God does not change. He remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is immutable and unchangeable. He does not morph in his ethical standards or shift in his Triune desires. In God’s eyes, right is right, wrong is wrong, godliness is godliness, sin is sin, and holiness is holiness. Whether one reads the Old or New Testaments, holiness is proven to be a big deal to God, and it should be a big deal to all those created in his image.
Leviticus 19:1-2 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
God is holy.
God expects his created worshipers to be holy.
God explains and describes holiness in his Law.
God outlines the fantastic consequences attached to holiness alongside the fatal consequences accompanying unholiness.
God declares that none of his created worshippers are holy. All have forfeited all of the fantastic consequences promised to those who are holy. All are cursed and have merited only the fatal consequences promised.
God declares that man wishes not, will not, and cannot address his holiness problem. He hates God’s Law. He suppresses God’s truth. He minimizes God’s standard. He waters-down God’s wrath. He winks at sin. He prefers those who preach a license to sin. He hides behind superstitious religious rites encouraging human partnership, and every single moment of every single day he sins, and sins, and sins. He will not and he cannot do nothing about yesterday’s iniquity, today’s transgressions, and tomorrow’s wickedness. He is an impotent slave to sin.
This is how God finds mankind.
This is how God leaves many of mankind. They live and die in this condition, and they will receive the fair justice they are earning and deserving.
However, thankfully, this is not how God leaves all of mankind. Near the beginning, God promised to send his Holy Son to bless Adam, Eve, and their children. Then, thousands of years later, he promised to send his Holy Son and his Holy Substitutionary Sacrifice to benefit Abraham and his family. It was around the same time-period that he also promised to send a Holy Redeemer to benefit Job. Five-hundred years following these prophecies, God promised to send his Holy Sacrificial Lamb and spiritually save many as he physically saved the Israelites in Egypt. In another time of terror, God also promised to send his Holy Curse Bearing Representative who would be hoisted on a tree; he promised this to the descendants of Abraham then and forever. Then, 1000 years later, God promised through Isaiah to send his Suffering Servant to save many in many nations.
And Jesus Christ came.
Why? It is simple, because “without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
The Holy Son of God came and he perfectly went to work. He lived a perfectly holy life before his Father and earned the fantastic blessings promised by the Law Giver. Then, the substitutionary swap occurred. The Holy Son of God was posted on a Roman cross upon Golgotha, and there he was executed by his Father. Jesus became the Suffering Servant and the Sacrificial Lamb as the unholiness of many was placed upon his shoulders. Then the Father took his holiness and transferred it to the spiritual account of others. Many were destined to be fantastically blessed because of Jesus’ holiness. Many were destined to see the Lord because of Jesus’ work. Many no longer had any sin-curse to bear, this is only due to Jesus’ substitutionary swap. The Son of God lived for many. He died for many, and many are now perfectly holy because he granted them his holiness and took their unholiness upon himself. And don’t forget this fact … He finished it! This is the Gospel, and this is a completed work for many unholy sinners.
Reading friends, are you in “the many?” Great is the number of those who could not care less. However, great is the number of those who find within them a desire to be covered and connected to Jesus Christ. This is what God says throughout his Word, “Hear, understand, believe, desire, come, and no one who ever turns his way will ever be turned away.” For all who confess and profess the new faith they have in Jesus Christ, full pardon is immediately available. For all who desire to respond in this way, Jesus has already died for you, and now he is drawing you near. This is the glorious work of the Holy Spirit, and it is a work still going on today in the hearts of many. Sinful friend, can you hear him? Do you want him? Pray to Jesus right now, and then tell a Gospel-preaching friend in your area what Jesus has done and how you have responded. Let them know about your new-found holiness swap. How happy you will make your friend, and how fun it will be for you to walk in the light of the Gospel.
Therefore, how do we who know Jesus live in the light of God’s Holy Law and God’s Holy Gospel?
Revelation 22:11 “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
Christian friends, make sure you enjoy the completeness of the Gospel.
You have nothing to do to make yourselves holy before God. Jesus has done all of this for you.
You have nothing to do to pay for your unholiness before God — yesterday, today, or tomorrow. Jesus has done all of this for you.
You have nothing to do to earn the fantastic consequences of holiness. Jesus has done all of this for you.
You have no condemnation, damnation, or punitive discipline to fear. Jesus has received all of this for you.
You have no growth in holiness to achieve. Jesus has presented you perfect and blameless before the Father. He is pleased with you.
You do not have to worry about loosing any of the holiness Jesus has given to you. It is on your permanent record. It was not yours to gain; it is not yours to lose.
You are holy … so now be holy and seek to do right! Worship God by reading his Gospel and understanding his Law. Study his Word that your mind might be transformed to his way of thinking. Seek to be not conformed to this world; let go of your “stinking thinking.” Pray that you might have more and more of Christ’s love for your Father and all your neighbors. Talk with God about his gracious Law and gracious Gospel. Talk with the Father, Son, and Spirit about your wretched sin and the war going on within and without. Then pray that the Spirit might further inflame your heart that your mouth, hands, and feet my display his fruit.
Then, enjoy watching the Spirit do his work inside and outside. Enjoy the maturation. Enjoy the external display put on by your gracious God. And enjoy the gracious consequences that follow good lawful worship. It is always better to obey, and how fantastic it is to see God change us and prosper us.
And then wait in glorious hope for your bodily resurrection. In heaven, you will never be more holy, but the unholy remnant you still have about, it will be finally removed when you see God in paradise. On that day, there will be no more pain, sorrow, tears, sin, or unholiness. On that day, you will be only like Jesus, without any sinful flesh whatsoever. And on that day, you will see the Lord, face to face, because you are holy and ever will be.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.