The Promise of Romans 8:29
In 2 Peter 3:11, ESV, we are told of the coming final day and then Peter writes, “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.” In his first letter, Peter quotes the Scriptures and says that God’s people must be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).
Holiness is not optional for the Christian. Holiness is definitional of the Christian.
What is godliness? A God-pleasing life. God-pleasing lives are godly lives. Godly lives are Christ-exalting lives. Godliness means to be like God (Ephesians 5:1).
The mark of conversion is from god-forsaking to God-embracing. Our hearts are aimed upward and our bodies follow! Holiness is happiness.
We are by nature unholy, sinful. Because of sin all people are born and practice unholiness and sinfulness. We pollute our lives with rebellion. We are impure, defiled, and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Thus, in order to be holy, we must be counted holy.
In Christ, the righteousness and holiness of the Son is counted or imputed to us by faith alone (Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21). 1 Corinthians 1:30, ESV, says, “And because of [God] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification.”
Because Christ was holy, we are counted holy positionally in God’s sight. The purity and holiness of Jesus is robed upon the sinner by faith in the finished work of Christ.
Christians are not sinless or perfectly holy in life. But in the gospel we are declared holy and in life we are becoming holy. The Christian life is becoming what He is. God’s will for your life is for you to look less like yourself, and to look more like Christ. This is the promise of Romans 8:29!
Charles Spurgeon said “Nearness to God brings likeness to God.” How simple! And yet, how difficult! Whether in a dark movie theater, bright church, or on a phone screen — how’s your godliness?
Children aim to be like their father, how much more the Christian like his Father?
Christians are the only ones who feel miserable with sin. Not just the effects of sin (shame, loss of job, broken relationships, etc.) because even non-Christians feel those things. Instead, Christians detest sin in the heart! We feel sorrow about what God despises, because God despises it. Christians would rather suffer than sin, for suffering is not sinful.
And brothers, this godliness is what will bring heaps of trouble into our lives. Be warned, the narrow way is the hated way. Voddie Baucham once told us how to avoid being hated as a Christian: “Persecution [in the world] can be avoided… just compromise.”
2 Timothy 3:12, ESV, says, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” If we seek to be like Christ, we must expect to be treated like Christ, and then to reign with Christ.