The pathway to holiness: ‘By grace you have been saved through faith… for good works.’


20:1-27 –  The life of holiness is not an expression of our own moral virtue.  It is an expression of the holy character of God being reproduced in us: ‘I am the Lord who sanctify you’ (8).  God wants us for Himself – This is why we must not live the world’s way: ‘I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine’ (26).  God has a great purpose for us:  ‘You shall inherit their land… I will give it to you, a land flowing with milk and honey’ (24).  ‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies… my cup overflows’ (Psalm 23:5).  ‘The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly… in Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 1:14).  This is the pathway to holiness:  ‘By grace you have been saved through faith… for good works’ (Ephesians 2:8-10).

21:1-22:16 –  We are sanctified by the Lord (21:8,15,23; 22:9,16).  It is His doing – God’s call to holiness is founded in His gift of holiness: ‘the Holy Spirit…has been given to us’ (Romans 5:5) – ‘every virtue we possess… every victory won… every thought of holiness, are His alone’ (Church Hymnary, 336).  When we are so conscious of our own weakness, God says, ‘I am the Lord’ (21:12; 22:2-3,8).  He is more than sufficient for our justification, sanctification and glorification. Between our justification (the forgiveness of our sins) and our glorification (heaven) there is our sanctification (‘conformed to the image of His Son’).  This is God’s doing.  From beginning to end, it is the work of God (Romans 8:28-29).  We lack faith, we lack holiness, we lack perseverance:  In this we rejoice – ‘Salvation is of the Lord’ (Jonah 2:9).

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