This post continues from Prophetic Expectation (Part 1)
Peter writes, “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). God is not frustrating us or teasing us with commands and standards we cannot meet. We are empowered believers with God living on the inside of us. It is possible in God to be holy in all your conduct. In everything you do you can be holy. You may not seem holy in everything you feel. You may not seem holy in every thought that passes by. You may not seem holy in every desire that pulls at you. But you can be holy in all you do. You can order every feeling, thought, and desire to bow to Jesus and walk in holiness!
The Bible says that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). It does not say we can do all things through Him who strengthens us except live free from sin!
An evangelist pointed out in his teaching that Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father,” and one of the things Jesus did was go through every temptation and not sin. He said that we would do the same thing (John 14:12, Hebrews 4:15).
After healing a man in the temple Jesus told him, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” (John 5:14). He didn’t say, “sin less” or “curb some bad habits” or even “you’ll probably keep sinning because you can’t help it.” Jesus said and expected people to repent and stop sinning. When Jesus says, “Sin no more,” it’s not just a command, it’s an empowering prophetic word. He’s saying that is what is possible and expected, even for a man under the Old Covenant!
Jesus said the same to the woman caught in adultery, He refused to condemn her and commanded and prophesied her holiness (John 8:11).
Paul wrote to the Romans, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:1). Paul said that we should “Certainly not!” continue in sin. We are meant to leave sin behind and that’s not just some pious, religious phrase; it’s a practical imperative. We must not continue in sin.
The apostle John stated, “My little children these things I write to you, so that you may not sin” (1 John 2:1a). His goal and purpose in writing and the goal and purpose of Scripture is so you won’t sin. God’s word does not return void (Isaiah 55:1). There is real power in the Word of God to keep you from sin. John continues “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1b). He wrote “if” anyone sins not “when” anyone sins. Sin is not an inevitability and any teaching that says conscious sin is inevitable and inescapable is error.
John goes on in His epistle to state “Whoever abides in Him does not sin” (1 John 3:6). It is possible to stop sinning. And we do it by abiding and remaining in relationship with Jesus. We listen to His voice and continue to obey and respond to His voice and His word.
To those who were raised to believe that sin was inevitable this may sound hard to believe, but Jesus said, “all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). He did not add to that, “except live free from sin.” Whatever that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). The root of sin is unbelief and the enemy’s desire is to wreck your faith that you can live a holy life, but all of Scripture prophesies of a holy life for the children of God.
If it were according to your strength or ability holiness, would be impossible, but what Jesus said about entering the kingdom is true of entering true holiness, “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).