From The Heart

Publish date: 05/29/2011

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Ephesians 1:3-4 KJV

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27 KJV

God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ and He has chosen us to be holy and without blemish. That word “holy” denotes something that is sacred; consecrated or set-apart; physically pure; morally blameless. The blood of Jesus washed away all our sin and His word washes us from all the residue of our sin. We are able to be set apart and unblemished before Him – blameless and faultless.

Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? 17 But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed. 18 And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action). 19 I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But then what benefit (return) did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? [None] for the end of those things is death. 22 But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. 23 For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.
  Romans 6:16-23 AMP

In this life, it is impossible to be neutral — every person has a master — either God or sin. You are free to choose between two masters — sin or righteousness — but you can’t manipulate the consequences or outcome of your choice. Each master pays with its own kind of currency. The currency of sin is death and the currency of righteousness is life — eternal life!

The wages of sin is death, but obedience leads to righteousness. The reward of righteousness is holiness and its end result is eternal life. Holiness is not a works program — it’s not just a look or an outward act. Holiness is what we ARE — inside and out. Holiness is being submitted to God in every area and in everything. Holiness is the fruit of righteousness. Righteousness is a state of being or condition that is acceptable to God. We are only righteous if God says we are. Righteous is what we are when we have been washed in the blood of Jesus — we have been justified and created a new creature in Christ. Righteousness is also integrity; virtue; purity of life; rightness; correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting — in other words, it is also our code of conduct. We have a choice to be righteous and a choice to act righteously.

[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. 15 But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. 16 For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. 17 And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short]. 18 You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, 19 But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:14-19 AMP

Your old life of sin was totally fruitless — it produced nothing — it was dead and useless. You did these things because you were ignorant of the truth. Now, you have no more excuses. You have been washed in the blood and bought with a price and you need to walk in the freedom that has been purchased for you — not freedom to sin, but freedom to serve God in righteousness and holiness. You might feel a pull back to your old ways, but you have to make a decision to leave it in the past and to walk forward with Jesus, growing in grace as you submit yourself to His word and His Holy Spirit. If you keep messing with sin, you will be sucked back into ungodliness and unrighteousness — the fruitless works of darkness.

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, and we cannot produce any fruit apart from Him. Peter tells us that we can, and we should, be like our heavenly Father. We need to be holy in everything we do. Holiness means being totally devoted, or dedicated, to God. We are holy when we are being set aside for His special use and when we set apart, or cut off, from sin and its influence. We are called to be set apart and different — we are not called to blend in with the crowd. What makes us different are God’s qualities in our lives — we model our way of living on Him! We cannot become holy on our own, but the Holy Spirit is our helper to help us to obey and to give us the power to overcome sin. We have no reason for excuses and we have every reason to walk free, righteous and holy.