Holiness is not a side-goal | First Presbyterian Church

May 02, 2022 First Presbyterian Church

Holiness is not a side-goal

Holiness is not a side-goal

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

– Ephesians 1:4


Our lives are not meant to continue on uninterrupted after we become Christians. Holiness and blamelessness are the goals of the Christian life on earth. This is everywhere stated in Scripture – from the warning of God to Cain to “rule over” sin to the very last chapter of Revelation where we are told to “keep the words of this book.”


Though we would easily acknowledge this to be true, the question that looms is whether we actually spend very much time seeking to be holy. Do we know what it looks like and how to attain it? Do we wake in the morning wondering whether the day will end with us more righteous or less? If we are honest, we do not.


For most of us, holiness is a by-product of the Christian life. We stumble into it and assume it will somehow, miraculously, gain traction in our lives. This error has been common throughout human history, and these days it is summed up in the mantra “let go and let God.”


But, “let go and let God” is not true. It is true that God designed for us to become holy even before the foundation of the world, but it is not true that we are just riding along in the sidecar toward that end. We have a part to play in our pursuit of holiness. We have to take stock and take action. Holiness is the goal of the Christian life, and it must be pursued on earth.