God has one destined end for mankind – holiness! His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing- machine for men. He did not come to save men out of pity. He came to save men because He had created them to be holy.
God’s goal in saving you was not just to make your few years on planet Earth easier or more enjoyable. He had an eternal end in view. His intent was to make you holy, as He is holy, that you might perfectly glorify Him, that you might bring Him pleasure, and that you might enjoy intimate fellowship with Him for all eternity.
Holiness is not just for some select few spiritual giants; it is not just for pious people who sit around all day with nothing to do but “be holy”… “Everyone who names the name of the Lord” is called to live a holy life!
Why care about being holy? Why be willing to say no to your flesh and yes to God, day in and day out? Because the world desperately needs to see what God is like. Because it is your created purpose and your ultimate destiny to be holy. Because of the price Jesus paid to make you holy. Because you are a saint. Because holy people get to see and know God. Because you’re getting ready to move to a place where there is no sin. And because your example may inspire someone who is watching you to choose or reject the pathway of holiness.
Christians are supposed to be conspicuously holy, not for our own reputation but for God’s. We are to be the light of the world, so that when people see our good deeds they will glorify God (Matt. 5:16).
As God delights in His own beauty, He must necessarily delight in the creature’s holiness which is a conformity to and participation of it.
God decreed from eternity past that you would be like Christ (Rom. 8:29-30); He put His Holy Spirit in you to make sure that it would happen (Phil. 2:12-13); Christ prayed for you to be sanctified, and His prayers are always answered (Jn. 17:17); He even promises you that He will lovingly discipline you in order to return you to holiness whenever you stray (Heb. 12:5-10). How could we ever doubt that God means what He says, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14)?
God’s people across the covenants are to be known by their holiness, being set apart for God. In the Old Testament this was particularly marked by their distinct ethnicity, their distinct dress, and their distinct food. Under the covenant of the New Testament, however, holiness is not marked off by the food we eat, but by the lives we live in distinction from the world around us.
We must be holy, because this is the one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world… Jesus is a complete Savior. He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer’s sin, He does more – He breaks its power.
There is nothing which my heart desires more than to see you, the members of this church, distinguished for holiness. It is the Christian’s crown and glory. An unholy church? It is of no use to the world and of no esteem among men. Oh, it is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. And the larger the church, the more influential, the worse nuisance does it become when it becomes unholy. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church.
Christ will be master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. If your life is unholy, then your heart is unchanged, and you are an unsaved person.The Savior will sanctify His people, renew them, give them a hatred of sin, and a love of holiness. The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not IN their sins, but FROM their sins. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.
Holiness and a progressively changed life are not optional. “By this we know that we have come to know him,” says John, “if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). Mere profession of faith, unattended by good works, does not guarantee the reality of faith. We would do well to remember the rebuke of Jesus to those who professed their loyalty and cited their miraculous deeds: “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Mt. 7:23).
It is absurd to think that anything in us could have the least influence upon our election. Some say that God did foresee that such persons would believe, and therefore did choose them; so they would make the business of salvation to depend upon something in us. Whereas God does not choose us FOR faith, but TO faith. “He hath chosen us, that we should be holy,” (Ephesians 1:4), not because we would be holy, but that we might be holy. We are elected to holiness, not for it.
It is absurd to imagine that God should justify a people and not sanctify them, He should justify a people whom He could not glorify.