By God’s grace, Jesus saved me, sanctified me, and filled me with His Holy Spirit. That’s my testimony and by cooperating with His grace, I intend to live accordingly.
Theologically speaking, I am sort of a mixed bag. Neither a Calvinist or an Arminian, I’m not sure if I chose to write this article or if this article chose me to write it. Primarily, I can be described as a Wesleyan-Pentecostal. However, I would rather be described as a Holiness preacher than a Pentecostal preacher.
Generally speaking, I fear that too much of Pentecostalism has bypassed the foundation of personal holiness and dove in headfirst for miracles, signs, and wonders. Yes, I do believe in them. But when they become our main focus, it appears as though we have sensationalized the Gospel by which we are saved. However, when being right with God (justification) develops into right living for God (sanctification), the Pentecostal experience becomes divinely genuine.
Since my desire for the American Church is to see a revival of scriptural holiness, I thought I would share 7 verses from the New Testament on the subject. I intentionally chose New Testament verses because personal true biblical holiness is not based on misinterpreted Old Testament verses or religious legalism for that matter.
Now I don’t want you to take this personally. Scratch that. I do want us all to take these seven from Heaven personally. As a matter of consumption, let’s ingest them.
- According to Romans 1, Jesus Christ our Lord was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).
- Romans 6 moves to the end result of your freedom in Christ. It says, “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Romans 6:22).
- In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian Church, the Holy Spirit reminds you of your personal responsibility towards holiness: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
- Praying for the Thessalonian Church, Paul stated how God desires to establish your heart: “So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
- Teaching that sanctification is the will of God for you, Paul said: “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness” (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
- Your Father in Heaven will at times find the need to chastise (discipline) His child. Compared to earthly fathers, we are told: “For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).
- The key to your spiritual vitality is found in this admonition: “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
BONUS: Through the Apostle Peter, the Holy Spirit teaches that the principles of holiness have not vanished. We are not bound to the cultural methods of attaining holiness via Old Testament Law. But in light of Christ’s impending return for each of us, New Testament Christians are commanded to a grace-filled lifestyle of holiness. Peter said, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy”” (1 Peter 1:15-16).
With the ability to save unto the uttermost, Jesus saves us from our sins and not in our sins (see Matt. 1:21). Therefore, holiness is, first of all, an inside job of grace. It does not begin with external appearances. It starts on the inside and manifests in a lifestyle of purity (see 1 John 3:1-3) for those who have been born again into the family of God.