(Note: For parts one through three, please scroll to bottom of this post or use search bar.)
“…yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —” (Col. 1:22 emphasis mine)
In this scripture the Apostle Paul is telling us that the Lord Jesus has reconciled us SO THAT He may present us before Himself in a state of being holy and blameless and beyond reproach. Notice it is “before Himself” at this point but I Thess. 3:13 tells us: “…so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” Ultimately you will be presented to God the Father as one who is holy, blameless and beyond reproach.
Let’s break this scripture down and discuss what these descriptive characteristics mean.
“Holy” comes from a Greek word used to designate a building, person or something else that was dedicated to the service and worship of one of their pagan gods. It is the same Greek word translated “saint” that Paul calls the born again believers. The word speaks of separation. In our case it is separation from evil and separation to the service and worship of the Lord Jesus and God the Father. Colossians 1: 13 says the Holy Spirit
“… delivered us out of the tyrannical rule of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His Love, in whom we have our liberation, procured by the payment of ransom, the putting away of our sins; ” (Wuest)
In Galatians 1:4 Paul said:
“…the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself in behalf of our sins so that He might rescue us out from the present pernicious age…” (Wuest)
These two scriptures witness to the fact that our faith in the Lord Jesus has brought about a separation from evil and separation to good in our new life. So positionally we are holy or separated unto Christ.
It is the believers responsibility, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to make this positional truth experientially true in his new life in-Christ. We need to make it a reality in our character. Paul put it this way after telling us what Almighty God said about dwelling in us in II Corinthians 6: 16-18:
“Having therefore these promises, beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves from all contamination which may defile the flesh [the human body] and the [human] spirit, progressively accomplishing holiness in the fear of the Lord.” (II Cor. 7:1 Wuest)
Notice that Paul is saying “let us cleanse ourselves“. This is the responsibility of the believer with the help of the Holy Spirit. We are to be “perfecting holiness” in the reverential awe of the Lord. Perfecting that separation from evil in our lives.
In Romans 12: 1-2 Paul says the same thing in more detail. Notice Paul’s urgency in what he writes:
“I therefore beg of you, please, brethren, through the instrumentality of the aforementioned mercies of God, by a once-for-all presentation to place your bodies at the disposal of God, a sacrifice, a living one, a holy one, well-pleasing, your rational, sacred service, [rational, in that this service is performed by the exercise of the mind]. And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.” (Wuest)
The inner being is the positional you, the real you, who you are by the new birth and the “change your outward expression” is an exhortation to make the positional a reality in your experience. He is saying don’t cover up the new person you are in Christ with the evil characteristics of this pernicious age or world.
Therefore, in conclusion, we are exhorted to be experientially holy, separated from evil. Sin is evil. Remember “evil” is what God says is “evil”, not what we may think “evil” is. That is why we need to read our Bibles to learn what He says is evil. It is that simple.
Also Peter says “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him, in peace, spotless, and blameless.” (II Peter 3: 14). “Spotless” refers to being undefiled by sin or being holy, being free from censure, irreproachable. Notice Peter says we need to “be diligent” about this. This speaks of intense effort. This characteristic of holiness will not just happen in our lives, we must supply serious effort in our working with the Holy Spirit in sanctification. And He will bring it to pass!!
Due to travel, we will look at the words “blameless” and “reproach” next weekend. Thank you for your time. I pray the eyes of your heart were illuminated. Now:
“…carry to its ultimate conclusion [likeness to the Lord Jesus] your own salvation with a wholesome, serious caution and trembling, for God is the One who is constantly putting forth His energy in you, both in the form of your being desirous of and of your doing His good pleasure.” (Phil 2: 12-13 Wuest)
May you be carrying your salvation to its ultimate conclusion! God bless you.