Our Pastor inquires, “If, as the Bible commands, it is God’s desire and will that His people be holy, why doesn’t He just magically zap us into a perfect and hallowed state; make us a pious people whose holiness is never hindered?”
We know that “in Christ,” we are positionally seated with Him at the right hand of the Father, but I can be honest enough here to admit I don’t always reflect the person of my position (Ephesians 1:13). Okay, I did say honest… perhaps I meant rarely.
What I mean to suggest is that we are positionally wearing Christ’s robe of righteousness, and our calling is to allow the holiness that has been given to us to work its way into every fabric of our lives. Sanctification, if you will. Yet, holiness I fear, is hardly a rampant feature I portray.
According to Isaiah, it’s not God. He once shared with Israel, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear (59:1).”
If I grasp what Isaiah is saying here, God is able to hear our desires and do something about them. The question then is “do I desire holiness?” If so, it appears that God is all in to make it happen. The prophet gives us a clear indicator as to whether we do or do not have this desire when he continues, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear (59:2).”
My Pastor reminds me that holiness is not a thing; it is a person. If we will define holiness, it will be by naming the name of Jesus, for He alone is holy. In Him, we find that His holiness is attributed to our account, but it must find its way into our lifestyles also. If holiness is hindered here in this temple; it is all my doing.
To desire to know Jesus is to desire to be holy. These cannot be separated, and yet, how often do I cling to those sins that I hate… and love?
The answer then is of course to pursue Jesus and expect holiness. He first pursued us and gave us His holiness; we therefore pursue Him and reflect His holiness.
The author of 2nd Chronicles defines it this way, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (7:14).”
This verse has become so familiar that I often read through it without recognizing the terms in play. God declares we must be a people of humility and prayer, a people desperately seeking Him, and a people repentant of our sins.
To pursue Jesus means to walk as He walked, to think as He thought, to live as He lived… loving God with our all and our neighbors as ourselves. In a Kingdom such as this, holiness is never hindered.
- I know I am justified; now I must focus on the job of sanctification (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
- Righteousness through Christ in Sanctification (savedbygraceblogdotcom.wordpress.com)
- Battle within (pieana.wordpress.com)
- The Body Of Christ’s Fear Of Perfection (jamesbli.wordpress.com)