Do I love the idea of being holy? When does having to be holy end? How long do I have to be holy? Do I embrace holiness as the holy Lamb of God embraced the cross as the Father's will for Him? The answers to these questions are: Yes, Never, Forever, Yes.
God called us to holiness "by the gospel." The Father drew us to Christ, but He did so for a particular purpose OF HIS (Ephesians 1:4). He drew us to Christ to sanctify us so we would obtain the glory of God. He didn't force salvation upon us. He didn't shove it down our throats. He invited and called us to accept it as the only way of salvation and fruitfulness and obedience and holiness and glory and WE said yes to that call. Then how come when God makes us a pickle in a "circumstance sandwich," we blame Him? Maybe we didn't understand the ramifications of salvation at the time, that inherent in our response to the gospel was the pure, holy call of God, not only to be saved and set apart, but to walk holy with a view to a holy eternity with Him. How can we say we have accepted God's salvation if we have no intent to be holy? Knowing what the Scriptures say, it ought to be a cry from our depths. Salvation is a holy thing and holiness comes with it. That's what justification is: it is beginning of a holy life that will never, ever end. We've heard many say, "I knew my sins, at that moment, were gone, forgiven, and forgotten by the Father." It is synonymous to say, "I felt holy at that moment, clean for the first time in my life." His word, the call of God, justification, righteousness, salvation, obedience, the coming glory at His return, even the fruit of the Spirit - all are wrapped in holiness and help define holiness:
These verses tell us that everything hinges on holiness: we are called, justified and glorified in Christ and the start of it all is sanctification (set apart) unto obedience to the truth, right up to the return of Christ at the end of the age.
WHY BE HOLY?
Our first and foremost reason for wanting to be holy should be because it is the Father's will for us. And the reason He wants it for us is that we can inherit that which He promised:
The second reason is that Christ is our life and He is holy:
The Christian also purifies himself because of the hope that lies before him, namely, to be glorified when Christ returns: called, justified, glorified (Romans 8:30). Paul reckoned cleansing by the shed blood of Christ when he sinned, but he didn't sit there in God's forgiveness wallowing about how bad he is, but he put it behind him and pressed on, "follow[ing] after" holiness, forgetting the past and striving daily to walk holy before God in all that he did:
Paul knew what God wanted regarding sanctification, as he exhorted the Thessalonians:
He also knew that sanctification was a mighty work of God that the believer was to cooperate with because Jesus was coming back for a holy Bride:
End of Part 6.
Introduction: Tribulation Preparation: Called To be Holy