Tuesday, June 25 2019
Have you ever started a job and they never offered the necessary training? Sometimes, we have to find how to get things done on our own. Almost every occupation takes some time to adjust and learn how to work effectively. A new job or a new school needs some accountability.
Many Christians need the discipline of training. New believers need to be made into disciples who are trained in all that Jesus commanded so that they will become disciple-makers (Matt 28:19–20). Furthermore, new Christians need training in holiness — holy living. This practice is certainly lacking in the church today when it seems as though accountability and discipleship are needed more than ever.
God disciplines. He disciplines those whom He loves, His children, to share in His holiness (Heb 12:5–6, 10–11). Children without discipline are illegitimate (Heb 12:7). Without holiness, no one will see God (Heb 12:14). The writer of Hebrews stressed holiness apart from defilement and bitterness connected with the sexual immorality of fornication (Heb 12:15–16). The will of God is that believers become holy and so abstain from sex outside of marriage known as “fornication” (1 Thess 4:3). God has called believers to such holy living (1 Thess 4:7).
God saves believers through the process of sanctification — becoming holy. Paul revealed that salvation is through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thess 2:13). Therefore, the Gospel calls believers to salvation for this purpose of becoming holy and to obtain the glory of Jesus Christ (2 Thess 2:14). As Jesus revealed, God’s Word is the truth that makes men holy (John 17:17). The word also makes men free from sin (John 8:31–34).
Many people pursue holiness by their rules. Paul did reveal, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14). However, no self-made regulations, precepts, teachings, religion, or severity to the body will set a person from any sinful behavior (Col 2:20–23). The Christian must seek the things above (Col 3:1–4).
The apostle Paul described the mentality necessary to live a holy life in Romans 6–8. The apostle described how Christians are to recognize themselves as dead to sin and thus freed from sin (Rom 6:1–11). He taught the necessity of presenting one’s body as a weapon of war for righteousness (6:12–14; cf. 13:11–12). Christians are to become bondservants to righteousness unto holiness and not to sexual impurity unto lawlessness (6:15–23). Paul revealed that holy living is not about living by the holy Law but according to the new way of the Spirit (7:1–13). God through Christ has delivered believers from the evil that is nearby and waging war with the mind of believers (7:14–25). Because Christ has overcome sin in the flesh, believers can set their minds on the Spirit rather than the flesh to live according to the Spirit (8:1–11). Those who live according to the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body (8:12–13). Those led by the Spirit have received the Spirit of adoption as children of God (8:14–25).
As Paul revealed, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:24–25a).