Crucified With Christ and God’s Command to be HolyQUESTION: Crucified With Christ – God’s Command to be HolyANSWER:
We have all heard messages preached that proclaimed the day would come when we would be set free from sin. At the resurrection, when we receive our glorified bodies, when we see Jesus face to face, when this mortal has put on immortality -- in other words, when this flesh has died and we are resurrected -- we shall be like Jesus. No more sin, no more temptation, no more failure; what a wonderful day that will be! Do not misunderstand; there is nothing wrong with this message. At that time, we shall receive the total redemption that Jesus purchased for us on the cross of Calvary, both physical redemption and spiritual redemption. The problem with that message is that it does not deal with my need to be set free from sin now, before I die! How do I deal with sin while I exist in this mortal flesh? For it is now, while in this flesh, that I am to serve God, not just in eternity. Read these New Testament verses regarding God’s expectation concerning sin and holiness in the life of a believer.
Crucified With Christ – By Grace Through Faith
- "For it is written, 'Be holy, because I am Holy'" (1 Peter 1:16).
- "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires" (Romans 6:12).
- "Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning. . ." (1 Corinthians 15:34).
- "In your anger do not sin. . ." (Ephesians 4:26).
- "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. . ." (1 John 2:1).
I believe that it is possible to obey and apply every instruction and command that God gives to us in His Word. I cannot believe God instructs us to do something that is impossible for us to do. Therefore, if God expects us to be holy and to be victorious over sin, then there must be a way for that to be accomplished.
Now before I begin to lose some of you, let me reassure you that I understand that we are not capable of becoming righteous by keeping the law. We are not justified by works, but by the grace of God through faith. We are born in sin, we all have a sinful nature, we are all sinners through Adam, and we are all sinners through personal sin. Indeed we are all dead in trespasses and sin, and there is no one who is righteous!
How then do we reconcile these simple verses that are instructing us to be holy and to not sin with the verses that tell us that we are all sinners and there is no one who is righteous. Add to that 1 John 1:8, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" and the problem increases. So here we are born with a sinful nature, sinners by race and sinners by practice, instructed by God to "sin not," but if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Rendered with permission from the booklet, Free to Serve God: 7 Principles Every Believer Should Know,
by James O. Jones, Jr. (Light of Life Ministry, revised printing 2009). Compliments of James O. Jones, Jr., and Light of Life Ministry
. All rights reserved in the original.