Do you find it hard to “look like Jesus?” Perhaps you have never met Jehovah-M’Kaddish, the God who sanctifies you. You really do not have to work alone to clean up your messes and quit making more. Jesus lived the life on earth just as you do. He knows what it is to be tempted as you are; he did not yield to temptation. The same sacrificial blood that he gave to save you was also given to “sanctify” you. Simply put, his blood paid the penalty for your past sins, and it paid for your sanctification – the ability to live pure lives.
Just as you believe him for salvation, you believe him for overcoming sin. A few years ago, I served as a volunteer chaplain at the County jail. A newly-confessed Christian there asked our chaplain how he could know for sure that he had been saved. The chaplain replied, “give yourself a couple of weeks, and you will know” meaning if there is no change in your life then you’re not a Christian. That comes across as harsh and crude to most of us who have been bouncing around like rubber balls trying to answer how, who, when questions about sanctification and/or holy living. But if a sinner becomes a new creature (as the Bible says), surely his behavior and/or attitude toward his sinful nature will become apparent upon his becoming a holy child of a holy God.
“Sanctify yourselves therefore and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you” (Lev. 20:7,8) and in the NT, I Thes. 5:23, Paul says “…the very God of peace, sanctify you holy…” And the writer of Hebrews said, “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate” (13:12). Jesus didn’t die to save you; he also died to sanctify you (change you).
Does it matter? Hebrews 12:14b, says, “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” As God speaks in Leviticus, he punctuates his commands throughout the book with the command to be holy. Even saying, “Be holy as I am holy.” (Lev. 20:26, also I Peter 1:16)
So how does this play out in my daily walk? I have to practice my “NO” muscle. My “NO” muscle? I’ll tell you about it some day. For the time being – you have to learn to say no to the sinful desires of the flesh.