Day 19: Our Responsibility, Not God’s

We’ve mentioned the occult is one important form of filthiness of the spirit. I’m not going to go into a list of occult things. But I discovered in my own life that it took quite a lot of work on my part to eliminate the occult. For instance, at Cambridge my main subject of study on which I wrote my fellowship dissertation was the philosophy of Plato. And many, many people admire Plato. In fact, there’s a form of Christianity called Neo-Platonism.

“Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

So that’s a responsibility placed on us. I could spend hours talking about how to do that, but I’m not going to go into details here. The main thing for now is that we know we are responsible to do it. This is not something God will do for us, this is something He tells us to do for ourselves.

Then we’ll go back to 2 Peter 3 and look at the second requirement, looking for the coming of the day of God. I just want to turn to two Scriptures. The first is Titus 2:11,12 and 13.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

And notice that Paul calls Jesus God. The great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. And the motivation for holy living is primarily looking for the coming of our Lord. If you analyze the teaching of the New Testament on holiness, you’ll see that in almost every case it’s linked up with the expectation of the Lord’s return. I believe that where the Church loses the sense of expectation of the Lord’s return, New Testament standards of holiness are impossible. Because I believe that is the key motivation.

And then likewise in 1 John 3:1, 2 and 3:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God, and we are. Therefore, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God. And it has not yet been revealed but what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every one who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.”

You may tell me that you believe in the doctrine of the return of the Lord but I want to look for the evidence in your life. Because it says “every one who has this hope in Him,” that’s the hope of His coming, “purifies himself just as He is pure.” Again, the Scripture puts the responsibility on us. There are ways in which God purifies us, there are ways in which we have to purify ourselves. And God has only got one standard of purity, that’s Jesus. “Just as He is pure.”

Father, as the day Your Son will return comes nearer, I pray You’ll help me to give myself more fully to You, to live soberly, righteously and godly, eagerly awaiting His return. I pray You’ll show me what Your plans are for my life to participate in the advancement of Your Kingdom, and help me to purify myself, just as He is pure. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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