Importance Of Practical Holiness (2)

a. For one thing, we must be holy, because the voice of God in Scripture plainly commands it. The Lord Jesus says to His people, 'Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven' (Mat_5:20). 'Be ye... perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect' (Mat_5:48). Paul tells the Thessalonians, 'This is the will of God, even your sanctification' (1Th_4:3). And Peter says, 'As He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, "Be ye holy, for I am holy" ' (1Pe_1:15, 1Pe_1:16). 'In this,' says Leighton, 'law and gospel agree.'

b. We must be holy, because this is one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world. Paul writes to the Corinthians, 'He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again' (2Co_5:15); and to the Ephesians, 'Christ... loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it' (Eph_5:25, Eph_5:26); and to Titus, '[He] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works' (Tit_2:14). In short, to talk of men being saved from the guilt of sin, without being at the same time saved from its dominion in their hearts, is to contradict the witness of all Scripture. Are believers said to be elect? It is 'through sanctification of the Spirit'. Are they predestinated? It is 'to be conformed to the image of God's Son'. Are they chosen? It is 'that they may be holy'. Are they called? It is 'with a holy calling'. Are they afflicted? It is that they may be 'partakers of holiness'. Jesus is a complete Saviour. He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer's sin; He does more - He breaks its power (1Pe_1:2; Rom_8:29; Eph_1:4; Heb_12:10).