Holiness ceases to be holiness the instant it becomes partial.
Holiness, by nature, impacts the whole. God is holy entirely. Combine this with the fact that our culture…our Christian culture, is full of compartmentalized views of life and holiness. Consider the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23 is singular, not plural, indicating that it is total. Why? Because the Spirit is God. Another place to see this impact is in 2 Peter 1:5-11. In verse 8, Peter says “if you practice these things” then you will be fruitful and effective. “These things” indicates that work together, each part, as a whole.
This is really a challenging truth, is it not? This isn’t perfectionism, but it is transformation. We are given “new” life, “new” birth — re-created by God in Christ through the powerful working of the Holy Spirit. We have to battle for this view, knowing that if indeed we are in Christ Jesus, then He is sanctifying ALL of who we are (Heb.10:14). This means that if we are in Christ we cannot say that we are Christ followers in most areas…but one. This is why that pervasive, unrepented-of sin can indicate lostness altogether. Again, we all struggle…and struggle in areas of particular weakness. However, that’s also the hope. Christ’s blood has cleansed us of all sin and all unrighteousness as we confess our sin to him (1 John 1:9). He does this in the life of the believer because it’s what He’s already done in the life of the believer.
Take heart…you don’t have to give in to a particular area of sin, for God, who is Holy, demands holiness of ALL of His people. He has given you everything you need. Take warning…we cannot live believing we’re “relatively” holy, in good standing with God, if indeed we have whole parts of our lives that are not submitted to His rule and reign.
Pray for my preparation of Leviticus 19 this weekend. It’s about these things. In addition to preaching, I’ll be leading our worship time with a small team, looking forward to being together. Remember to pray for the Ragsdales (Bryan’s funeral on Friday @ 11am) and Jacqueline Kerns (wedding on Saturday). While many of you may be gone on Spring Break trips, may God bless us as we seek and strive to be God’s holy, distinct people.