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International Bible Lessons Commentary

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Teaching about Becoming and Being Holy – Hebrews 12

According to, to be holy is to be “dedicated or devoted to the service of God,” which describes Christians.

Jesus Christ makes Christians holy when He sets them apart for His special use. The Bible says Jesus and His followers are of the same family, because Jesus makes His followers holy: “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 2:11).

As Christians, “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). Hebrews also teaches that Jesus makes people holy “through his own blood” (Hebrews 13:12).

As Christians, we have been made holy and we are also in the process of being made holy by Jesus Christ: “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).

Since we are in the process of being made holy, as Christians, we have the responsibility to “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). As Christians, we are being made holy by Jesus Christ and at the same time we are making every effort to be holy; that is, totally devoted to the service of God in Christ Jesus.

Would our teaching be different if we looked at those in our Bible or Sunday school class as people Jesus Christ as made holy, as people being made holy by Jesus Christ, and as people who are making every effort to be holy?

How can we give Christians the assurance that Christ is making them holy and they have been made holy by the “sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” and “through the blood of Jesus Christ”? How can we give Christians this assurance and also encourage them to “make every effort to be holy”?

Which should we emphasize the most at church: Christians are sinners or Christians are holy? What is your reason for your answer?

What do you think? Let us know on the forum.

May God continue to bless your teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

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For the love of God's Word,
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