Perfecting Holiness

Have you ever seen a small child pick up an iPhone and start using it like a pro? I’ve even heard stories of small children who make emergency calls when mommy or daddy is in trouble. The iPhone is truly a wonder — it has a computer that is more powerful than those that were used to fly to the moon, yet a child can use it with ease.

Just looking at an iPhone, one can see that it’s pretty much perfect all on its own. It’s a beautiful piece of work. But when a child picks it up and starts flipping through pictures or making calls, it then becomes useful.

But these things are durable too. I dropped mine on the ground after it had rained and it was a little muddy. So I wiped the mud off, and my iPhone was in perfect shape for another phone call.

This is a metaphor, of course; the iPhone is like a follower of Christ, created perfect. But it’s only useful to those around it when it is activated and used to do what it was created to do.

And all of us who are in Christ — who have died with Him to live with Him — are new creations. We have the mind of Christ. We ourselves are not schizophrenics, with a good side and a bad side. We are new creations housed in a fallen flesh. Sin from the flesh is like mud. Mud is immediately visible and undesirable to anyone who sees it. And, sin in the flesh seeks always to muddy our mindset, our worldview, our paradigm. Sin speaks to us in the first person, with “I” and wants us to be infected and preoccupied with self-focus, self-preservation and self-love. It says “I hate this person; I love this sin; I love my worldly attitude; my sin is not my fault; why can’t others be like me!”. This is defilement of Spirit, and if we, in grace — powered from knowing God in His goodness and mercy — actively and intentionally refuse sin’s influence, then we cleanse ourselves and perfect our “iPhones”, making them able to be used for their intended purpose. We have confidence and know we are refusing sin’s influence and choosing to think like Christ when we submit our thoughts to the teaching of the Apostles found in the New Testament. The more we know what they taught, the more confidence we have that we are reasoning like Christ.

Everything that’s good comes to us from our Father in heaven. Knowing God leads us to love others, to live upright lives, to actively and intentionally be good and do good in this world.

We know this:
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,” (Titus 2:11–12)

So let’s do this…
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

… so that this never needs to be said about us:
“They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” (Titus 1:16)