Text: Hebrews 12: 12-19
Pursuit of Holiness is the reason Jesus Christ gave himself for mankind. In Titus 2: 11-14 we read
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly righteously and godly in this present world, looking for that Blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our saviour Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a PECULIAR people Zealous for good works.
This passage shows me at a glance the reason Jesus had to die. This is also what our passage in Hebrews 11-12 is all about. Hebrews 12 is specifically about what is expected of us as people that have received mercy and grace. Having outlined the heroes, it goes on to show how they overcame by faith. Then it urges us to add virtue to our faith.
According to brother James ‘faith without works is dead’. We must carefully reiterate that work alone does not save us. Rather, we are saved by faith to do good works. In the same way a dead faith cannot save anyone, likewise mighty works outside Jesus’ finished work of salvation is useless. ( see Titus 3:5 and James chapter 2). The good works we do are the physical evidence of the invisible salvation we receive by faith
So, we are called to pursue holiness. It is a call we must consciously rise up to for without holiness we cannot see the lord. Knowing that God is of a purer eye than to behold evil and cannot look on iniquity ( Habakkuk 1:13) it becomes contradictory that any who names his name will continue in iniquity.
This call to separation is first reflected in our willingness to live peaceably with all men. This doesn’t mean that we agree with everyone or become men pleasers. We must learn to create healthy boundaries like Jesus by sweetly saying no to things that are not acceptable to God.
Finally holiness is possible only by total dependence on the finished work of Christ. Not by struggle. That is self righteousness. By his indwelling holy spirit Jesus convicts us of our wrong doing. By aligning our faith in his perfect sacrifice our consciences are purged of guilt and his mighty power overcomes the power of sin inherent in us.