It’s Impossible!! Wait, No It’s Not!
Read Hebrews Chapter 12
Heb 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
Our Lord asks of us the impossible. In this passage the writer of Hebrews, under the direction of the Spirit, asks every Christian to be holy, for without holiness no one will see the Lord. This is only one of many seemingly impossible commands from His word. Here are some others.
Mt 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Phil 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Mt 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
Some of these commands are written in such a way as to indicate that even a man’s eternal destination depends upon compliance with them. The passages from Hebrews and Matthew are examples of that. The Hebrews passage comes right out and says that in no uncertain terms. “Be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” That’s pretty straightforward. Who can keep these commands? Who can agree and comply with these requirements? Not me.
I haven’t been able to be holy, perfect, refrain from anxiety, or to love my enemy. And for sure, I haven’t found a way to love my wife as Christ loved the church. Christ died for the church. He sacrificed everything for it, holding back nothing. Let’s look at one other “impossible task.” It is somewhat mentioned in the Hebrews passage. “See that no one is sexually immoral.” It’s a bit too late for me to comply with that one. The deed(s) is/are already done. Those homosexual acts did not come with a “do over.” There is more.
1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Well, it’s too late for me. I haven’t been able to accomplish any of these impossible tasks. But wait, there is hope!!!
1Co 6:11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished all of these requirements on our behalf!! What we have tried to do, but failed miserably, Someone has done for us. We must continue to strive for purity, holiness, sinlessness, perfect love, and to be done with anxiety. We must strive for them, not to obtain our salvation, but to thank Him for clothing us with His perfection, holiness, purity. Our love for Him and thanksgiving compel us to work out our salvation – not work for our salvation, but work through it, striving in every way that He asks of us.
Prayer: Again, all we can say is, “Thank You!!”