A Lifetime of Holiness
Read | Romans 12:1-3
By placing faith in Jesus Christ, a new believer is sanctified—that is, he is set apart for God’s purpose. Unlike salvation, which takes place in a single moment, sanctification is a lifelong process. We who have trusted in Christ as Savior and allow His Holy Spirit to control our lives are currently being sanctified, no matter what we may feel or how our actions appear to others. We are progressively maturing in our faith.
If we are progressing, then we must be working our way toward something. The apostle Paul explained the Christian’s mission this way: “For those whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). The character, conduct, and conversation of a believer are to reflect Christ, who lives within through His Spirit.
On our own, we would place too much emphasis on conduct and get caught up following rules and rituals that look Christian but do not actually reflect Christ. God, however, has given each believer His Spirit as a teacher and guide. The Holy Spirit’s work is to transform our minds and hearts so our character is markedly different from that of our unsaved peers. Only when we are under the Spirit’s control can we speak and act according to who we truly are: God’s sons and daughters.
Our heavenly Father wants His children to be living examples and reflections of who He is. He doesn’t expect perfection from us—He knows that we cannot be totally sinless as long as we remain in our human body. Rather, He shows us how to think and act so we may “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called” (Eph. 4:1).