In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Paul writes, "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are."
The idea that one can grow in holiness fails to recognize the finished work of Christ on the cross. Holiness comes to you in the person of Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:11, "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
Truth is based on what God says. Let's not be thrown to and fro by our feelings or our actions. The truth is not determined by what we feel or how we behave. Remembering and recognizing who we really are in Christ will automatically change our feelings and our actions will display this awesome reality. It is not the other way around as many false teachings will suggest. Through this reality, a transformation process will take place and our lifestyles will change through the renewing of the mind.
In 1 Corinthians 1:30, Paul reiterated that it was God's doing that they were in Christ, and that Christ is their sanctification. "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption," These saints are already holy in God's eyes. And as a believer, so are YOU! Amen! :-)
In Hebrews 10:10, the author is explaining that one sacrifice of Christ is sufficient and that God took away the Old Covenant to establish the New, "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
Let's look at Scripture that seems to point to seeking holiness. In Hebrews 12:14, "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord." It seems the author is clearly advising us to pursue holiness. If we define pursuing sanctification as getting better and better at keeping rules, we will find ourselves right back in legalism, but we have already seen that rule-keeping is not the meaning of holiness.
To pursue it means that we act diligently to agree with God concerning what He has said about us, and we act like it's true because it is true! We have Jesus Christ, and He is our holiness. So we are pursuing sanctification or holiness when we are living out of the reality of His indwelling life. We grow in the expression of holiness in our thoughts and attitudes and even in our actions, but we don't become more and more holy. Our actions are catching up with our identity and we begin acting more and more like the person we already are in Christ. You are holy. This is what we are! Remember 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. Amen! :-)
When we affirm that Jesus Christ is our holiness and simply accept His finished work as the basis for our holiness, we honor the cross and the Christ who gave Himself for us so that we might be made holy. Remember you are a saint! :-)