Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (KJV)
Heb 12:14 Try to live at peace with everyone! Live a clean life. If you don’t, you will never see the Lord. (CEV)
I have been using the words of the hymn “Take Time to Be Holy” to help explain what it means to be holy and how to be holy. I have begun to explain the second stanza,
Take time to be holy.
The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret
With Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus,
Like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct
His likeness shall see.
What does it mean, “By looking to Jesus”?
There is much in the Bible that sheds more light on what it means to look to Jesus. A study of Hebrews 12:2 and its cross references will lead you to what the rest of the Bible says:
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Looking. or, Looking away from (these witnesses). Gr. aphoraō (S# G872, only here), to consider attentively (Strong). Looking away translates aphorōntes from aphoraō, compounded of apo, from, and horaō, to view with undivided attention; thus to look away from all distractions and problems with eyes fixed on Jesus. Cf. Heb 10:32 showing the reason for their persecution and the need to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus (LNT, fn z). T1369, *Heb 12:3, +*Heb 9:28; Heb 11:26, 27; Heb 13:8, Num 21:8, 9, Job 19:26, *Psa 17:15; Psa 34:5; Psa 123:2; Psa 130:6, *Isa 8:17; *Isa 31:1; *+Isa 45:22, *Mic 7:7, *Zec 12:10, Mat 10:24, *Joh 1:29; *Joh 1:36; *Joh 3:14; *Joh 3:15; *Joh 6:40; *Joh 6:65; *Joh 8:56; Joh 10:4; Joh 13:14; Joh 19:5, Rom 8:34, 1Cor 13:12, 2Cor 3:18; *2Cor 4:18, Php 2:23; *Php 3:13; *Php 3:20, +*2Tim 4:8, **Titus 2:13, *1Jn 1:1, 2, 3, *Jude 1:21.
If we truly look exclusively (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) to Jesus for our salvation, and continue doing so on a daily basis, then His likeness will be seen in us by others.
One of the clearest and most striking verses in the Bible about this is 2 Corinthians 3:18,
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Notice the expression “are changed.” Literally translated, this text reads “are transformed.” The Holy Spirit transforms the life and character of each person who truly believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit produces in each believer the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23, 24, 25).
The Bible explains itself to a far greater degree than most Bible readers are aware. Studying the cross references for a word or theme in the Bible will lead to many other related verses you might not ever think of on your own. Here are the cross references for 2 Corinthians 3:18, “are changed.”
are changed. or, transformed. Gr. metamorphoomai (S# G3339). 2Cor 5:17, Psa 85:13, %+*Jer 2:5, Ezek 36:26, Mat 17:2 g (transfigured). Mar 9:2 g. *Joh 17:17, Rom 5:5; *+Rom 8:29; Rom 12:2 g (transformed). Rom 13:14, +*1Cor 6:11; 1Cor 15:49, Gal 6:15, Eph 4:22, 23, 24; Eph 5:8, Col 3:10, +*1Th 2:13, Tit 3:5, **2Pe 1:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, *+1Jn 3:2; *+1Jn 3:6.