Sanctification is defined as the action of making or declaring something holy and the process of being freed from sin or purified. In our daily journey of self-denial, seeking God’s perfect will, and giving up good to receive better, we move in the direction of Jesus. The most basic interpretation of being a Christian is to follow Christ. “The essence of true holiness is to be Christ-like, to live as He lived and, in any given situation, to act as He would act. In fact, holiness means allowing the Holy Spirit of Christ to live in us and rule our lives” (Bernard p. 327). Holy, sanctified, Christian; these words should be interchangeable to us and indistinguishable from the world around us. There should be an outward separation, but it starts on the inside. Without inner holiness, you may only be putting on a display and hoping no one discovers the “real you” out in the town, between services.
When we gain confidence in our role as Christ-follower and begin to live the ministry of reconciliation, we see what all the struggles and discipline of holy living are leading us toward. It’s all about souls and your reaction to a belligerent, angry man in line at the grocery store. People are watching us all the time and ready to pounce at the slightest moment of weakness. They are also waiting to hear words of holy affirmation and encouragement. “Blameless is the Greek word amomos. Its interest lies in the fact that it is a sacrificial word. Under Jewish law, before an animal could be offered as a sacrifice, it had to be inspected; and, if any blemish was found, it had to be rejected as unfit for an offering to God. Only the best was fit to offer God. Amomos thinks of the whole person as an offering to God. It thinks of taking every part of our life, work, pleasure, sport, home life, and personal relationships, and making them all fit to be offered to God. This word does not mean that Christians must be [respected by people]; it means that they must be perfect. To say that Christians must be amomos is to banish contentment with everything that is second best; it means that the Christian standard is nothing less than perfection” (Barclay, William, The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, KY, 2002, p. 90).
I will be the first to admit that I am nowhere near perfect, but if I can apply myself every day, if I can take another baby step toward Jesus today, I will be headed in the right direction. The Comforter is here to help us. The Word is here to instruct us. The Pastor is here to direct us. Experience is here to inform us. Our brothers and sisters are here to encourage us. The Church is here to unify us. Prayer is here to channel answers. Our testimony is here to inspire others and (mostly) ourselves. Praise goes up before the Throne from us. Preaching is here to save us. The world is the mission He has given us. Jesus died and rose again because He loves us. He is coming back for us!
Holiness can and must be a part of the Christian’s life, too much is at stake. When I enter heaven and look upon His face, I will bow before Him. The song says, “I can only imagine what it will be like.” I cannot say that I will be able to turn, ever so slightly, to look around, but if I am able, I want to see you there. Together, we will lay our crowns down (Revelation 4:10) and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17) “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9).