“To be holy, you only need to be yourself in Christ.”
The process of sanctification is becoming who you already are in Christ, living out the new identity you have been given. A Christian is radically changed from the inside out. It is impossible to be a Christian without Christ, though many have tried. Grace empowers your sanctification because the spirit of holiness lives within you. In Christ, we have everything we need for life and godliness.
Paul says that we are not to partner with the disobedient (those who live immoral lives). This does not mean that we avoid unbelievers. Paul is not advocating a Christian ghetto. We are to walk in their world but not to walk as they do. Jesus prayed for his disciples not that the Father would take them out of the world, but that He would protect them from the evil one.
Once we were darkness, but now we are light in the Lord. We didn’t just live in darkness, we were darkness. It defined us. We were slaves to self and to the sinful nature. Now that we are in Christ, we are radically different from what we were. The Light has shined on us and now shines through us. We are now, in Christ, the light of the world!
We are called to walk as children of light. The fruit of the light is all that is good, right and true. How do we know what that is? We can discern the will of God by the wise application of Biblical truth. Because God has given us His Word, we know the parameters of His will. We should apply it to our situation and put it into practice.
Not only are we to avoid the deeds of darkness, we are to expose them. We don’t just say no; we must call it what it is: wrong, sin, darkness. But we don’t simply call it darkness; our goal should be to enlighten it. We do this in three ways. First, we enlighten by living differently from the prevailing culture—because we are different, not for the sake of being different but to please the Lord. Second, we speak differently into the culture. We should be winsome and compassionate but clear about sin. Third, we enlighten by proclaiming the Gospel into the culture. As we live as light in the world, some will come to the light and begin to ask questions. Our goal should not be to win an argument but to win the person to the light. “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!”