But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.Romans 6:22 NIV
Holiness! This seems to be an often overlooked attribute of the Christian life. Holiness often conjures up images of monks or nuns. Or people who are too good to associate with the common folk. And even when it is understood as something desirable, it is often considered out of reach for most believers who have to interact with the world on a daily basis.
But holiness is not just for the few. Nor is it unattainable for most of us. Holiness is something that should be true of all believers. Peter tells us to be holy because God is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). And without holiness, no one will see God (Heb. 12:14).
So how do we achieve holiness? Paul tells us here that the benefit we reap from becoming slaves to God is holiness. Holiness comes when I turn from sin and seek to serve the Lord. When I am set apart for his use.
But why is holiness a benefit to me as a believer? What does it gain me? The Old Testament holiness laws give us insight into that. Only what is holy is allowed to come into God’s presence. The common or unclean is excluded. When I am holy, I can come before God, talking with him, walking with him, and making requests of him.
And, of course, the most significant benefit we reap is described in the conclusion of this verse, eternal life. Eternal life is the outcome of a life of holiness. Remember, without holiness, we will not see God (Heb. 12:14).