How can a Sinner become Holy?

In our spiritual journey, the transformation from sinfulness to holiness is vital. It’s a path laid out by our merciful Holy God. The Word of GOD says we have all sinned - Romans 3:23-24 and the devil the condemner doesn't want us to be in GOD's likeness, so let us come boldly to GOD for forgiveness and find grace through Jesus Hebrews 4:15-16. This journey involves surrendering to God, confessing our sins, doing His will, and ultimately inheriting His Kingdom, a miraculous work of God. Let’s delve into these stages, supported by Scripture, to understand how a sinner can become holy.In our spiritual journey, the transformation from sinfulness to holiness is vital, as it leads us to sanctification. This path is laid out by our merciful and gracious God.

Walking in Grace towards Holiness

The Word of God in Romans 3:23 tells us plainly "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Yet by God's grace we are justified freely through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24). Though the devil seeks to condemn us, Jesus provides a way for us to find forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). As Hebrews 4:16 says, let us come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. This journey involves surrendering our lives to God, confessing our sins, doing His will, and ultimately inheriting His eternal Kingdom through Christ – a miraculous work of a gracious God. As we walk this path illuminated by Scripture, the Holy Spirit empowers us to reject sin and live righteously, that we may be conformed to the image of Christ.

Click the following Bible versions to hear the audio playlist of the verses mentioned in this article:

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Repentance - Turning from Sin

True repentance begins with godly sorrow over our sin. As 2 Corinthians 7:10 explains, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.” This repentance involves humbly confessing our sins before God. King David modeled this after his adultery and murder, crying out “I have sinned against the LORD.” (2 Samuel 12:13). David knew that God desires truth within our hearts, writing “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:16-17).

Confession restores our relationship with God. As 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Confession is the gateway to God's mercy. As Proverbs 28:13 declares, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” God welcomes the repentant sinner back with open arms.

As Peter exhorted, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) David also prayed, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10).

True repentance turns from sin and turns toward God in faith. We must renounce all unrighteousness and seek to walk in His ways. As Isaiah 55:7 urges, “Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them.”

Surrender - Surrendering to God

Romans 10:9-10,11, 13 - The next step to holiness is surrendering to God. By confessing with our mouths "Jesus is Lord" and believing in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved, we start our spiritual transformation. Surrender is more than a moment of confession; it's a lifelong journey of trusting and following God. As Isaiah exhorts, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7)

The tax collector in Jesus' parable modeled surrender, crying out "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" (Luke 18:13) Jesus said "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)

Obedience - Walking in God's Ways

Obedience to God is essential for living a holy life. As Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15). Genuine love leads to obedience.

The LORD requires us to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8). As His people, we must turn from selfishness and humbly follow His ways.

Seeking God’s kingdom must be our first priority. As Jesus taught, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33). When we delight in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4).

The fruit of obedience is righteousness, peace and joy. As Paul exhorted, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4). A life of prayerful obedience leads to indescribable peace and contentment in Christ.

Let us walk in the fullness of His Spirit, eagerly obeying God’s commands and living as children of light. This brings glory to our Father in heaven.

Salvation - Inheriting God's Kingdom

God promises everlasting life and salvation to those who put their faith in Christ. As Jesus declared, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

This salvation is a gracious gift from God, not something we can earn. As Paul explained, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Through faith in Christ, we become heirs of God’s eternal kingdom. As Jesus promised, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34).

In God’s presence we will find eternal joy and rest. As Revelation 21:4 declares, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Let us look with hope to that day when we will see our Lord face to face and dwell in His house forever. As John wrote, “We know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2).


The path from sinfulness to holiness in Christ is a profound journey. As we saw, it begins with repentance, turning from sin and turning wholeheartedly toward God. This repentance leads to surrender, yielding our lives completely to Jesus' lordship. As we walk in obedience to God's ways through the empowering of the Holy Spirit, we grow in righteousness and godliness. Finally, we have the blessed hope of eternal life with Christ, promised to all who trust in Him.

This transformation does not happen overnight. It is a lifelong process of growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ. There will be struggles and setbacks along the way. Yet God is patient and faithful to complete the work He began in us (Philippians 1:6).

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Relying on His strength, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Day by day, we can put off the old self and put on the new self in Christ (Ephesians 4:22-24).

By God's grace, even the most sinful life can become increasingly holy. Our part is to continually yield ourselves to Him in faith and obedience. For "without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). May we diligently pursue holiness in reverent fear of the Lord, knowing the reward is eternal life with Christ.


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