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Strive for Christ and His Holiness

Sometimes, we use our sinful nature as an excuse to sin. We say “Well, I am struggling” or “I was born this way” or a plethora of similar excuses, and we don’t seek to allow the Holy Spirit to make any changes in our lives (or fight Him every step of the way).  Yet there is a duality to it. While Salvation IS on grace through faith in Christ, we are still told to work out our own salvation among ourselves with fear and trembling. We have never been called to be lazy in our salvation! We have never been called to allow God to do all the work. Sure, He does the work of Salvation through Jesus Christ, but we’re called to seek Holy Lives, to be Holy as God is Holy. We’re called to walk as living Sacrifices, and to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We have a Faithful High Priest in Christ our advocate. Let us not use Him as an excuse to continue on in sin, but as a reason to confront our sin and stop sinning, for His name’s sake!


Hebrews 3-4


Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,  who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house.  For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.


Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,    on the day of testing in the wilderness,where your fathers put me to the test    and saw my works for forty years.Therefore I was provoked with that generation,and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;    they have not known my ways.’As I swore in my wrath,    ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”


Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,


“Today, if you hear his voice,do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”


For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.


Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,


“As I swore in my wrath,‘They shall not enter my rest,’”


although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,


“They shall not enter my rest.”


Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,


“Today, if you hear his voice,do not harden your hearts.”


For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.


Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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