Is holiness a requirement for the Christian? The answer is yes. Hebrews 12:14b says, "without [holiness] no one will see the Lord." The question many people will ask when reading that Scripture is this: How do I become holy? The word holiness itself sounds like a standard that no human could possibly meet. When we understand how this is possible, we can more easily identify our part—and God's part—in the process.
First, there is holiness that comes through our salvation provided by Jesus Christ. This holiness comes from Jesus, and it's something we cannot earn. It is by God's grace. It is holiness whereby we have been set apart, or separated, from sin and consecrated to God. Holiness is a requirement for the Christian life, but God has given us the grace, or the ability to walk in it. It's in His strength that we do this, not our own.
The second kind of holiness is that which is seen in our own character. This practical holiness is up to us. The holiness of our character is demonstrated by our willingness and our availability to God. We live for Him and make ourselves available to receive and obey His instructions. It is a continual development of the character of God in us evidenced by our daily commitment to Him.
What does that practical willingness look like in the life of a Christ-follower? Jesus said to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. Just these two commandments alone take an entire lifetime to learn. We are told not to judge anyone, or we will be judged; to forgive everyone, or we will not be forgiven; to repent of our sins, or they will remain; and to have faith in God. The Bible also commands us to share the way of salvation with others.
While we can rely on our gracious God to make us holy each day, we should also be in pursuit of an honorable, obedient lifestyle every day.
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