Romans 6:19 “so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”
I have a favorite saying when I am dealing with my daughter and her unwillingness to obey. “It was not a suggestion.” She knows that whenever I drop those five words she needs to find another gear and get moving towards obedience.
Sometimes we need to understand that about God’s Word. When he tells us something that may be difficult to hear or difficult to obey, it is usually not a suggestion. It is usually a command.
1 Peter 1:16 “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Being holy is not a suggestion. It is a command. And it is part of our sanctification process. The word sanctification means to be set apart or to be holy. Another way to define it would be, the process of being made holy.
Once we are saved, (and that is a one-time thing by the way) we begin the process of becoming holy. Each day we live, we try to become more and more like Christ. Each day striving to better than the one before. Holier today than yesterday. That is our aim.
Sometimes we miss the mark. That is the Old Testament definition of sin. The Lexham Theological Wordbook defines the verb sin (ḥāṭāʾ) as: to do wrong, go astray, miss the mark
The goal is to aim for holiness everyday. Dr. Gerald Cowen was one of my first professors I had in college. I will never forget the analogy he used during our freshman orientation class. We all sat there wide-eyed, dazed, and confused as we held our syllabi for the upcoming semester. He called it “Syllabus Shock.” Without saying it, we all wondered how we would accomplish all of this work in just thirteen short weeks. Then he dropped some wisdom on us that I still employee today. He asked the class this crazy question, “How do you eat an elephant?” After a few moments of receiving bewildered looks he said, “One bite at a time.”
That is the way to holiness. One day at a time. In some cases, it might be one minute at a time. But the point is simple, just do a little better today than yesterday. And before long you will look back and that person that you used to be will look so far, far away.