Contend Earnestly: You are to be Holy

Friday, May 12, 2006

You are to be Holy

This Friday’s blog I more asking a question than anything else. We are told in Leviticus 19:2

You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am Holy

And in Matthew 5:48

You are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect

This is also reiterated in other parts of Scripture as well. But can we really be perfect? We, as Christians, now have the Spirit of God dwelling in us and interceding for us, so shouldn’t we be able to completely conquer sin?

Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…
2 Peter 1:3

No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him
1 John 3:6

Isn’t it true if we truly surrendered to our Lord Jehovah that we would never sin. After Peter explains that Christ committed no sin he describes “why” in the end of 1 Peter 2:23 by saying:

He kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously

Jesus kept entrusting which literally in the Greek means to continually surrender. Is this my problem? Because I don’t focus on the continual surrender, is this the reason I sin?

Notice as well that John makes it sound almost like a rarity when a Christian sins in 1 John 2:1 when he says:

And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Notice is says “if” and not “when,” because for a Christian sinning is a rarity not commonplace.

What I am not trying to say is that if you sin you are not saved, but I am asking is this a command we can actually attain? Can we literally be perfect at some point after our conversion? Or is it the same as Christ telling unregenerate sinners to, “repent and believe,” when those who are not of the elect CAN’T and are not able to “repent and believe” without the drawing of Christ mentioned in John 6:44 (for a different discussion, but true)

So let’s hear it men, what do you think? Has God given us this power or is our flesh too weak to actually be perfect? Is this what Paul is stating in Romans 7 that he wants to be perfect but the flesh will not allow it? Just curious as I have gone back and forth on this one for the past two years.


Justin Evans said...

We know that He has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). And this is brought through the knowledge of Him. So, yes, I believe that we can be without sin, conceptually. But we are truly free now, in the sense of being able to choose to do right or wrong; to obey or disobey; to worship God or worship ourselves (which is what sin boils down to).

But, we still have our unredeemed humanness, or the flesh and we wait to be glorified. Because of the flesh, and the lusts of the world (1 John 2:16) we all too often choose sin. But we have been set free from its tyranny (Rom 7-8). We are no longer bound to sin, as we were when the devil was our Father (John 8:44).

Yes, we can be holy here. And there are times when we are free from sin. But no, we will not obtain constant perfection until we see Him face to face, and are like Him. And, for the record, I know that Seth is not implying that we can reach constant perfection in the flesh, whereas sin is eradicated.

Can we be holy? Yes, both positionally and practically. Position does not change, but our practice is too fickle now, and we more often do not attain to it.

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