Older translations of these verses imply that Paul’s prayer for complete holiness may be realized only “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Contemporary English Version of the American Bible Society, 1995, reads:
And may your spirit, soul and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. The one who chose you can be trusted , and he will do this (vv. 23b,24, cev).
What options do we have? Only one. If we believe that God has chosen us to believe and obey him, we must trust him to completely overhaul our thinking and acting. This option is not only for a select group of “saints.” It is God’s splendid plan for each of us. When we are sober and still in God’s presence, we know that these words are true.
I cannot unravel the doctrinal controversies that have developed throughout the years over the holiness issue. No easy formula or experience will make Paul’s words come true. I simply appeal to all my fellow believers-Episcopalians, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Methodists, Reformed, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Baptists, independents-to accept God’s standard for wholeness and holiness.
Lord, I will work passionately to grow and succeed!