HOLINESS: AM I HOLY AT SALVATION OR DO I MATURE INTO HOLINESS?
Well, both are true.
When I was saved the Holy Spirit invaded my spirit-man, (my inner most man), and took up residence and ownership. In my spirit-man holiness is not personal character slowly attained over years of self-denial. Holiness was a result of that instant spiritual union with the Lord Jesus Christ at the point of salvation.
In my spirit-man I do not have to climb a long spiritual mountain of painful denial to ascend the heights of holiness. When we received by faith the gift of salvation from our Lord Jesus Christ all the holiness of God the Father filled us and lifted us up to be able to sit in heavenly places with our Lord filled with His grace. The Holy Spirit dwelling in our spirit-men is HOLY. We have the righteousness of Christ at the moment of salvation.
We come as we are to Christ and to the work of the cross without our self-righteous works. Our part is not to struggle to attain holiness by our own methods and works but to receive Him. In so doing, His own character, the character of the Father, floods our inner-most man and declares us to be HOLY. In the spirit-man I am as holy as my Lord Jesus Christ is holy because at the point of salvation I was robed with His righteousness and His holiness.
Now let's speak about our soulish-man. The soul is the inner man. I am a spirit, I have a soul and I dwell in a body. My soulish man is my mind or thoughts, my heart or emotions, and my will or choices. Years after salvation, I am still filled with STINKING THINKING, DYSFUNCTIONAL EMOTIONS, and ROTTEN CHOICES. In my soulish man, I am commanded to be holy as He is holy. It is a personal daily walk filled with choices to walk in the Spirit and not to fulfill the desires of the flesh.
THE GAP is the difference between who I am in my spirit-man and how I live in word, deed, and thought in my soulish man. As I grow in Christlikeness I close that gap, whereby it truly is less of me and more of Him until there is none of me and all of Him. Therefore, I am holy and I am being made holy. Both are true.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.