The obvious fact that we all sin can create an atmosphere of false security among us, leading us to accept with ease the idea that sin is so commonplace that we ought not to be too bothered by it lest we surrender our mental health to a self-deprecating neurosis. Yet in our desire to console ourselves and maintain a good self-image, we may push to the back burner the mandate of God, “Be you holy, even as I am holy.”
Evangelical Christians are most vulnerable to succumbing to this distortion. We stress the fact that our justification is by faith alone and insist that our righteousness is found in Christ alone. Though these assertions are true, it is equally true that the faith by which we are justified is a faith that brings forth fruit in our lives. The slogan of the Reformation was that we are justified by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.
The instant true faith is present in the heart of the believer, the process of sanctification begins. Change begins at once. The Christian begins to be conformed to the image of Christ. We are becoming holy. If we are not becoming holy, then Christ is not in us and our profession of faith is empty.
Reflect on the final statement of this reading: “We are becoming holy. If we are not becoming holy, then Christ is not in us and our profession of faith is empty.”
Passages for Further Study
1 Peter 1:15–16
1 Timothy 2:8