Looking unto Jesus and not at the heights of holiness which we have attained. If one may not believe himself to be a child of God as long as he finds stains in his heart and stumblings in his life, who could taste the joy of salvation? But this joy is not bought with a price. Holiness is the fruit, not the root, of our redemption. It is the work of Jesus Christ for us which reconciles us unto God; it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us which renews us in His likeness. The short comings of a faith which is true but not yet fully established and bearing little fruit in no way lessens the fullness of the perfect work of the Saviour nor the certainty of His unchanging promise, guaranteeing life eternal to every person who trusts in Him. And so to rest in the Redeemer is the true way to obey Him. And it is only when enjoying the peace of forgiveness that the soul is strong for the conflict.
Remember the Pharisee who thanked God that he was not like the tax collector and proceeded to make a list of those things that made him ‘holy?’ His comparison was of himself with other men. In this comparison he felt he had won hands down! But what a difference there was with the godly prophet, Isaiah, who saw himself and all those around him as bankrupt in every way. What made the difference? One was standing before men in his exercise and the other was standing before a Holy God.
Beware of trying to measure your own spiritual progress. If we are truly followers of the Lord Jesus then becoming like Him will to be our goal. As we are grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ His holiness will be given to us. We will become aware that the changes in us are more than self-improvements. Rather it is the work of our dear Lord conforming us to His image. Delight in this!
Then said I, woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1
Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden… Jeremiah 31:12b
Can We Pray? Gracious and Holy Father how I praise you that my standing in your presence is not dependent upon my performance but on the saving work of your Son. Here too I exalt that the Christ who saved me from the penalty of sin brings me the reward of His own holiness so that I may grow in the fruits of grace and through Him be conformed day by day into His holy image. Lord grant that I may be a fruitful and well watered garden. In name of the Lord Jesus.