“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it”
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Jesus is coming again. Christians who truly believe Jesus is coming want to be prepared for Him even though they do not know exactly when His return will be. We want to be sanctified (set apart, holy) people.
How many of us have earnestly prayed the rich words of the old hymn written by Philip Bliss; “More holiness give me, More strivings within, More patience in suff’ring, More sorrow for sin, More faith in my Savior, More sense of His care, More joy in His service, More purpose in prayer.”
Some are satisfied with a skin-deep “holiness.” You know, the ability to look Christian when you find yourself in situations where it would be to your advantage. But we should not be satisfied with a “holiness” that can be turned off and then back on again at your discretion. Some are satisfied with a super-spiritual holiness that affects your “soul” but has little affect on your body while others equate spirituality with a harsh treatment of the body that has little influence on the “soul.”
But we should not settle for anything less than through and through holiness where we are set apart from God in every way – spirit, soul, and body. Christians wanting to be ready for Him (“kept blameless”) when He returns will yearn for this kind of complete holiness that Paul desires for the Thessalonians. But how do we get it? How does it happen? How do we get beyond this surface “holiness” to experience the genuine through and through holiness that makes us fit for the coming of the Master?
Paul answers our questions in the text.
God. God himself. The God of peace. The faithful one who calls you.
He will do it.
He will sanctify you, every part of you, not just a layer or two but “through and through.” He will keep you blameless.
He will do it!
Do we believe it?
God our Father, You are our faithful God of peace, able to reach deep within us. We honor You as the ultimate source of peace and holiness. Forgive us when we withhold any part of our being from you. Let us come to know You and submit to You. Sanctify us through and through. In Jesus’ name, Amen.