by Katie Pearson
“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” - Hebrews 10:10
The Advent season is an opportunity to rejoice in Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, which opened the door to discovering our true identity. Celebrating his arrival right in the middle of our humble humanity reminds us that we are lovely and beloved despite our sin nature. How fitting that Jesus spent his first days in a manger, with the sounds and smells of animals nearby. Jesus assures us that it’s ok to be human, and yet Scripture tells us we are also made “holy” through his sacrifice on the cross. Is it possible to be both?
Yes, it is. Understanding how these two states coexist in believers starts with how you define holiness. While many assume it means perfection, the biblical definition is “set apart” or “separate.” When we choose to follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit occupies our heart, transforming us from the inside out. We become a new creation: we are distinctly different and therefore become holy in our own right—immature and imperfect, but whole and holy.
Hebrews 10:10 tells us that it was God’s will for us to be made holy; but it is our responsibility as good stewards of our salvation to respond to God with a decision to become holy in every area of our lives. How many Christians are willing to actually separate themselves from what the world offers? A holy life is one that is noticeably different, primarily in terms of character. One’s values, reactions and choices are rooted in love, in faith, and supported by hope. Looking around, embodying God’s values is not the norm. Most importantly, the truly holy follower of Christ won’t isolate others through being “set apart”; she will draw them in. At very least she will incite curiosity. In some cases, her life might actually lead others to accept Christ.
God’s holy ones are sealed for eternity, yet not everyone will choose to live a holy life. We are blessed with the awesome gift of being holy and grafted into God’s family, but are we electing to honor that gift by making the daily choice to become like Christ? It’s a high calling, but God’s will for us is, “Be holy because I am holy.” He declares this in both the Old and New Testaments (See Leviticus 19:2 and 1 Peter 1:16).
What does it look like this season to put on the new self and live life as the new creatures God ordained us to be? What is the Holy Spirit asking of you personally? Being holy isn’t natural, and it isn’t something we can do under our own strength. However, he is more than willing, and always waiting, to partner with us in the ongoing work of honoring God through renewed minds and restored hearts.
Lord, more than anything this Christmas I desire to be made holy. Will you please show me where I am falling short? Reveal where my heart is turning to lesser loves and my mind is clinging to lies? Give me the strength to honor your will and become a disciple who radiates your light and love. Amen. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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