Yes, It Is Possible to Be Holy
Many people don’t think holiness is relevant to the life of a Christian, but it is. In fact, it’s what positions us to enjoy intimate friendship with God.
“Okay,” you might be saying, “I get that. I understand that the Bible tells me to be holy. But how do I actually do that?”
That’s a good question. Human history is defined by failure in this area. Time and time again, we tried to be holy in our own strength and fell short. But then came grace.
Grace isn’t something we have to earn by our good behavior. It is a gift, God’s gift that forgives us and saves us from our sins. And we need it to be a gift. If grace were something we earned, we’d end up legalistic, self-righteous, and judgmental.
But even though we know this, we’re still frustrated by our inability to live the way God wants us to. We’ve been born again in Christ, so why do we keep failing?
At this point we have a choice. We can teach that holiness refers only to our position in Christ. We can ignore the many scriptures calling us to holy behavior, and we can excuse our lack of transformation. After all, we’re only human.
If we teach and believe only this, we can silence our consciences. Yet if we listen to our hearts, we’ll hear them crying, “There must be more!”
Would God not have foreseen our dilemma and devised a plan? In fact, He did! There is an aspect of grace of which many are unaware.
A lot of Christians would define grace as an unmerited gift, salvation, or the forgiveness of sins. These are all correct. Few believers, however, would identify grace as empowerment. Yet this is exactly how God has described His grace:
“My grace is all you need, for my power works best in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 TEV and NLT, emphasis added
God refers to His grace as His empowerment! It’s His power that is at work in situations beyond our ability—including our attempts to be holy.
In 2 Peter 1:2–3, grace is again referred to as God’s power. This passage reveals another awesome truth:
Grace and peace be multiplied to you…as His divine power [grace] has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness… 2 Peter 1:2–3 NKJV, emphasis added
Did you catch it? Every resource we need to live a godly (holy) life is available through the empowerment of grace!
How do we receive this power? By simply believing. Romans 5:2 says “we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (NKJV). Legalism isn’t what enables us to leave the captivity of sin and live right before God. Faith is! We access the power to be holy by believing Jesus has given us everything we need to do so. It’s not a product of our merit or works. It’s a gift of His love.
So do you want to pursue holiness? Remember, it isn’t an end in itself. We embrace holiness so we can see and know God. If you want to grow in intimacy with Him, believe in the power of His grace. Ask Him to enable you to live in holiness and friendship with Him. You can be sure He’ll provide everything you need. He is willing and able!
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