How do you feel about holiness? Is it something on your ‘ought to do’ list or is it something you embrace wholeheartedly? Why is it that holiness sometimes has a bad reputation? Nancy Leigh DeMoss asks us an excellent question: “Why do we make holiness out to be some austere obligation or burden to be borne, when the fact is that to be holy is to be clean, to be free from the weight and the burden of sin?”
Let’s clear some misinterpretations. Because, like Jerry Bridges explains it, “God intends the Christian life to be a life of joy – not drudgery. The idea that holiness is associated with a dour disposition is a caricature of the worst sort. In fact, just the opposite is true. Only those who walk in holiness experience true joy.”
Jesus commanded us to obey and abide in him that his joy and delight may be in us, that our joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing! We are called to become like Him because God wants to bless us ever more, not because he’d like to punish us.
If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. (John 15: 10-11, MSG)
The beginning of holiness is our total surrender to God. A.W. Pink states “Holiness consists of that internal change or renovation of our souls whereby our minds, affections and wills are brought into harmony with God.” To live in harmony with God is a worthy goal. But the blessings that come from holiness are ever greater.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains “To be holy is to be wholly satisfied with Christ. Above all, it is to reflect the beauty and the splendor of our holy Lord in this dark world. In pursuing holiness, you will fulfill and experience all that God had in mind when He created you.” When we pursue holiness we will experience all that God had in mind when he created us! Tremendous! When we live according to our own will we get -way too often- in the way of God! And then we wonder why things are not going smoothly! Lord, have mercy!
We need to understand that there are two kinds of holiness. Jerry Bridges states, “Scripture speaks of both a holiness we already possess in Christ before God and a holiness in which we are to grow more and more. The first is the result of the work of Christ for us; the second is the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The first is perfect and complete and is ours the moment we trust Christ; the second is progressive and incomplete as long as we are in this life. The objective holiness we have in Christ and the subjective holiness produced by the Holy Spirit are both gifts of God’s grace and are both appropriated by faith.”
Just like we need to be open for God’s grace to save us, we need to embrace the work of the Holy Spirit in us. We have the power to keep the Holy Spirit out. But if we do so…we will miss the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. But if we are open for the curriculum of grace…we can be sure the Holy Spirit will keep on working in us so we can more and more live in harmony with God and fulfill and experience all that God has intended for us. Holiness brings God’s best for us. That’s the big deal about holiness.
We thank you for your powerful grace!
Wash us clean!
Don’t let us get in your way!
Create in us desire for holiness!
Keep working in us!
So we could live in harmony with you
and according to your will!
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How has your view on holiness changed over the years?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you welcome grace and the work of Holy Spirit into your heart and mind!
Giving thanks today for
#111 God’s invitation to be more like him
#112 The Holy Spirit’s work in us
#113 living in harmony with God
#114 blessings that flow from obedience
#115 God’s holiness
#116 mystery of Grace
#117 joy in pursuing holiness
#118 satisfaction in Christ
#119 the curriculum of grace
#120 God gives us hope beyond our understanding
Image courtesy of Jackie Almond. Linking up today with