Friday, January 24, 2014

Beyond Sunday School Definitiions

When most of us try to think about God's holiness, we fumble our words. In some respects, we intellectually understand that He is thoroughly pure, untouched by any  sort of corruption or evil, with no desire to sin. But we don't really understand, do we?

We use our memorized Sunday School definitions of holiness, all the while mentally struggling to imagine a being that perfect. Such purity boggles our minds, especially if we realize that it's not the cloying purity of virginal heroines in badly written  melodramas. God's holiness, far from being so insipid, drives Christians to worship Him in awe and wonder! When we fail to so regard Him (as we do most of the time), our memorized Sunday School definitions satisfy us while buffering us from the most troubling aspect of His holiness.

If He is holy, we are not.

And yet, Jesus confers His holiness on those who belong to Him, outrageously declaring us to be holy even as He's in the beginning stages of working His holiness into us. He certainly sees our tendencies to revive our old sin natures--He's neither blind nor ignorant! Yet His Holy Spirit graciously disturbs us when we turn towards sin, reminding us that a) He lives within us and b) He will not co-exist with such contamination. If we genuinely belong to Christ, our dalliances with sin will bother us tremendously with the gruesome  horror of having offended and dishonored Him. His holiness transferred to us blesses us with an increasing animosity toward sin.

As the Lord allows us to participate in His holiness, He gives us glimpses of that holiness. In these fleeting glimpses, we see no room for self-congratulation, but rather we feel greater awe of Him. Accordingly, we bow before Him in worship.

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