Jesus sets the standard for all

Last week, we began an exploration of sin.

To be clear, sin is an intentional act of the will. It is on-purpose behavior.

People often try to label sin. They like to think in terms of big sins and little sins. They seem to think in terms of objectionable sins and acceptable sins. God’s Word is clear. Sin stands in direct opposition to God’s call for us to be holy.

Some panic when they hear the term. There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation of what holiness is. Holiness is Christlikeness. That is the best definition I have heard. I believe it sums up the truth and provides a biblical understanding of a term that has confused so many.

To be holy is to be like Jesus. God’s desire is for you and me to be like his son. We know Jesus was without sin. He came to pay sin’s penalty, and he calls us out from a life of sin.

“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his son. The son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.” (Romans 8:29 — The Message)

God’s goal for you and me is to be like Jesus. His desire is for us to be like his son. Jesus is the prototype. He sets the standard. Our goal is to be like him. It doesn’t take long to realize that we’ll never pull this off on our own. We can’t do this by ourselves. We need his help.

The good news is God is ready to refine in us the image of his son, but he will not force this to happen. It is up to us to initiate this process by surrendering ourselves to him.

We give God full access to our lives by not only inviting Christ into our lives to redeem us from our sin, but we take the next step by choosing to allow him to transform our lives from the inside out.

It is the difference between Jesus being my savior and Jesus being my Lord. This is what it means to be sanctified. In salvation, I get all of Jesus. In sanctification, he gets all of me. We’ll explore this process further next time.

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