Don't loiter in the pursuit of holiness
In Romans 6:19, the apostle Paul writes, “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” The point here is that sin in the life doesn’t just run on idle. If you are enslaved to the sins in your life, they are taking you somewhere. And the place they are taking you is to more and more lawlessness and godlessness. Sin hardens the heart. It blinds the eyes. It makes it harder and harder to go back. It puts roadblocks in your life. It creates consequences that you will end up having to live with no matter how much you change later on.
On the other hand, when you commit yourself to a life of righteousness, based on God’s will for you in his word, this will lead inevitably to a sanctified life. Do you know what that means? It doesn’t mean life in drab. It doesn’t mean no more smiles. It doesn’t mean you wear black and point your fingers at everyone who is different from you. That’s what a lot of people think sanctification means. Rather, it means a life that is consecrated to God, and which has God’s blessing upon it.
Here is how Paul put it to Timothy: “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:20-21, ESV). I cannot think of a more noble or desirable description of the sanctified person than that. Do you want a life that is honorable, one that is truly useful – even in the light of eternity? Then pursue sanctification with all your might.
The encouraging thing here is that if we commit to this, we can expect growth in grace. It will probably be slow, but don’t let that discourage you. Keep keeping on, and you can expect God’s blessing upon your life. For if you are set apart for God, then you can be sure that his blessings will be set apart for you.
So let us serve Christ. Let us take Paul’s description of himself for our own. Speaking of God, he said, “Whose I am and whom I serve” (Acts 27:23). Who do you serve? To whom do you belong? My friend, Christ is the very best of masters. And there is only one other: sin. You will either serve Christ or your lust. One leads to eternal life, the other to death. May the Lord bring all of us by his grace in glad submission to his wonderful word.