Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 3:11-13
“So that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” (I Thessalonians 3:13)
You and I know that our hearts are not blameless. We sin many times a day. We fail to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and we fail to love our neighbors as ourselves. So what was Paul speaking of in this passage?
We must remember that we are justified sinners. Through justification, we have been forgiven of all our sins on the basis of the substitutionary atonement done on our behalf by the Lord Jesus. And we have been made blameless and righteous through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness freely given to us when we were justified.
We have been reconciled to God by the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ — “He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him” (Colossians 1:22). It is Christ alone who can establish our hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father. We can add nothing to what He has already done for us. Because of our justification, God sees us in the same way He sees His own Son — holy, blameless and above reproach.
We are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, but we have also been called to live out our justification in our sanctification. God has called us to live holy lives that honor Him. We cannot do so in our own strength. We must have faith that the Holy Spirit will empower us to deny ourselves and to live for Christ. The Holy Spirit is essential in our sanctification. He gives us the motivation and the desire to glorify God by the way we live. He grants us power to choose holiness. Let me say it again, we can never do this in our own strength. We must rely upon Him to establish our hearts blameless in holiness, and to give us the power to live a life of holiness.
O Spirit of God, I know that I am called to live a holy life. I struggle every day because of my sinful heart. I desire to honor God by living a life of obedience; but I often fail to do so. Fill me fresh and give me the strength to resist my sinful ways and to live a life of holiness. I am so thankful that through justification Christ has established my heart blameless in holiness before my God and Father.
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