace is that we haven’t earned it, but God gave it to us freely as a gift. Now that we have this gift, we can use the gift, or we can shelf the gift. But the Scriptures also make it clear to us that we can’t really shelf the gift. We cannot have Christ without Christ also having us! Because we have the Light of Christ and His Word lives within us, we continue to walk in the Light and seek to please the Father by doing His will. A perpetually unhappy Christian is usually an unfaithful Christian. I can’t stay in the Light if I hate my brother or sister Christian. I can’t remain in God if I make excuses for doing deeds of darkness. But a Christian who perpetually rejoices is also someone who continuously loves to please the Father.
If we remain in God, then God remains in us and we have the promise of eternal life. So don’t be tempted to stray or reject the idea of holiness –it is good and wonderful. But also don’t forget Who makes us holy –we can’t do it on our own! This is why one of my daily prayers of late has been: “Father, please protect me from myself, and give me the strength to obey!”
On the Solid Rock we stand!