From time to time we are reminded that we can only be right with God through Jesus. These reminders fix our faith fully on all that Jesus is for us so that we are turned out of ourselves to Christ alone.
But all too often, we are told that we must now live holy lives. And the result is we are turned back on ourselves introspectively concerned to be all that God demands by our own efforts. We are no longer turned out of ourselves to Christ alone but rather preoccupied with our own performance. Against this, the New Testament calls us to see that Christ isn’t only our righteousness but also our holiness (1 Corinthians 1: 30). He alone is the holy one who is fully pleasing to his Father. And our holiness is sharing in his holiness. In union with Christ, his righteousness becomes ours and also his holiness. One with Christ we are fully set apart for God as his holy ones.
Nevertheless, we are called to become more and more holy in our daily lives. Does that mean that we are again thrown back on our own resources to achieve daily holiness ourselves? No! By the Spirit I am in Christ so that his holiness becomes mine. And by the Spirit, Christ is in me to work out his own holiness within me. I no longer live striving for my own holiness, but Christ lives in me to live out his own holiness in and through me. He alone is our holiness in every way. Turned out of ourselves we live in Christ as he lives in us.