“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification… For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 7)
It’s very easy to get caught up in the pursuit of something secondary to God’s great purpose for us as believers. We constantly face the temptation to be driven toward success or popularity, possessions or prestige. But God has caught us and called us to a higher purpose, a better life, a heavenly goal. We’ve been called to cleanness.
While many believers will suffer spiritually as they struggle to gain the freedom to rule their own lives (and thus resorting back to the old, unredeemed life), we must pursue the purpose for which we have been apprehended by Jesus – holiness, cleanness, and sanctification. What other pursuit could be more important in our personal journey of faith?
If you’re a believer, you’ve been caught! Jesus, the fisher of men, has apprehended you. He has purchased you in such a way that you are no longer your own. Contrary to popular opinion and American individualism, you are not your own any longer. God has placed certain spiritual authorities in your life. He’s placed you in the family of God and your church has a mutual stake in the outcome of your faith. While you may scream for the freedom to rule your own domain, God’s Word will remind you that the greatest freedom of all is to be enjoyed within the boundaries of God’s will.
His will is in one respect, an individual issue. In another respect, His will is universal to all believers. We cannot resort to a Christian brand of moral relativism. Instead we must realize that certain rules are applicable for all Christians, regardless of individual circumstances. This is not legalism, which is seeking to please or “pay off” God through rule-keeping. Rather it is merely reverencing God’s moral authority as our Father, Lord, and King.
If Jesus is your Savior, then pursue that for which you’ve been saved – holiness! It’s a worthy pursuit. Holiness brings the confidence of spiritual assurance, it earns a crown in heaven, it pleases the Lord who purchased us with His precious blood, and it supports our verbal witness to a lost world. Give yourself wholly to this goal – total perfection, total spiritual completeness, and total Christlikeness!