By Allen White
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 1 Peter 1:13-16 (NLT)
Back in the summer when I started writing the study guide for Living a Balanced Life, I put a shortcut on my computer desk top for the folder containing all of the files. So, every day when I started my computer, I had an icon labeled “Shortcut to a Balanced Life.” Wouldn’t that be nice? Just double click a button and poof, there it is: a balanced life.
You and I both know that there are no shortcuts to a balanced life. In fact, in this life, I’m not convinced that our pursuit is for peace and harmony. It’s nice to have times of peace and harmony, but honestly, those things only have a permanent place in Heaven. This verse says that our gracious salvation will be complete when Jesus is revealed to the world. The last phase of our salvation, called glorification, will be complete.
For now, we’re in a phase called sanctification. This is the working out of our salvation. As I’ve said other places, we don’t work for our salvation. Only Jesus can make us righteous (Romans 3:22; 3:20). We are working out our salvation. This passage talks about self-control and being holy. Holy doesn’t mean flawless or sinless. Holy means “to be set apart.” It’s our choice to be holy. When we are faced with moving forward in God’s purposes for us or moving backward to what we used to trust in, self-control and holiness prompt us to move forward. We choose to be set apart or holy.
If holiness and self-control solely depended on us, we could muster up enough strength to make good choices for while. But, sooner or later, we run out of steam. Fortunately, Jesus gives us His supernatural power to do this work in us, if we let Him. It’s no coincidence that self-control is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Sure, we can willfully decide and stubbornly persist to charge the hill of change. But, lasting change comes from above.
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