1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Corinthians 15:34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning;
There are many other Bible verses and passages that say the same thing, that is we are to grow in character and our behavior is to become more and more righteous.
We are saved by Grace through faith with no good works, holiness, or righteousness required. But now that we are saved, in the family of God, headed for heaven forever, born again, part of the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ, God expects, yes, even commands that we become like Him.
Because of our modern day emphasis on Grace most Christians are pretty casual in their pursuit of holiness, no big deal, nobodies perfect.
There are some questions that need to be answered, some problems that need to be solved, and some commitments that need to be made if we are going to be successful in our pursuit of being a righteous person. Let’s do this in a step by step, strategic way that helps us understand how we are going to accomplish this, and that will give us some hope and confidence that we can actually pull this off.
1. If a person is going to grow and change every day of their life to be more and more like Jesus they must want to. The want to, the desire must be strong inside of us, a passion, a raging fire.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
The problem is that we all struggle with guilt when we sin, and it seems natural that if we increase our desire to be good that the guilt that we feel when we fail will increase. Because we naturally do things to reduce guilt instead of increasing it, because guilt is terribly unpleasant, most will work at being content with their level of godliness so as not to aggravate the guilt machine in us. Nobody will accomplish anything if the desire in us is lukewarm, and that is where most are.
So, how do we solve this problem, this major road block to spiritual growth and holiness? We confess all known sin to God and He forgives and cleanses our hearts from guilt. It is a great deal, free, no strings attached, simply acknowledge to God that you are a sinner, that you sinned. Be specific and detailed.Don’t make excuses, blame others, or justify, own it, lock, stock and barrel, you did it.
Psalms 32:3-5 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; and You forgave the guilt of my sin.