1 Peter 1:15, 16
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
There can be no question that God wants believers to live our lives differently than we did before we became His children. If a profession of faith does not lead to a changed life there is reason to wonder if there has truly been a “born again”, “new creature” experience at the level of the spirit.
However, in my life, this has also led to discouragement, frustration and a near hopelessness because I am so aware of the fact that, though “The Spirit itself beareth witness with (my) spirit, that” I am a child of God (Romans 8:16) I still am no where near “holy in all I do”.
Even if I am able to control the outward actions there are still the wrong attitudes, thoughts and inner evils. As Paul lamented, I want to do right (at least sometimes I do) but too often I do what I don’t want to do. (As I get older I find myself engaging less and less in sinful behavior but I think it has nothing to do with becoming more like Jesus, it is just that sinning requires so much energy that sometimes I decide it just isn’t worth he effort.)
I have found that when I fail, when I sin, when I am not holy in my behavior I must remember the other side of the equation. Yes, God wants me to live a different life, a holy life. (And I want to too – which is evidence I have become a new creature.) But I can’t forget that ultimately Jesus is my “righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)
No matter how many years I walk this Christian path, when I stand before the Lord I will be just as dependent upon His grace and kindness as I was the first day I started down it. The summation is this: My salvation was His doing. My sanctification (becoming more like Him) is His doing. My safe deliverance through this world to His side is His doing. He is the first the last, the all in all, the author and the finisher of my faith. Therefore, my “faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:21)
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; …
All this is from God, …..
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.